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

    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 3:02 pm on October 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , push button, society   

    Push-button Society, al borde de un ataque de nervios… 

    That’s what we Americans are, a push-button society, coddled and cuddled, just push a button for everything, then don’t even wait for the results, just assume that the button delivers the goods as ordered, even more so now that we’re all digital, with digital demands and digital expectations, virtual commands and virtual libations, all bundled in one perfectly-priced package and displayed for consumption…

    These buttons all connect to machines, off course, machines designed to make our lives better, supposedly, but in reality divorcing us from the very source of our own being, Nature, while killing that very source, too, so to leave us with nothing, eventually, no machines and no Nature, either, victims of our own excess, and our own unreasonable expectations. Hey, at one point, there were even push-button cars, trying to get women interested, I suppose, by allowing you to shift gears by button. Remember counter-top blenders? (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:59 am on October 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , society   

    Evolution for Dummies: Junk DNAAND the Double Helix of Culture 

    crown of thorns

    crown of thorns

    If evolution really favors smaller more adaptable units—which it apparently does—then Americans are in trouble, we with our much-heralded ‘ownership society’, especially cars and houses, the bigger the better. America is overweight, but it ain’t just carbs and fat. It’s fuel injection and renovated flats, these possessions that possess us, these conveniences that encumber us, these adornments that weigh us down, down to the ground, six feet under, rest in peace…

    Dinosaurs went extinct and so likely will we, as Americans of the central model paradigm, at least, hocked to the gills with credits and debits and accounting tricks and treats, and plenty of reasons to retreat; why bother with success, anyway, when there are so many reasons for failure? How did you want to go down in the Apocalypse, btw: was it war, famine, disease, or flame? It’s no wonder; it’s nobody’s shame, just butterfly effects gone wild with mathematical precision…

    Self-sufficiency used to be considered a positive personality trait, hard work a must. Saving was encouraged, if not absolutely required, and in God we trust; all others pay cash. Now we’re a nation of leveraged, selfied-out crybabies waiting in line camped out all night for our iPhones and soma, got a ticket for N’awlins but the bus stops at Houma, all cashed out and nothing left to buy, can’t buy a thrill, all we can do is cry…

    Even unemployed Americans have iPhones, of course, money no object, that’s a fact, that’s currency; homeless people, too, now, taking donations online, gotta’ check on the status of food stamps, see if that Social Security check is in the mail. Half the world lives on less than three dollars a day; see how many iPhones that’ll buy you, true poverty struggling to eat very day, not Yelp or snap-chat, giga-chips and cookies with no trans fat…

    But rich people are worse, crunching their numbers between gold fillings, fracking veins and splicing genes, GMO cereal killers with their high-flying lifestyles on private jets and multiple planes, properties portfolios and multidimensional probabilities, many worlds possible, taking off and landing with the frequency of junk, buying and selling people like so much chattel and so many cattle, bodies for sale, ten bills a pop, credit cards accepted, swipe it where you wipe it…

    The Anthropocene Age has been a blast, a quick short spurt of consciousness and destruction after years of ignorance and bliss, man inserting his thingie into multiple orifices, simultaneously, plugging holes and creating new ones, just for the Hell of it, just because it’s there, Mt. Everest and the Moon, by horoscope and all good offices, all for the good of mankind, come Hell or high water, reduced to comfort food and memories, that’s entertainment…

     
  • hardie karges 10:22 am on November 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: instinct, society   

    Instinct is a rather vague concept, 

    it universally accepted that somehow animals are somehow born with certain habits, without explaining in the least how this actually happens. Ants crawl on power lines without the slightest trace of self-consciousness or irony, following the paths of their ancestors that never knew house nor barn, much less transformers nor transformation. Ants exhibit a degree of complexity and social organization unknown to humans except in possibly some of the more densely populated areas of China, each carrying more than its own weight, yet readily joining efforts with others when necessary, following complex paths that frequently involve short cuts through my house. They do all this with obviously extremely limited mental capacity, and I doubt seriously that the species would go extinct if suddenly all the power lines in the world were to disappear. I think they’d adapt. I think they’d make new plans, with or without legalistic sanctions for enforcement. I think they’d update old plans for new situations. I think they’d elect new officers and keep right on going into the future.

     
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