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  • hardie karges 11:28 am on May 24, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Buddhist, , , sin,   

    Money and other Buddhist Sins of Commission… 

    Attachment to money is the worst form of craving, because, as a medium of exchange, it is something totally false, mere paper, typically folded and mutilated, if not spindled, simply because no one knows what that means.

    And if I launch into a sermon on the use of punch cards, you still might not know much more unless you voted in the US twenty years ago, and still remember it. But what we really love are the numbers, anything more than zero considered a plus, by definition, and anything less subject to penalties, typically the sins of omission more than the sins of commission, because you really don’t have to do anything to suffer, or cause others to suffer, given the time dimension, and the fact that results and effects are often delayed far from the source of the original action, or karma, if you prefer.

    Conversely, the less you do, than the fewer sins you commit, but if you do too little, then you may indeed starve, and if you fail to help another in need, then you may indeed be a direct cause of their suffering, even if you weren’t a direct cause of their pain.

    So life has always been a search for sustenance, from the semi-tropical Garden of Eden, where fruit hung ripe from the trees, to the far northern steppes, where the big game ran wild and the satisfaction ran deep as the snowbank you could use to keep that slab of meat cool for a while.

    So how did the big game get transformed into roulette wheels and lotteries and one-armed bandits, slot machines with no feelings nor dogs in the hunt? That is the history of the world, my friends, the transfer of feeling from fields to factories, by hook or crook, since it wasn’t always voluntary, least of all in the place of its origins, as the British Enclosure Acts claimed common grounds for capitalists, and sent crofters to the Commonwealth countries or factories, often with no other choice, as is typical in a class system based on caste, even where much of the deep ancestry is similar or even the same.

    But cities are the same regardless of their location or countries of origin, and money is their common denominator, 0’s and 1’s in the ledger book of life. And dharma is the same, also, the truth of human circumstances and interactions and their repercussions across time and space. The medium used for commercial transactions is not the medium of human interaction, though the Middle Path may sound similar. It is not.

    Money is superfluous, and best kept hidden. To flaunt it is to worship it, and a cardinal sin of commission, an insult to polite society. There is a reason that Buddhist monks in Thailand are forbidden to touch it. We’re playing for keeps here, not possession, but forever, always changing…

     
    • Alexis Adder 3:44 pm on May 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      They turned money into a cult and forced everyone into needing it all thr time.

      • hardie karges 3:50 pm on May 26, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, it’s quite the conundrum: can’t live with it, and can’t live without it. I think the main thing is not to be obsessed with it, so neither broke nor gambler, so as to think of it as little as possible…

    • Dave Kingsbury 4:19 pm on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      I like to count mine every day. It doesn’t take long … 🙂

      • hardie karges 4:22 pm on May 30, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        I know the feeling…

  • hardie karges 7:20 am on April 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , sin   

    Buddhism and the Human Condition: Life in the universe at orbital velocity… 

    IMG_2290One of the Christian cardinal sins is pride, of course, to which I might add arrogance, same thing, and ignorance, in the original meaning, literally ignoring that which is obvious, not the least of which is the fact that we are alone here in the universe, each one of us individually, by design and definition, and all of us together, by lack of any other evidence, made manifest on a rock hurtling through space at many times the speed of sound, but far less than the speed of light, orbital velocity far more excited and exciting than the slow cool world in which organic life finds its being and us…

    Our greatest gift is our uniqueness and our greatest sin is our arrogance, not in thinking that we are special; our sin is assuming that we are not. Our ignorance is the idea not that we are alone in the universe, but the certainty that we are not, the arrogance of misplaced value, and a belief in the individual that overrides that of the species. But advanced biological life in a physical dimension is probably the least likely of circumstances that could be predicted given the nature of reality as best that science can determine… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 11:08 am on October 11, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , sin   

    Building the Perfect Religion: Buddhist Middle Path and the Pride of Sin… 

    In Spires In Thailand

    In Spires In Thailand

    Now I’m not sure exactly what the Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand had in mind when they sang about “right thoughts right words right action”, but I suspect that at least one of the blokes has some interest in Buddhism, because that little trifecta of meaning pretty much sums up the Buddhist ‘Middle Path’.

    And if avoidance of excess is one of the cornerstones of our hypothetical perfect religion—akin to the Buddhist Middle Path—then humility would have to be the second cornerstone. Note the similarity—and difference—to and from the related concept of humiliation. This is where the Middle Path comes in again. Humility, aka ‘humbleness’ is a very good thing, while humiliation is not, whether on the ends of giving or receiving…

    Pride is its opposite, of course, and well-known as one of the Christian sins, and probably one of the least-respected and most-abused. After all, what father is not proud of his son, and less deserving of it? It’s as though fathers and mothers see their sons’ and daughters’ actions and accomplishments as direct reflections on themselves, as though their offspring are hired hands with scripted roles to play. Sounds like a recipe for disaster… salt to taste… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 12:21 pm on September 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Catholic, gluttony, Il Papa, , sin,   

    Il Papa Got a Brand-New Bag (and it’s not Gucci)… 

    popeEven if you’re not Catholic, it’s hard not to enjoy the Pope’s current visit to the good ol’ USA, home of Original Sin, the more original the better. The fact that we don’t even know that speaks volumes. The fact that the most righteous church-goers are the worst offenders speaks even louder. After all, our national ‘tude is the least holy of all the developed countries, and most of the undeveloped ones, too…

    On the one hand we shoot up happiness into the main vein, like something from the corner drug store, available in pill form or capsule, cherry-flavored or chocolate surprise, the “pursuit of happiness” enshrined in our national Constitution, while the lesser happiness of pursuit goes unnoticed, the striving and the challenge inherent to survival superior in every way to the actual engorgement of carbohydrates and hydrocarbons into systems limited by design… (More …)

     
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