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  • hardie karges 8:58 am on May 22, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , prayer,   

    Religion 313: Simple Prayer for a Tortured Earth 


    Buddhism in Sri Lanka

    I’m not here to diss or dismiss anyone’s faith nor fantasy—quite the contrary, in fact: I hope to be part of a conversation in which all viewpoints are reconciled, and the human league is improved in its capacity for survival upon an earth grown weary from wars and wickedness, tired of mayhem and mudslinging…

    This is in fact the prime role of religion—to make you feel better in situations beyond your control, to make things feel better without taking up arms in dispute.  That religions are sometimes used as battle flags is unfortunate, of course, but hopefully only a paradigm shift away from the pages of history…

    Rome was only ultimately saved by church and religion, and I doubt that Washington will fare any better, and this is as it should be, faith in something bigger something better assuming its rightful place in the pantheon of our thoughts and highest common denominators, rather than recourse to rifles as we sink to our lowest…

    Like religion, the function of prayer is to make you feel better about whatever outcome should arise, since there is no greater truth than that we really know little or nothing about anything and control even less.  To recognize that no matter how hard you pray, the outcome is reliant mostly upon other factors is so obvious that it should be self-evident—but it’s not… (More …)

  • hardie karges 8:47 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Religion 202, Physics 101: Spirituality and Light… 


    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Many religions, especially the New Age-y kind, use light as a prime metaphor, imagining this light and imagining that light as it assumes shape and form in your mind’s eye.  My ‘white light of spirit’ is not imaginary, though, even if still a bit metaphorical. That light for me is exactly the same light that any good physicist refers to, the equivalent of electricity and magnetism and one of physics’ four prime forces, together with gravity, the strong (nuclear) force and the weak (interactive) force.

    For the uninitiated, that weak force is: the fundamental force that acts between leptons and is involved in the decay of hadrons. The weak nuclear force is responsible for nuclear beta decay (by changing the flavor of quarks) and for neutrino absorption and emission…

    Got it?  And the strong force is: the force that holds particles together in the atomic nucleus and the force that holds quarks together in elementary particles.

    Simple, right?  These last and latest forces derive from quantum mechanics, and the study of smaller-than-microscopic realities that are probably best described as mathematical, i.e. the theory works, even if it doesn’t make (common) sense.  But then, neither do gravity and electromagnetism (light).  We’re just more accustomed to them, and they are available to us on a macroscopic level.  (More …)

    • peaceof8 10:15 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That was very thought provoking. I will for sure be noodling around in my mind DNA vs souls/ancestors/inner child. It makes me want to give reincarnation a second look, based on science and maybe a little whoop-t-do in the family tree. Interesting! I like your pragmatic approach to spirituality.

  • hardie karges 7:35 am on May 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Getting Religion, Losing Depression—Motivational Mix and Match… 


    Buddhist Temple in Laos

    Depression is very over-rated, in my opinion, which means that I don’t much believe in it, and not for lack of trying—and crying.  It’s too easy.  It’s a cop-out, unless you ARE truly depressed, of course, in some clinically measurable way, i.e. most likely chemical (but that’s never been proven).  Unhappiness, while not simple, is simply not depression, even when one is ‘minor’ and the other ‘major’.  There’s a qualitative difference IMHO.

    ‘Unhappiness’ means you need to make some changes in your life, not in your prescription—motivational therapy optional.  That is not always easy, of course, and may involve some compromises you never imagined making.  Fortunately, in this transient age, impermanence is currency, and you can always go back to from where you came.  Keep that bizniz card in your pocket and an open door to your back.  (More …)

  • hardie karges 11:14 am on May 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Losing Religion, Learning Language: Contagion of Kindness Needed ASAP, pls… 

    IMG_0387We become so inured to modern violence that we assume it’s natural, the general air of belligerence and the general lack of politeness.  And that’s right I reckon—it IS natural, or WAS, anyway—in the beginning.  Imagine what it would be like it we hadn’t been inoculated by religion at birth, that vaccination by cultural collusion and linguistic license, immigrant immersion and religious righteousness.

