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

    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 12:18 pm on April 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , maitri, metta, Mithra, , ,   

    Buddhism and the Personal Peace Initiative… 

    Don’t take the bait. Let the other guy have the last word. Someone has to be the adult in the room in this world or there’ll be none, adults that is, since I think that we can assume that there is a room, by prior agreement, and our common consensus that the material world exists to at least an extent that we can talk about it, even if those illusions of solidity quickly vanish with increased scrutiny. Because the infinite divisibility of matter is as inscrutable as the infinite extension of the universe, and as unlikely as true love, in the sense of ultimate compatibility, beyond all causes and conditions, not to be confused with lovingkindness, simple friendship or universal brotherhood, however you want to define the Sanskrit or Pali terms ‘metta’ and ‘maitri’, notwithstanding all the mutations and peregrinations that the Iranian god Mithra made in transforming himself from a god of light into a Roman god of war, thus the very opposite of the Buddhist intent. And such is the world, fidgeting and finagling, hungering and thirsting for something more, if not always something other, the family familiar usually preferred to the altogether other, for reasons of convenience, if not comfort, and seldom better. For the world grows smaller to the same degree that it grows more violent, the need for living room in conflict with the need for living rooms, possession and aggression up against compassion and dispassion, so we gather up our rocks and put them in hard places, all ready for battle, rather than find peace within ourselves, and then extend it to others. There is a way out, and a way forward, but the answer is too simple for many men to accept: lay down your arms and rest your legs. Mind your tongues and mind your manners. For a war with guns is never really won, and a war of words is no better. Choose peace, and quiet, and reconciliation…

     
  • hardie karges 4:40 pm on August 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , changes, , , , metta   

    Buddhism, Genetics and the Book of Ch-ch-ch-changes… 

    Meditation is the best medicine. Laughter is the best lozenge. Peace is the best pill. Imbibe at will. Chemical solutions are faulty; of that there is no doubt. And any material acquisitions can not be embedded genetically, for this generation or any future one, for oneself or any other, whether any sort of rebirth may magically exist or not. Environment may very well affect genetics, and genetics may very well affect environment, but that still doesn’t imply Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics. Genetics is hard-wired, but that, too, is changeable, and often. Culture is fleeting, and that is nothing but change, environment, fashion, embedded in language and cast to the winds of history, for better or worse, a message in a bottle. Sabbe dhamma anicca = all phenomena are changing, right before our eyes, no matter whether truth or lies, because such distinctions don’t exist, only appearances. Genetics and language play FTSE with nature, as if it were something external, eternal and everlasting. But some things can stand the test of time, trials and tribulations, and a thousand other clichés specifically adopted as a shortcut to feeling, which language can only approximate, culture can only insinuate, and genetics can only suckle. Because true friendship, metta, is a rare and sacred thlng: beyond all the jokes, afta the lafta…

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 2:50 pm on August 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I like the poetic turn your writing takes here – wondered if you’d thought about adopting poetic form. I was also interested in this:-

      Environment may very well affect genetics, and genetics may very well affect environment, but that still doesn’t imply Lamarckian inheritance of acquired characteristics. Genetics is hard-wired, but that, too, is changeable, and often. Culture is fleeting …

      Nevertheless, we haven’t evolved physically for a very long time, haven’t needed to, because culture clothes and dresses us. Perhaps evolution is cultural now. In which case, one could still say … whoops!

    • hardie karges 3:39 pm on August 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Genetics has exploded the last five years, check out haplogroups if you haven’t yet, especially y-DNA, currently re-writing prehistory. But most of our evolution these days is cultural; that’s true.

      By poetic form, you mean line breaks? Actually that has occurred to me also, so even laid this one out that way first, looked at it, then said ‘naah’. But I might do it next time, thanx to your input, definitely my current mode, good catharsis ( I think that’s the word I want, not sure) to my current MA thesis, which is straight essay, so need a break from it once a week or so. Thanx for your comments, always a pleasure…

  • hardie karges 7:05 pm on June 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , metta, opportunity   

    Fear of the Known and the Dread of Certainty 

    I feel invisible connections to all who crossed my path, however briefly, but especially those who walked beside me for a while. For this is truly a spiritual occurrence, sacred friendship, metta, in what is predominantly a material world, of mechanical waves, percussion and repercussions, the logic of logistics, and the calculus of convenience. And this is only normal, of course, that our vision is limited to frequencies of the most ordinary sort, bland and tasteless, for fear of over-excitation, that we may start something that we can’t finish, like violence or struggle or depression or love. But none of this has to be so hard, after all, it seems. It is only our fear that makes it seems so, fear of the unknown, fear of success. Because the known is what is truly scary, that we may be stuck in some prison of our own making, and forced to repeat our actions day after day in some pattern that knows no end. The unknown offers relief from the grind of that despicable certainty. There are no problems, and no fear, only opportunities, massive opportunities…

     
    • tiramit 12:41 am on June 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      my naer

    • Dave Kingsbury 2:12 pm on July 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Because the known is what is truly scary … true, indeed! No need to invent phantoms when we have reality! But I’ll take the positives you bring to this – creative approaches are always the best!

  • hardie karges 6:38 am on December 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , citta, compassion, , , karuna, Khmer, , metta, , , , ,   

    Buddhism 101: Metta means Friendship, Karuna means Compassion… 

    IMG_2290You’ve got something pretty special when you put friendship and compassion together, and something pretty simple. Even people who profess to believe in nothing, and categorically reject use of that word ‘belief’ can surely believe in friendship and compassion. And friendship, universal friendship, is a very important concept, easy to forget in our day and time that at some time in the not-so-distant past anyone who was not part of the family was suspect and an object of great fear and suspicion…

    One of my favorite stories, recounted many times, is by Jared Diamond of ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ fame who related that while doing anthropological fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, when two strangers would meet each other, they’d count back to see if they had a mutual relative, so that they wouldn’t have to kill each other, or die trying… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 4:28 pm on December 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Informative survey with a convincing historical explanation for fellow-feeling, if that phrase fits. It all builds nicely to your final thoughts where you suggest how experience of different cultures can develop the facility. It’s an important corrective to the divisions – silos, bunkers, echo chambers, whatever – of the modern era.

    • hardie karges 4:45 pm on December 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Dave! Merry Christmas from Cambodia…

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