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  • hardie karges 11:07 am on August 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , love, , , ,   

    Buddhism and Love, True True love… 

    True love doesn’t grasp or cling. True love embraces all and claims nothing. But this is a huge subject, of course, and it’s always good to define your terms, if you expect to have any reasonable discussion, because the word lends itself to many different interpretations, not the least of which is the reproduction of the species, without which we wouldn’t be sitting here having this conversation…

    Birth, after all, is the origin of each and every individual, if not the species, even if the species is the one most at risk. But many people, especially we westerners, see love as something to be IN, i.e. IN LOVE, so something far above and beyond the simple act of reproduction, more like an entire dimension that swallows us up whole, only to hopefully be released on our word at the middle of our sentence with the ensuing prospects of good behavior. Good luck with that…

    Other languages even describe the same feeling as being lost, i.e. lost in love, so that hits the nail squarely on the head, now, doesn’t it? But that’s so Christian, the passion and the cross, even if the passion was originally suffering, and the cross is really a sword…

    But Buddhism has none of that, AFAIK, but plenty of friendship and brotherly love, and for sisters, too, forever enshrined in the concepts and words of ‘metta’ and ‘maitri’, in Pali and Sanskrit, respectively and respectfully, often translated as ‘lovingkindness’ for people of Euro extraction, even though that’s originally a translation of the Hebrew ‘(c)heced’, aka ‘covenant loyalty’, apparently, so same deal, once the Romans got romance, and put woman on a pedestal from which they could no longer work, only f*ck, then everyone else had to follow those patriarchs of fashion, even if ‘(c)heced’ originally and literally meant to bow oneself, namaste…

    But that’s all water under the bridge, because that was then and this is now, but Buddhism is still a way of life full of dispassion, literally, i.e. relief from suffering, or at least compassion, i.e. misery loves company. But Buddhist suffering, dukkha, does not have to be painful, not at all. It is simply an acknowledgement that you are going to die, and that you are not the center of the universe…

    Now I won’t say that the Hindus-for-hire who tell you that you are the center of the universe are lying, but simply that they are misinformed, as any scientist can attest. For, in the Buddha’s eyes, we are simply a heap of aggregates, so let’s say adjectives, not nouns, and certainly not eternal ones passing from life to life, notwithstanding the paradox of rebirth…

    But at least for this life in this world, we all have each other, and that is not so bad, once you stop and think about it, and once you broaden your circle of friends to include those with whom you may find more degrees of separation than you can account for in the memories of those who conveniently surround you. Racism sucks. Does the Universe care what you do with your life? We are the Universe. We care…

     
    • tiramit 9:06 pm on August 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      “…we are simply a heap of aggregates …adjectives, not nouns,” I like it! It explains something about the Khandas that always puzzled me. Thanks

    • hardie karges 9:12 pm on August 28, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, it was a revelation to me at the time, also, though I’ve heard someone since describe them as verbs, but no, I still think that they are adjectives. This opens a whole new field of inquiry, though, into the linguistic nature of our self-perception. Thanks for your comments…

  • hardie karges 5:46 am on November 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , duality, Hate, love,   

    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 8:59 am on June 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , love, , Understanding; Free Will   

    Fear and Hatred vs. Peace, Love and Understanding; Free Will vs. Determinism… 

    Life lived in fear is not much of a life, a life of hatred even less so. The beauty of it all is that you have a choice. You are limited only be your imagination and the laws of science. And while some people might think that racism and fear of the ‘other’ is intrinsic and insuperable, that is simply not true. Even dogs and cats can overcome their fussing and fighting if raised together from infancy and forced to resort to the warmth of each other’s bodies to beat the chill on some long cold nights. Necessity is a mother. And this is what religion is all about at its best, the realization that if we are self-programmed to expect the best from each other, then the likelihood of a positive outcome is significantly enhanced, i.e. peace and love just might ‘go viral’. This plays right into the hand of the old debate about free will vs determinism: you can’t change the cards you are dealt, but you can always change the hand you play…

     
  • hardie karges 10:04 am on May 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , love,   