    We need a booster shot now, more than ever, we so far from God, and so close to Mexico, conveniently close to sacrificial lambs, artificial limbs and easy scapegoats for our worst trespasses and most hideous transgressions, things we should’ve said and things we should’ve done, too late now to start over, so must settle for walls and bridges, duct-tape solutions and anti-retroviral cocktails…

    If you’re American, then the degree to which you’re awash in violence is a serious impediment to (y)our spiritual well-being. I don’t mean that you yourself have done anything necessarily wrong, except maybe being born in the wrong place.  Jesus Christ once said that a camel could go through the eye of a needle easier than a rich man could find his way to Heaven. And he was right, I’d say, though modern-era capitalists try to quickly change the narrative, something about ‘trespasses’… (More …)

    • k 11:27 am on May 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      interesting. my ideas may be simpler, may be more difficult, to get back to the garden. until then i will not let the city discourage me or anyone else from a community garden and am starting work on the third guerrilla garden, that’s all i know to do that is right, grow peace, grow flowers, grow herbs, maybe give someone besides myself happiness. enjoy the temple.

      • hardie karges 12:30 pm on May 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I strongly believe in community gardens, hope to see one hanging off every skyscraper within my lifetime…

    • davekingsbury 1:22 pm on May 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Terrific, Hardie, spot on with the language analysis – we’re much deeper enmeshed than we like to think in our free societies. Stephen Pinker reckons humanity is less violent than it was but I suspect the violence is still there though mutated into political and economic aggression. Your antidotes drawn from Buddhist philosophy are perfect and shot through with nice touches of self-deprecation. I’m going to reblog this because I’d like it to be read. Only ever done that once before and that was yours too!

      • hardie karges 1:52 pm on May 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you thank you thank you, I’ve read ‘Language Instinct’ by Pinker, liked it, even if I don’t always agree with it…

    • davekingsbury 1:33 pm on May 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on a nomad in cyberspace and commented:
      This is the second post by this guy I’ve reblogged and I’ve only ever reblogged two posts! I love his directness and honesty and, well, I’m jealous because I didn’t write it. I couldn’t, of course, because I’m not American. What he says has resonance in the UK too. And as they say, what happens in the USA today happens here tomorrow!

    • hardie karges 7:52 pm on May 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply


    • davekingsbury 3:25 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Hardie, the link on my reblog of this post leads to the title but not the full post. Wondered why this was. Regards, Dave.

    • hardie karges 6:31 am on May 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Had a problem yesterday, still don’t know why, especially since it’s both my blogs, but not on others, i.e. yours. Seems okay now. THX!

    • peaceof8 8:34 am on May 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Wow. I really like this. I will be coming back to this one…there are some phrases you use “another day and in another way, with cooler heads and makeshift beds” that are fantastic and filled with visuals. Really meaty. Thank you! I also like that you make a valid point without making it feel preachy. Following you!

  • hardie karges 3:48 pm on April 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Prince, SNL   

    The Year the Music Died: Bowie and Prince Forever, Kantner Lost in the Frey… 

    If there’s anything sadder than the deaths of our pop music heroes, it’s our attachment to them in the first place.  If we are truly such a brilliant species to have created such popular paeans to ordinary pleasures, then we are truly pathetic to imagine that this is the be-all and end-all of our short little existences.  But we are MTV kids, back from when MTV actually meant something, not just our own absurd realities exposed ad nauseam on TV.

