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  • hardie karges 5:16 pm on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Philosophy and Physics: Conundrums and Continuums… 

    img_1034The conundrum of existence is that consciousness inhabits flesh, some how some way, or that flesh possesses consciousness, if viewed from the opposite perspective, inside out upside down, impossible to say which came first, or whether they came simultaneously like all the best sex, though the material paradigm always takes precedence in the material world…

    If I told you that the obvious answer to the conundrum of existence is to blow your brains out—immediately—then you’d naturally assume I’m suicidal or worse, manic depressive or maniac oppressive, some schizo or combo, all of the above, and I’d say I’m the same as you, just not your installment plan, one drink one smoke at the time, until death do us part… (More …)

  • hardie karges 8:47 am on November 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Jim Morrison, Lupron, samsara   

    Buddhism 212: Transcending Samsara–Brilliant Mistakes and Pure Dumb Luck 

    img_1111I don’t know who said it first, much less best, whether Nietzsche, Darwin, Elvis Costello or myself (?!), but the fact remains: we proceed by brilliant mistakes, errors in code providing some of the best clues to advancement, thus spectacular screw-ups are the order of the day, if we’re lucky, stumbling ahead on all twos, trying to remember to fall forward, when we inevitably fall…

    It should go without saying by now, somehow, but still it’s worth remembering: no matter how strategically you plot your life and your plans, the biggest mistake could be the best thing that ever happened to you, and the most brilliant success could be the worst. You could have a motorcycle wreck the night of your book’s release party, or, on the other hand, a failed bizniz could start you on a path as spiritual teacher; go figure… (More …)

    • davekingsbury 5:19 pm on November 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great freewheeling post that covers acres of ground … and demonstrates the light touch we all need in life. Don’t know if you’ve seen my post on Plato with a few amateur comments on Buddhism, would be interested in your thoughts …

      • hardie karges 5:46 am on November 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I did read your piece on Plato, but only briefly, since I’ve been on Internet rations. Also, I’ve been a long-time admirer of Plato, especially the allegory of the cave, so I didn’t want to came off challenging and contentious. The difference, I think, is that you want an elaborate exposition of Plato’s reality, and it just isn’t there. I don’t want that, so I’m quite happy with it, which is for me an inspiration to other-worldliness, similar to Jesus’s parables, or Einstein’s thought experiments, all of whom I consider his equals, along with the Buddha.
        Aristotle apparently thought the same, hence his exhaustive expositions on form and content, small ‘f’, limited to this, the material world. So it’s no accident that Plato’s work became the inspiration for much of early other-worldly Christianity, and Aristotle provided much of the philosophical basis for the later Renaissance and Science.
        If Plato is examined too closely, it doesn’t hold up, true, any more than Descartes’ innate ideas or Chomsky’s language intuitions. Still a dog recognizes ‘dogness’ when he sees it and immediately distinguishes it from ‘catness’. And I suspect a dog could even recognize its sameness with a bear, with which it is a close relative. So Forms are not total BS, as long as you don’t expect too much. Jesus’s parables don’t hold up as Science, either, and even Einstein had a blind spot for quantum mechanics, which he helped establish…
        My modern update on the Forms would be more like the world of Light, which I consider a dimension one notch higher than us, but easily seen in its common forms, not only as light from the Sun, fires, or elsewhere, but also electricity and magnetism, with which it is physically equivalent.
        And that world for me is more real than our lesser world of stuff and solidity, probably best represented symbolically, and literally, by sound, or shock waves, physicality, or percussion, the speed of sound defining us the way the speed of light defines the higher dimension.
        In modern physics, Light is one of the Four Forces, of course, so sacrosanct in Science, and to me symbolically representative of Heaven, as intuited by millennia of humans and human-like ancestors. And then there’s Gravity, the dimension below, too heavy, and best saved for later. Thanks for your comments, Dave, always a pleasure…

        • davekingsbury 8:27 am on November 29, 2016 Permalink

          Wow, thanks for this response, Hardie! You really take me inside a whole cosmology and I can see that Plato’s analogy can be read different ways – in particular as a caution against taking things at face value. I think recent political events on both sides of the Atlantic have got to me and poor old Plato was my punch bag on this occasion … reckon I should set my sights on a few more modern targets! Thanks again for this detailed reply. I shall certainly remember your striking animal analogy …

  • hardie karges 8:26 am on November 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , nomad   

