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  • hardie karges 12:04 pm on October 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , bicameralism, , , , , , technology,   

    Buddhism and the Bicameral Mind: License or Liberation? 

    True freedom is not license. True freedom is liberation. And if that at first glance sounds like some little word game that a poor man’s Alan Watts might play, on further notice, in fact it reveals a fundamental difference between ‘mind-sets,’ if not belief systems. For it is more than just the difference in a couple of letters that define the difference between the words ‘from’ and ‘to.’ It is indeed a world of difference, not just the difference between East and West, Buddhism and Christianity, but possibly—and ultimately—the difference between the right and left sides of the brain.

    According to the American Psychological Association: “The terms “left-brained” and “right-brained” have come to refer to personality types in popular culture, with an assumption that people who use the right side of their brains more are more creative, thoughtful and subjective, while those who tap the left side more are more logical, detail-oriented and analytical.”

    And then they go on to pooh-pooh that notion while at the same time admitting that “Language tends to be on the left, attention more on the right.” So how would you know, anyway, whether a person is one or the other? This is the big clue: Right-brained people are left-handed and vice versa. Boom. Hopefully those of us who are ambidextrous, Geminis, or at least switch-hitters can maybe find work as a Jack-of-all-trades, if not a Jill-of-one-special-one.

    But the point is that we’re talking about two different kinds of freedom when we talk about the freedom ‘from’ as opposed to the freedom ‘to’. The one is liberation, while the other is license. One is the traditional goal of all Eastern philosophy, while the other is the traditional goal of all Western philosophy. One allows you to gloriously do nothing, since you are now free of those prior obligations that demanded something of you.

    The other implies that you really should do something, regardless, not just that you have the right to, but in fact almost an obligation to act upon Nature, rather than just passively accept it. One is Buddhist, while the other is Christianity, which thought has largely dominated the modern world of technology and skyscrapers and restless hearts and minds.

    But now we know definitively, by genome analysis, that those early Indian Buddhists and those early Roman Christians were in fact not-so-distant cousins of the same original fathers, if not mothers. And both had their dealings with Greeks, bearing gifts or not. Does that mean that indeed these are possibly the differences of left-brain and right-brain, according to two different given sets of circumstances?

    If so, then we can access our right-brain Buddhist feminine capabilities to undo the damage that our left-brain Christian Capitalist macho tendencies have foisted upon us, understandable given a young world feeling its teenage oats for the first time, my version of racehorse theory. Nirvana is freedom. Freedom has responsibilities. So now we have come full circle…

     
    • TheFlowIntoWords 1:33 pm on October 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting topic! I loved Julian Jaynes book “Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind”.

      From my limited understanding, I see Buddhism as opening our eyes to the freedom we have from the “need” to do anything. This gives us a grasp of free-will. No longer is it I “must”/“need” to do X.

      For me Christianity sort of stepped into that newly opened space. Jesus’s teachings on radical love are beautiful to me. They are helping me see the beauty I “want” to grow and nourish in myself, others, and the world. I no longer feel I need to or should be doing anything in particular. I feel I am finally free to see the deep beauty of everything. And free to follow what the beauty inspires within me because I want to.

      • hardie karges 1:47 pm on October 18, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I read Jaynes’ book way back when, and liked it, though this scrib is a different take, of course. Life and the world are beautiful, per Jesus, but they are suffering, per the Buddha. Who is right? They both are, I suppose, though we will all die, no eternal life, so I am Buddhist, not Christian. But I like the dialectic between the two, so utilize it often. Christianity was right for its time. Buddhism is right for these times IMHO. Christianity’s capitalist conquest mentality gives us global warming, so that is not sustainable. Eventually I think we will achieve a successful mix of the two, hopefully without another pandemic. Thanks for your comments…

        • TheFlowIntoWords 2:40 pm on October 18, 2020 Permalink

          I also suspect we will achieve a successful mix of the two one day. Both have such deep wisdom to offer.

        • hardie karges 2:41 pm on October 18, 2020 Permalink

          Yes, I agree…

    • Dylan Raines 11:01 pm on October 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful thoughts. I see true freedom as being something which produces the qualities of compassion, generosity, contentment, peace, etc. The freedom simply to do anything without consequence is a freedom that usually has some fear attached with it. I think the more we allow people to be free, letting go of attempting to control others, the more we capable of encouraging one another to move into a place of true freedom.