    Funny, I don’t remember all the bobby-soxers mourning Frank Sinatra for months on end, or even Elvis or Lennon, for that matter, all hugely popular, so maybe all this weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth is cause and/or effect of our modern Warholian ‘social’ (anti-social?) media culture, in which everyone is famous for fifteen minutes—in their own minds, at least, and those of anybody willing to ‘like’, ‘follow’ or ‘share’ them.  Modern progress: now we are all teeny-boppers, slaves to fashion and followers of fallen idols. (More …)

  • hardie karges 9:03 am on April 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bahai, , ,   

    Hinduism, Islam and Baha’i: Castes and Classes and Rose-Colored Glasses… 


    Hindu Temple in Sri Lanka

    I tend to concentrate on Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism as the world’s three major religious offerings, though that system follows no formal logic, especially since by actual numbers of adherents, Hinduism would be number three.  Rather it seems to reflect their current positions in terms of relative importance, especially in articulating clearly defined philosophical and religious positions.  But I should add that personally I wouldn’t really want Hinduism anyway, for a number of reasons.

    For one thing: they apparently don’t want me, notwithstanding all the many light-skinned ‘Hare Krishnas’ out there showing devotion to Gods that their parents never heard of. The signs dotting temples around India are clear: ‘Hindus only’. Ouch. The only other religion where I’ve experienced that is Islam. They asked me to leave the mosque in KL, Malaysia, when I was just sitting there quietly—like everybody else. Double ouch. I wasn’t asked about my religious affiliation.

    But this is not too surprising, considering that Hinduism is mostly a national religion, the Indian religion, with all that that entails, i.e. few outside adherents, except in the neighboring states, especially Nepal, and far-fetched Bali, where they took it really seriously a millennium or two ago, and never gave it up. That once occurred all over SE Asia, notably the Khmer empire, hence to be largely supplanted by Buddhism, and to a lesser extent Islam and Christianity. (More …)

  • hardie karges 7:00 am on April 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Buddha-Consciousness in a Pill: In Defense of ‘Low-T’… 


    Thai Buddhist Temple

    Is there anything more pathetic and disgusting than watching an old man trying to get it up just one more time, meter running, with multiple payment options? Enter Viagra, and sex tourism, and you name it: ‘Low T’ (testosterone), the male sex hormone, or absence thereof…

    It’s all about reproduction, or dying trying, in this life in this world, in this dimension, in this plane of existence, Boeing 747’s equipped with 1st-class cubicles with reclining seats just in case the mood strikes, at the moment of inspiration at the moment of conception…

    Welcome to Thailand, where ‘feed-us’ farming is the late-life equivalent of fetus-farming, for-hire breeding, artificial selection, putting guys out to pasture with hopefully one last biscuit in the oven, just to make things official, and put the young lady on an inheritance plan…

    Low-T? Guys need to take meds for ‘low-T’? That’s like spitting in the face of God, as if Viagra, Cialis, and that pharmacopia weren’t bad enuf, pumps and pills and multifarious cheap thrills in the back seat of cars too small now for proper breeding, need an early model Cadillac…

    It’s ironic that our major form of entertainment—sex—all around the world was never intended for entertainment at all, if we can correctly intuit the mind of God, but you gotta’ give it credit, maybe pandas should take a lesson and start chewing each others genitals instead of so much bamboo while they go happily extinct…

    It’s just a chemical! Without that chemical testosterone and its stiffening influence on the lower extremities, all of our stories and music and literature and art would amount to little, all the philosophies and religion and denominations and free sects… (More …)

  • hardie karges 3:14 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Austin, Nanci Griffith, Tecumseh Valley, Texas, Townes Van Zandt   

    Dearly Departed Townes Van Zandt and the DNA of Music… 

    Can anyone confirm that the original recording of this song on the 1968 LP ‘For the Sake of the Song’ has our heroine Caroline ‘walking down the road’ and not ‘whoring on the streets’? These guys in the comment section don’t believe me, but I remember the lyrics clearly even though I haven’t spun the LP in decades–can’t, since I have no record player, and the LP is in Thailand adorning a bookshelf! I bought it in the bargain rack for $.49 (or was it $.99?) in the Walgreen store of the original Jackson Mall out on Hwy. 49, one of my prouder purchases, as I spun the grooves off over time.

