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  • hardie karges 1:03 pm on September 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , passion, , , Virtual Reality   

    Buddhism and the Balancing Act of Excellence… 

    Violence solves nothing. It only creates more violence. We all know it, yet still we do it, reveling in our passions and bathing all awash in our emotions unapologetic, for this is what we are taught from day one, in the wild wild west, to be passionate about what we do, and anything less is ‘middling…’

    Yet middling is part and parcel of Buddhism and its Middle Path, the avoidance of excess and its extremes, in favor of the boredom of ‘middle-ness.’ From this viewpoint happiness is as often as not the avoidance of sadness, and bliss might very well be suspect for its dalliance with extreme emotion…

    Does this attitude build great cities? Does this attitude conquer continents, and send rockets to the moon? No it probably doesn’t, and we are probably better off because of it. Because neither does it commit genocides, enslave peoples, or cause global warming, and it can produce great art…

    Has your life really improved with the invention of Roombas to Hoover your floors? Do you really need four hundred channels of mediocre programming on the idiot box to satisfy your palate? And before you point out to me that I seem to be championing mediocrity as the Middle Way between lack and excess, I wish to point out that excellence is not a threat to anyone’s existence in the same way that luxury and self-starvation are, which is the original inspiration to the Buddha’s awakening…

    The Middle Path itself is nothing if not excellent. Do you think that it is easy finding that meandering sweet spot between extremes? It’s not. It’s an exquisite, but not excruciating, balancing act. And balance is crucial to the equation. Is it even possible for an equation to not be balanced? Of course not…

    Yet our lives in the 21st century are far from being balanced. We worship the gods of technological salvation, but we are never saved. We are only further addicted to our own existential cravings. Now I love science, and technology, i.e. applied science, but I don’t really need a self-driving car. I need a city that doesn’t’ require automobiles…

    Internet is sublime, and Virtual Reality is transcendent, but what else do we need? Interstellar exploration is wonderful, but you don’t need rockets for that, just better telescopes. Our cities are sh*t-stained pits and our lives wallow in the mire, accordingly. Nature, and dharma, can, and should be, a refuge, on a good day. Cities and technology? Meh, not so much…

     
  • hardie karges 6:56 am on April 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Easter, , , passion, ,   

    Easter and Buddhism: Religion of Passion, i.e. Suffering… 

    img_1893Christianity is the only modern religion based on emotion, rather than reason, submission, devotion or some other. Christians apparently LIKE suffering—read: passion—and so don’t avoid it but seek it out, with daredevil stunts, extreme sports, torrid romances and hot hot bodies, buffed and tanned and laid in the sand, for hours at the time, until well-done…

    Somewhere along the way we decided we liked all that and the word ‘passion’ took on new meaning, with a positive connotation, in life and in love. We’ll suffer for our art gladly, just like we’ll suffer for our sport, and we’ll suffer for love, just like Christ suffered for us, i.e. the ‘passion’, celebrated every year around this—Easter—time… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:09 am on March 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , passion   

    Passion of Christ = Suffering of Buddha 

    IMG_1660

    Buddhist Temple in Laos

    “All Life is Suffering” is the First Noble Truth of Buddhism. Unfortunately that’s as far as some people ever get, the more adventurous maybe even deciding that they’ll choose ‘the way of Zen’ instead, as though they could somehow avoid those pesky Noble Truths and all that suffering. Sorry. But wait: what if the First Noble Truth were to be phrased as, “All Life is Passion?” Then would you feel any different about the outlook? Sounds Christian, doesn’t it? The original meaning is the same. The Passion of Christ is all about suffering.

    Shiny happy people are a relatively new phenomenon, and arguably predicated upon the suffering of others, but… Regardless, there’s good news. Within certain limits you can live and move and have your being, but those limits are what defines our dimension—the speed of light, the speed of sound, the average life expectancy, etc… So: that desn’t mean that you have to be miserable; no, quite the contrary. You just need to know your limits and then you can proceed accordingly. (More …)

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

    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 …)

     
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