    Buddhism 201: Half-Way down the Middle Path to Everywhere… 

    img_0980My friends probably think I’ve gone off the deep end, what with my current obsession with the Buddhist religion, almost to the exclusion of all else. They’re probably right. I hope so. And yet I’ve barely scratched the surface, because the pool is very deep. But yes, I’m getting deeper and deeper into the Thai ‘forest tradition’ of Buddhism, which may or may not be the perfect religion, but it’s better than anything else that I’ve found, in fifty some-odd years of quest…

    … the almost perfect combination of religion, nature, lifestyle, environmentalism and sustainability. I always thought that Buddhism was mostly philosophy, which I liked, but seems it’s equally religious trappings, which I’d become increasingly aware of in Thailand, and psychology, too, based heavily on meditation, more than I ever realized, probably because that’s a specialty of serious adepts and initiates, especially monks and priests… (More …)

    • tiramit 4:56 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I really like the enthusiasm… I like it all. Have you decided on a date to ordain?

      • hardie karges 10:14 am on November 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! Hopefully ordain next month in Thailand, if I can clear my deck of debits and credits, long enough to try on the robes…

  • hardie karges 10:44 am on November 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Frankish   

    Religion and Politics, part 2: US at Odds with the World, and Getting Even… 


    Continued from previous…

    For some reason in the Western world, ‘getting even’ or ‘settling scores’ almost always implies violence, and ‘eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth’, etc, lex talionis, the ‘law of retaliation’, once a statute of limitations, i.e. only an eye for an eye and only a tooth for a tooth–no punitive damages, has become a law of revenge mostly used in Western accusations against Islam…

    Yet, how would we like it if an Islamic country pummeled Christians into oblivion on a regular basis because they won’t kowtow to an invading foreign power? You already know the answer to that. We call them ‘terrorists’. Funny thing is: one thousand years ago today, the roles were reversed—we were the terrorists! (More …)

  • hardie karges 6:26 pm on November 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    Religion and Politics, part 1: R.I.P. Amerika, Drowning in Democracy and Conspiracy… 

    img_0996When I got on the plane a week or so ago in Thailand, bound for Amerika, I had a feeling of impending doom that I couldn’t explain, so I begged my wife Tang not to go, assuming that it was about personal doom, and my instinct was to protect her. Now that I know what that feeling was really all about, at least I can rest easier for those I care about. What I can’t do is rest easier about the fate of the USA…

    America is now a Third World country, uneducated and proud. Welcome to Thailand and the tyranny of the majority, who just love a populist peddling pathos . We used to vote for our hopes, now we vote for our fears. We vote for the candidate who appeals to our lowest common denominators, not our highest. We build walls, not bridges. The ideas that inspire us now close doors, not open them. But the Big Winner here was not Donald Trump… (More …)

  • hardie karges 8:01 am on November 6, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Eckhardt Tolle, , ,   

    Buddhist Meditation 101: Don’t just stand there! Do Nothing–Quickly (but slowly)! 


    In Spires In Thailand

    If I’ve learned anything in my life, ANY ONE SINGLE THING, it’s not to harbor resentment and ill will, and this can be done, with some practice and some diligence. There should be a better term for this in English-language parlance than simply ‘letting (it) go’, but then, that’s not exactly our specialty as a culture, now, is it? So I guess that will have to do. If every single moment of our lives is potentially new, then I guess we could thank the Christian tradition of confession for that, but meditation is probably better…

    I used to invoke the ‘Three Times’ clause with a previous GF, so that once we repeated the same talking points three times in any given argument, then we should stop, invoke a period of silence, and come back to it the next day, if we could still remember what it was we were arguing about. We never could of course—ever. So my erstwhile GF should have loved me all the more for that little trick, right? Yeah, right…

    (More …)

    • davekingsbury 4:06 pm on November 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Have copied this to read at leisure …

    • davekingsbury 2:15 pm on November 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      … now read, an excellent guide to the subject with your characteristic blend of breadth, sharp focus and personal insight. In fact, you’ve inspired me to have a go tonight – the easy Maharishi version but usually slows me down effectively!