    So imagine my surprise while staying in Austin in 1976 that not only was the ‘Late Great TVZ’ alive and well, but he was the house band at some coffee-house on the UT campus that I was too lazy to navigate, had to content myself with Paul Ray and the Cobras at the nearby Hole in the Wall, featuring a young unknown guitarist named SRV, trying to show support for new emerging talent, you never know who might be the next Clapton…

    • kc 8:03 pm on April 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      google it?

      • hardie karges 10:43 am on April 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Probably too obscure for that, maybe just pick up the original in Thailand this summer, take it from there…

  • hardie karges 7:38 am on April 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Religion 499: Renunciation, and the Three Stages of Hindu Life… 


    Hindu Temple in Sri Lanka

    …which are actually four, but who’s counting (?), and I think it’s time to do a little historical trim, which coincides very well with my own three religious stages of life—Muslim, Christian, and Buddhist—corresponding to youth, prime, and maturity; i.e. dignity–and discipline, love–and family, wisdom–and renunciation; at something like 20-25 years each. The Hindu ‘ashrama’ stages of life are student (brahmacharya), householder (grihastha), retirement (vanaprastha) and renunciation (sannyasa).

    Now obviously those stages can’t occupy the full prescribed twenty-four years each (who retires at forty-eight, anyway?), so I’d propose combining the retirement and renunciation phases. I’m not sure I much know the difference anyway, though most cultures wouldn’t acknowledge ‘renunciation’ as a goal, in any case.

    But the Hindu trick is that the final sannyasa renunciation phase can occur anytime, relieving Indians of the burden of living to be 96-100 years just to fit the paradigm.  So a student brahmacharya can go straight into the sannyasa phase at the ripe old age of twenty-four-ish, completely foregoing the career and head-of-family phase, opting instead for a life of moksha (no, that’s not a Jewish circumciser), i.e. spiritual liberation. (More …)

    • davekingsbury 9:27 am on April 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Your hinterland of learning, compassion and personal realisation is on show here, as usual. I like the way this plays with time, gently interrogating traditional beliefs to create something new and original. Not heard that Alan Watts saying before, really fits my situation at the moment! Don’t renounce blogging just yet, please!

    • kc 7:30 am on April 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      really only briefly read this, but like lou reed said “music is my god”, in fact lou is playing now, thru an ipod, thru a blu tooth speaker, it’s a punk speaker but lou sounds good however you can get him. some younger friends of mine, starting to lose parents, partners and such are now into patti smith….another group, the self sustainability faction, they are learning to make kombucha. it is always remakable to me how people my age or just a few years younger have not a clue, about so much, esp that which, for me, was experienced many years ago.Should I turn them onto mochi? Ok, Peter Tosh playing now. back to god/dog.

  • hardie karges 9:21 am on April 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gender, identity, LGBT, LGBTQA   

    Bathroom Gender Wars: Wisdom of Sulaiman Needed Urgently… 

    Am I the only one for whom the current pee-pee and poo-poo gender identity controversy between Amerikan LGBTQA’s and the rest of the un-alphabetized world seems silly and trivial? I mean: does it really matter where we drop our loads and relieve our burdens? Apparently it does. Okay, so I’ve got an idea for a solution—actually two solutions, one for Amerika and one for the rest of the civilized world.

    From now on, for most of the civilized world, there will be no more men’s and women’s restrooms. Everybody will pee and poop in a common room, divided by stalls, urinals optional though perhaps discouraged, stalls perhaps extended down closer to the floor to discourage any surreptitious ‘youfies’, with optional chicken-wire over the top (joking). Sound good? No? That’s because you’re Amerikan.

    In Amerika everybody will get their own private crapper, public restrooms like chock-a-block tenement rookeries, with locking doors, ultimate privacy, no peek-a-boo freebie holes-in-the-wall and definitely no empty space beneath. Think: handicapped. Yes, we are all handicapped now, aren’t we, reduced in capabilities, divided from ourselves as well as others, by walls and bridges and the need to pee? Welkom in Amerika!

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