    Love, Buddhism, dialectic, and the dictates of Science… 

    The message to a noisy world is simple: silence. The message to a hateful world is also simple: love. So the remedy for any extreme situation would seem to be its opposite, at least in the short term. This can be a zig-zag situation, though, of course, flip-flopping back and forth between extremes with no middle ground. Certainly some Westerners with a racial background of extreme violence take the love love love remedy too far to the other extreme. This is the genius of Buddhism, that it constantly seeks that middle ground ‘sweet spot’ of mutual accommodation, which should ideally be the outcome of any ongoing dialectic, and constantly self-correcting. But while some scholars and priests might claim this as a higher truth, I’d say that it is simply a superior method, and therefore akin to science. There are laws that require separation of church and state, not church and science…

     
    • quantumpreceptor 12:24 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting Hardy. I think science really should have a branch devoted to the study of meditation and or eastern teachings. It’s a proactive solution to an old problem.

      QP

      • hardie karges 2:39 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        And vice-versa, also, IMO, as that gap is now too wide for mere yawning; it needs to be bridged…

        • quantumpreceptor 2:42 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink

          It would be a great way to control the conversation in a logical and nondogmatic way. Leaving the snake oil salesman out to lunch and the seekers of wisdom a new path to credibility.

        • hardie karges 3:01 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink

          exactly

  • hardie karges 5:32 am on July 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , love, , , ,   

    Love Pictures Meditation Buddhism… 

    img_1935Falling in love is probably the closest we’ll ever get to magic in this life, that unexplainable attraction, the eyes the mouth the hair the touch the smell, irreducible to rationality, or math, or the silly logic of syllogisms, so this is reason enough to be suspicious already, correct? BUT—this is the goldfield that Christianity tries to mine—the swoon and the swearing and the general lack of sobriety, and stopping just short of climax, over and over, the better to forestall final payment, in order to accrue interest…

    We Westerners are love junkies, but almost any emotion will do, the crazier the better, any reason or rationality thoroughly rejected from the outset as antithetical to the mood. But I don’t think it’s any accident that it’s mostly the West that is in love with love, as this is the air we breathe, the pheromones and the physicality, the sexiness and the six-packs, whether abs or IPA, any drug will do. And that’s fine, if that’s what you want, as long as you consider all your options, as long as you are free to make an informed decision, BUT… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:16 am on April 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , love, , , Rinzai, , , , ,   

    Buddhism is all about love—sweet dispassionate love… 

    img_1111It has long been predicted that Buddhism’s future is in the West, and for better or worse, that may very well be true. So the question then becomes: what kind of Buddhism would that be? For purposes of dialog and dialectic, I see the two chief protagonists to be the Thai Forest Tradition and Zen, both of which have numerous and faithful adherents in the West, and both of which can claim some purity of faith and doctrine…

    Tibetan Buddhism I imagine has as many or more adherents as either of the above, but is already mixed-and-mashed to the max, so the purity of doctrine is just not there, for better or worse, not to mention modern sex scandals, a dubious devotion to physical reincarnation, and a generation-jumping karma of retribution that just won’t quit. This was the final chapter to a previous crossroads, in Asia, and what worked there, and then, will not likely work here, and now… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:39 am on May 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , love, ,   

    #Mindfulness and #LovingKindness: American #Buddhism–for Ex-Christians and Holy (rock-and-) Rollers… 

    img_1935

    Don’t you just love the way any discussion of Buddhism in the English language tends to revolve around these two concepts—mindfulness and loving-kindness? “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…,” I guess, or why else would Buddhism need to cop new words and phrases to brand itself for people who were most likely raised on rock-and-roll and Christianity?