      • hardie karges 8:38 am on October 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds good to me. Thanks for your comments…

  • hardie karges 1:03 pm on September 6, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , technology, , 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 9:48 am on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: agriculture, , , , nomadism, , , technology   

    Politics, Politeness, and the Art of Emptiness… 

    People who love their guns more than their kids are the ones who need prayers, for they have lost their way. But this is the great conundrum of civilization, i.e. city-fication, that once we have hoards of wealth, then we have to protect it. Some people prefer guns over fences. Not that there was no violence before the age of cities, but cities took things to a new level. Nomadism was very egalitarian, and very underrated. Settlement may be a false ideal, rewarding ourselves on the fact that our butts are now fat, and we can pet the family cat, at our every whim and desire. This is the outcome of the agricultural revolution, unrequited desires, rotten teeth and obesity, just the opposite of what was intended. Now it has become the mark of our indebtedness, our slavery, our decency in the eyes of capitalism. And this is the real tragedy, the confusion and congestion of our lives and mentality. War is more the consequence than the cause. We are slaves of our growth mentality, and victims of our own voracious desires. Technology is a possible solution, civilization without the cities. But at some point, we still have to find inner peace, or some reasonable facsimile. Stressed lives crave entertainment, and confusion, more louder bigger. Peace loves emptiness…

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 2:17 pm on July 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Apparently we have experts working on the problem as we speak … the bad news is, their funding has just been cut. Seriously though, I do like your long perspective on this. Spot on!

  • hardie karges 6:11 am on June 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , hippie, , liberalism, , , sustainability, technology,   

    #Political #Liberalism is Dying—and Uncool is the New Cool… 

    img_1069When the world is in chaos, normalcy is hip. For many decades now, we’ve worshipped the ‘adventurer’ out on the edge, bold and daring, whether in sports or art or literature or music: the wild man, the risk-taker, the bad boy, and all too often: the degenerate, drinker, drug abuser, and sexual deviant…

    That was all well and good in the British uptight Victorian era and its American 20th century post-war equivalent, during which we were sitting on top of the world—and our asses, all the while having fun fun fun while bombing the Hell out of Vietnam, the lady of the house staying home all day, taking care of the kids, with a little help from a hired colored hand, from the other side of town, from the other side of life, from the other side of the world, long time coming long time gone… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:25 pm on December 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , technology   

    Waiting for it: Electronic Buddha in the Electronic Forest Temple 

    img_0908I think it’s a bum rap, the false narrative about smart-phones and other tech, how we never talk to our neighbors any more—we never did! Unless they’re nice. And we still do, if there’s something to discuss. Should we regress to the day when stay-at-home wives have nothing better to do than chew the fat with the housewives’ club all day every day? Yes, I know it’s a real job, but still…

    So why did no one ever make an issue of us reading news papers all the time, or listening to radio? No, they never did that until TV, couch potatoes and all that jazz, and that defines the line that divides our civilization from the initial inquisitive developmental mode to the current acquisitive ‘been there done that’ full-of-it mode, a civilization in decline, with red lights flashing… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 4:01 pm on December 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      A damning indictment as well as indicating the seeds of renewal, taking in a sharp comparison of then and now and asking big questions for the future. As EM Forster said, Only Connect …

  • hardie karges 2:19 pm on June 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: marketing, technology   

    Crowdfunding, Piracy, and Aboriginality: From each according to ability, to each according to buzzfeed… 

    Modern American self-described ‘technorati’ take pleasure in pirating intellectual property as much as they take pleasure in kickstarting similar material. So why don’t they just buy the book, rather than one person kick-starting it on one hand, then one hundred stealing it on the other? Mahketing, dahling, mahketing… novelty sells… I prefer ‘digerati’, mouths sucking long and hard on digeridoos…

     
    • Kc 5:48 pm on June 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      digerati, culturati, glitteratti, fun w words, again. think of you often, as rob gently weeps. thirty odd years, tomorrow. for us, r and me. got a job, outside of the house, no pay, but it is in the country, someday i’ll be a farmer, for now, i pick blueberries and work his raised beds. am totally fascinated by his religion, JW, next my research about that group of peeps will be concerned w why the women are sick, the men work, handle the money, etc. still, an avowed atheist. no religion or person can help save my soul. I am here to tell you that while religion fascinates me, it is disgusting the way people have learned to NOT EMOTE.

      smile, baby, smile, tomorrow will never come.