      • hardie karges 4:19 pm on November 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Dave, meditation is a bit of a learning curve, but well worth it…

  • hardie karges 7:26 am on October 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , grunge, Kurt Cobain, , nirvana,   

    Buddhism 110: Looking for Nirvana, not R & R, r.i.p. Kurt C… 

    Most religions—except Christianity—discourage music and most other forms of entertainment, Islam most famously, but Buddhism also, at least for monks and priests. So I was somewhat surprised when my temple’s head priest here in northern Thailand decided to put on a CD of American ‘Greatest Hits’ while driving, “for you, Hardie.” Heretofore I’d only heard slow sappy Thai stuff, so this would be interesting, however lame. The hardest part for me as monk will be to leave behind pop music, at least the hard stuff…

    The first song was “Everybody’s Talking” by Nilsson—cool. Then came “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash—awesome. “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson? I can dig that. And “Music to Watch Girls By”, Andy Williams’ lyrics version–meh. But “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana? Whoa, I’d almost forgotten them, after our brief but torrid love affair some twenty-plus years ago. And what irony! For mine is a quest for Buddhist Nirvana, but nothing like Seattle’s Nirvana, in which Kurt Cobain apparently died for our sins, for lack of better options. He blew his brains out, so we don’t have to… (More …)

    • davekingsbury 3:17 pm on October 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Music could be our attempt to play with time, particularly its remorseless onward rush. Maybe religion seeks to do the same … just a thought off the top of my head, may make no sense!

    • hardie karges 6:41 pm on October 30, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting idea, maybe yes, a vertical movement across a horizontal flow of time, at least…

    • jodie 6:53 pm on October 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Just checking in on ………sit well


  • hardie karges 6:34 am on October 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Religion 210: Messiah Complex, God Simple… 

    img_0996I’ve seen fad religions and therapies come and go over the last forty years, alternative this and consciousness that, each one the newest and the latest and the most mystical and the most scientific, flooding in like water over the spillway, dripping on to ice and going nowhere fast, few of them any better than what was already here, but people want the novelty factor, apparently, so that’s that. And where are they all now? Scientology is the only survivor…

    But before Scientology there was EST and Eckankar and Rolfing and Polarity, Don Juan and Tensegrity, Transcendental Meditation and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. And before that there were Tarot cards and Aleister Crowley, Annie Besant and Theosophy, Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science, the one I was brought up in, and now trending downward. And even before that there were Sufis and Kabalists, Rosicrucians and hashishins, Albigensians and Gnostics and Manicheans and Mahayana Buddhists, the only group that really ‘made it’… (More …)

  • hardie karges 12:20 am on October 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Religion 221: Less is More, Time for New Paradigms… 


    Christian church in Ethiopia

    If the Renaissance man was our hero of the 1500’s and the scientist our hero of the 1600’s, then Enlightened Man was the paradigm for the West in the 1700’s and the entrepreneur was the paradigm in the 1800’s. But then the paradigm in the later 1900’s took a dive and our new culture hero was the wild man, the playboy, the gangster, the rogue, the drug addict, the bad boy, the bad girl, the streetwalker, you get the idea: so what is the paradigm of the 2000’s? The hacker, maybe, or a terrorist? Sounds grim…

    Or maybe it’ll be a ‘gender-fluid’ ‘metro-sexual’, born and bred to do the exact opposite: never bear nor breed. Such dirty work is better left to specialized breeders and the truly old-fashioned who know how to do little else. LGBTQA’s have better things to do with their specialized hardware, especially now that non-traditional marriage has largely withstood court challenges. Now nothing is prohibited. That might help ease population pressures… (More …)

  • hardie karges 4:33 pm on October 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

    Buddhist Boot Camps: Kopan vs. Suan Mokh, part 1–Price of Rice… 

    IMG_0526“…(in) sitting meditation…we free our mind from past experiences and…any anticipation of the future. Instead we abide in the nowness of the present…”–HH the Dalai Lama

    Sounds a whole lot like Eckhart Tolle, doesn’t it? But no, this is from His Holiness the DL’s book ‘The Four Noble Truths’, compiled from talks he gave in 1996, some years before the publishing of ET’s break-thru book-thru drive-thru one-stop soul shop, in which a lump of basic Buddhism is twirled up into fluffy cotton-candy comfort-food for the disenchanted, just lose all that pesky suffering, add some New Age flavorings, and let’s call it ‘The Power of Now’ instead of ‘Enlightenment for Dummies’…

    …or even ‘a Metaphysics of Meditation’, which is probably most accurate. There you go: perfect, ready to market, and the rest is history—good work. But I’m not here to talk about ET, just HHDL, who largely inspired me, along with certain Beat Poets at Naropa last century hooting and howling next door, to further investigate Tibetan Buddhism, to supplement my current efforts in the forest temples of Thailand. Here’s the deal: (More …)

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