    But for some reason this Buddhism-now concept of ‘loving-kindness’ never appealed to me. For one thing, it’s just not a very accurate translation of the Sanskrit word metta or its cognate maitri, whose various meanings generally range from friendship to compassion. Or maybe there IS no accurate translation. I’ve communicated with several people by e-mail about my desire to formally study Buddhism at the university level, and ‘with metta‘ is a standard sign-off. So why not ‘with loving-kindness’? Good question… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:00 am on April 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , love, , ,   

    Buddha-Consciousness in a Pill: In Defense of ‘Low-T’… 

    IMG_1665

    Thai Buddhist Temple

    Is there anything more pathetic and disgusting than watching an old man trying to get it up just one more time, meter running, with multiple payment options? Enter Viagra, and sex tourism, and you name it: ‘Low T’ (testosterone), the male sex hormone, or absence thereof…

    It’s all about reproduction, or dying trying, in this life in this world, in this dimension, in this plane of existence, Boeing 747’s equipped with 1st-class cubicles with reclining seats just in case the mood strikes, at the moment of inspiration at the moment of conception…

    Welcome to Thailand, where ‘feed-us’ farming is the late-life equivalent of fetus-farming, for-hire breeding, artificial selection, putting guys out to pasture with hopefully one last biscuit in the oven, just to make things official, and put the young lady on an inheritance plan…

    Low-T? Guys need to take meds for ‘low-T’? That’s like spitting in the face of God, as if Viagra, Cialis, and that pharmacopia weren’t bad enuf, pumps and pills and multifarious cheap thrills in the back seat of cars too small now for proper breeding, need an early model Cadillac…

    It’s ironic that our major form of entertainment—sex—all around the world was never intended for entertainment at all, if we can correctly intuit the mind of God, but you gotta’ give it credit, maybe pandas should take a lesson and start chewing each others genitals instead of so much bamboo while they go happily extinct…

    It’s just a chemical! Without that chemical testosterone and its stiffening influence on the lower extremities, all of our stories and music and literature and art would amount to little, all the philosophies and religion and denominations and free sects… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:37 am on January 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , love,   

    Religion 101: Christianity is all about Passion; Buddhism is all about… 

    …’getting over it’, of course, as if you didn’t know that already, you who’ve probably fallen in love more times than you care to admit and probably never ‘got it right’, or maybe just once or twice, depending on how you count and who you ask, not that you let that stop you for one moment, reaping maximum rewards from a face, or a glance, or an imagined encounter while waiting in line for coffee, just waiting for something—anything—to ‘kick in’, and not just caffeine…

    Or maybe you followed his/her activities closely enough to know where he/she might be at any given time of day on any given day of the week, and you just happened to be there, too, with an enigmatic smile and a pithy salute, full of vim and vigor and whatever comes later, counting the babies by the look in his/her eyes, or at least the efforts to be made if not dying then at least trying, lucky if you don’t end up at the keyhole on your knees…

    We’ve all been there and we all understand, of course, unless you’re lucky enough to have been born so rich or so pretty that they all come to you and you can pick and choose from the daily queues—yeah, right. This is the likely origin of ego, even, that mustering of personality and passion that makes brakes squeal and hearts break. Ah, passion! That’s the word, embodied in Christ and emboldened by religion, enshrined by the centuries and embedded with our remains… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:29 am on January 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , love,   

    Love is Religion, Love is a Drug… 

    To love or help family is an obligation, to love or help friends is a pleasure, to love or help your partner is reproduction, but to love and help complete and total strangers is religion. Accepting a certain risk for no uncertain reward is the fruit of forgiveness and the essence of religion, participating in the universality of truth, beauty and goodness and propagating its continued existence and florescence. The only reward is itself. Everything else is business, politics. Everything else is trivial.

    Love is not the only worthwhile activity to engage in here in this world, but almost. Doesn’t almost every other worthwhile activity ultimately come down (up) to love, e.g. faith, hope and charity? Trust is another matter. Trust is an act of possession disguised as love, involving a transaction ultimately reducible to numbers. Trust is a contract; love is not. I try to love everyone, but I’m not sure I trust anyone. There’s no reason to. (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 1:54 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Didn’t Plato say you move through attraction to one towards love for all? Not a fan normally, but reckon he (or was it Socrates?) got that right. You could call it personal evolution, I suppose, though age-related testosterone die-back helps! Thanks for the thought-provoking post …

      • hardie karges 2:10 pm on January 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Plato definitely said that you love what you don’t have, re: from attraction to love, I’m not sure. Thank you!

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