  • hardie karges 11:25 am on August 6, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , technology   

    Future of the Internet: It’s Chinatown, Jake… 

    And I’m not talking about the mock-up tourist-trap Chinatowns of a thousand modern Western cities, graced by a red-tile roof in up-turned smile and filled with Mom-and-Pop trinket shops specializing in red lanterns and fat-bellied Buddhas and calligraphy that says whatever you want.  Nor am I talking about the Chinatown of the Polanski film/Towne script/Nicholson fame depicting 30’s LA, though that comes closer.

    No, I’m talking about the Chinatown of a thousand forgotten real Asian neighborhoods where street signs compete for sight-lines and taxi-girls hustle for ten-dollar fares and old market ladies who haven’t seen sunlight in years huddle in dark dingy stalls, their only sensory stimulation the olfactory interplay between pungent chilies pricking and bathroom odors wafting, may the strongest smell win…  The market always wins. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:53 am on June 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , progress, technology   

    DESIRE-A-DAY 

    Welcome to the poem-a-day club. I’d like to think it’s ‘automatic writing’, but no, it’s work. Automatic writing was all the rage for a while with the Dadaists and surrealists and psychics and psychoanalysts looking for shortcuts to the ‘inner self’, as if what’s there might simply be downloaded on to paper. That was a golden age for art and literature and even science, too, the years 1900-30, the age of relativity, quantum, cubism, surrealism, pragmatism, positivism, and more, literally an age of knowledge that we have yet to supersede, despite all our technology. Those were the good old days of silly-eyed optimism and belief in endless progress. Now that we’re swimming in the fruits of that progress, we don’t know what to do with it. We’ll probably end up blowing it, arguing about who gets the biggest piece of the pie, without appreciating the fact that the pie didn’t even exist a century ago. I lived in a house during my childhood that wouldn’t even be considered ‘livable’ by middle class standards in the US now, regardless of the fact that my father died in a house very similar, by choice. Desires are somehow very adept at keeping up with the Joneses.

     
  • hardie karges 12:47 pm on April 30, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: technology,   

    THE OTHER HALF 

    Half the world is using technology that they didn’t create and might never have created without it dropping into their laps. This makes one wonder if they can feel the same responsibility for it as those who did. It’s not the US, UK, France, Russia, or even China that’s likely to launch a nuclear missile, it’s countries like Iran or Libya with money to spare and axes to grind. It’s not the developed countries whose washes are filled with plastic and cheap aluminum; it’s the third world. It’s not the industrial countries whose drivers take their motorbikes to the sidewalks or come down the wrong side of the street because they couldn’t figure out why the chicken crossed the road; it’s Thailand and Indonesia and Vietnam, countries with more motorbikes than brains. Think about that before you let the genie of genetic modification out of the bottle.

     
  • hardie karges 8:10 am on April 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , technology   

    CARGO CULTS 

    The cargo cults demand obedience.  The cargo cults demand sacrifice.  The gods of the cargo cult are jealous gods.  More more bigger bigger, you have to build a longer runway to attract the jet planes of the really important gods with the really important goods.  Entire populations build symbolic ports and harbors to place upon altars in their own private homes to placate the restless gods looking for devotees to reward and the ignorant to punish.  Consumerism is a jealous god, a god without face nor gender, just legal tender, no idols nor idleness.  Hard unceasing work is the ultimate sacrifice, the only thing that will placate the spirit of a God with no name, only number.  These gods drink sweat, not blood, and count their conquests in sales, not souls.  The only conversions allowed are for currency, the arbitrage of circumstance, prostitution to a higher god, complete immersion in the blood of money, the word of the book of the united states of sacrifice.  Leave if you can and don’t look back.  The whore of Babylon disobeys and receives her Lot; Saddam and Gomer and Bin and Tony share a bed of their own making, the fearsome foursome caught in the act of the sins of their fathers, sharing shallow graves in empty deserts, forbidden fruits long gone to seed and drifted elsewhere, leaving the trees of life to their own devices.

     
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