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  • hardie karges 11:34 am on September 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Gandhi, , , Mahatma, protest, Protestant,   

    Buddhism is Found in the Beauty of Silence… 

    Sometimes silence can accomplish more than violence, and that’s something that Mahatma Gandhi knew, but which most modern protesters seem to have forgotten, when they parade that smug self-assertion that assumes that more chaos is better than less, while innocent victims die unattended and children see their lives suspended.

    This is the problem, not the solution, that we all need to take the bait, and excite the crowds, when just the opposite is truest: when silence prevails, the world is a better place, and we are all more equal. And this is not limited to manipulation of the Anglo-Saxon guilt complex, which Gandhi did so expertly, though that might be where it works best, there and in the surrounding Indo-European community, which has long been indoctrinated with Christianity and the doctrine of forgiveness.

    But it should work elsewhere, too, though perhaps with lesser results, especially where materialist doctrines have gained supremacy, arguably the difference between socialism and communism, that rejection of all ethics and most morality, in total deference to the party and the race.

    But Tibetan monks don’t practice self-immolation to hear the crowds cheering at Wimbledon or the Kentucky Derby. They do it because they want to send a message and because they can, where other avenues of ex-pression are limited, and where memories are long, even if time is short. Buddhists are disciplined if nothing else, witness the current pandemic results.

    And so it can be for all of us. Protestants were once protesters. Passion was once suffering. Our species arose from something that preceded it, and only caught fire with the invention of language. And that is where we stand today, at the crossroads of history, between the forces of good and evil which correspond roughly to the hemispheres of our brains.

    Thus a dialectic and discourse is built right in to our system of consciousness, and language is powerless to prevent it, since language is largely what created it. In the beginning was the Word, and in the end the meek will supposedly inherit the earth, and everything else is for us to figure out, and let the history books sort it out.

    Scientists call us homo sapiens, wise person, but that is probably far too generous, because we are in no position to judge ourselves, not from the long view of history, but only from the short view of a human lifetime. The most we can truly claim for ourselves is language, so homo linguarum, and for better or worse, that is our fate, to yak it up, even when silence is sometimes far better.

    And that is one thing I have learned in Buddhism, if nothing else, in one word: silence. That is the sound of meditation. That is the sound of Emptiness. Language is the best and worst human invention. Use it wisely…

  • hardie karges 9:03 am on July 5, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , protest,   

    America is still a largely rural nation, 

    about 70%, in sharp contrast to much of Europe, where the figure is not only 90%, but it’s been that way for a hundred years. Only Portugal remains predominantly rural. As much as I like country life, cities tend to be more liberal and tolerant. I suppose a good compromise is small cities, with countryside nearby for commuting when necessary. That’s what I’ve always preferred, actually. Who wants to live out in the middle of nowhere with no access to the amenities of culture? The states that rejected George W. in 2004 rim the East and West coasts where the cities are. The Pacific Northwest is as politically progressive as any place in the world, environmentalist and independent. It has been called the “last bastion of the terminally hip”. There’s worse insults, I suppose, worse than being accused of having ideals and caring about preserving them. Maybe some of the affectations are a bit dated, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it, except for the drugs, that is. There’s plenty wrong with that. The ideals may not solve anything, just as it didn’t in Vietnam, but they help us re-define ourselves and our direction as a society. If Congress re-instates the draft, then the shit will really hit the fan. The 60’s protests weren’t really about the war, after all; they were about the draft. Selfish interest can always accomplish far more than abstract ideals. George W. may just re-kindle the whole movement with his fascist attitude. Many of us wouldn’t mind “one more time” and the kids might love it. We just need a Nixon to unite against.

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