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  • hardie karges 7:12 am on August 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Charlottesville, Chomsky, , , , Virginia   

    Buddhism, Religion and Politics: Many sides to blame, because… 

    img_1469

    Kwan Yin Fest near Chiang Dao, Thailand

    …because we’re only human. Because we’re only animals. Because we’re only a rare form of biological life on a semi-cool semi-conducting planet of almost one hundred naturally occurring elements some 93Mmi/149Mkm from our star, the sun, พระอาทิตย์, sol, sole, soleil, sonne, zon, sunce, slunce, soare, słońce, ήλιος, сонце, солнце, aurinko, güneş, mặt trời, 태양, 太陽, شَمْسDid I forgetmata hari‘? Yes, the ‘eye of the day’; who could forget?

    People are scared. People are frustrated. People are devastated–blacks, Latinos, intellectuals, LGBT’s, old folks, and now Jews, too, everybody but arch-conservatives. People are losing sleep at night, wondering what the future holds for themselves, and wondering what it holds for their children. For most people are not so selfish, really, not truly, because their families come first. The problem is that the circle doesn’t always extend so far beyond that—unless there is a common threat—or unless you’ve got religion… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:22 am on August 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , happiness, KCRW,   

    The Messy-onic Tradition, part 1: Deepak and his BS (Best-sellers)… 

    Author’s note: I was seriously thinking about pulling this post which is somewhat satirical about Deepak Chopra, and depositing it without ceremony into the circular ‘delete’ file, UNTIL… until I saw that Mr. Chopra himself would be guest DJ on my favorite radio station KCRW out in LA, so I figured I’d wait and pass judgment after that, and…

    Deepak Chopra just played ‘Rising Sun’ by George Harrison as Guest DJ on KCRW; seems not only was this song a gift from George to Deepak, which Chopra donated to the estate posthumously, but the lyrics are taken from chapter titles of one of Chopra’s books! Cool. Nice story, regardless of what you think of Chopra…

    It seems that Mr. Chopra is most inspired my musicians who are his fans, and their music, including, besides George Harrison, such luminaries as Michael Jackson—okay. Then there’s ‘The Way We Were’ by Barbara Streisand—hmmm, but “Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini?” So, I changed my mind about dumping the post. Roll the presses… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:49 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Holy Grail, intelligent design, predestination,   

    Buddhism and Science: Pre-destination is the Holy Grail… 

    IMG_0599…of religion, science, and life, too, the mostly unrequited wish that “it’s all written,” whether in script or bar-code, to the point of retro-fitting the logic that may or may not have actually led up to some fait accompli, though that accomplished fact was never predicted even at the point of inception. This is the need for happy endings, and the one overriding narrative that drives all others, the one theory of everything…

    How many times has something unexpected happened and the first thing you think is, “Well, I guess that it was (or wasn’t) meant to be.” I know you’ve thought that. We all have. That’s a gut reaction. But sometimes I think I take it too far, to the point of filling in the details to justify that conclusion, when the fact is simply: much of life is random. There IS no predestination, and there IS no particular logic leading up to any particular event. Sh*t happens. Truer words have never been spoken… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:00 am on August 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Christianity is Killing Us; Buddhism (and socialism) can help… 

    IMG_2234By ‘Christianity’, of course, I mean the entire Christianity-Capitalism-Democracy (CCD) complex, aka ‘Military-Industrial-Consumer’, that will one day put this entire civilization on its knees, and begging for sweet mercy, if it hasn’t already, because of the fact that most people want their cars, and NOW, rather than some vague undefined future with or without cars, that may or may not drive themselves…

    Why people identify with their cars—and their guns—is slightly beyond my comprehension, but so it is, and must be dealt with, the genie long out of the bottle, and begging for food, if not mercy. That means oil, of course, the essence of Earth’s lower layers, and severely limited, if you believe the Western interpretation, or self-sustaining, but nasty, if you believe the Russian geologists, and ever-percolating upward from a nearly inexhaustible source (consider extra-terrestrial petroleum before laughing too hard)… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 3:47 am on August 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Celtic, Denisova, , gemome, genetics, , Kadai, mitochondrial, Slavic, , Y chromosome   

    World Populations and Human Genomes: Haplogroups and Happenstance… 

    Now that world genome research has been underway for a solid decade or so, it’s re-writing history with every passing day. So it is now possible to come to some tentative conclusions, even if the details are a long way from final, and the devil is certainly in the details. The most obvious tentative conclusion is that a country’s identity—best expressed in language—does not always correspond to the DNA genetic profile of the place, for example:

    Thailand is not predominantly of the ‘Tai-Kadai’ genome, though another closely related O haplogroup, probably best described as ‘Khmer’, but Turkey has few or none of any of the North Asian ‘Turkic’ genes, in fact more ‘Arab/Semitic’ J haplogroup than any other. Likewise is Germany almost bereft of the I ‘Nordic’ genome, more of which is to be found in Scandinavia… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 3:25 am on July 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Buddhism: Religion, Philosophy, and Psychology—God(s) Optional… 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    Ever wonder what religion would be like without the Father Figure? That’s Buddhism. Can you imagine religion without all the rules and restrictions? That’s Buddhism. Can you envision a religion without pulpits nor pews? That’s Buddhism. And what about no Heaven or Hell? Again, that’s Buddhism. And can you imagine what religion would be like without a God on a throne? Yes, Buddhism is all of this and more…

    We’ve just got it in our heads that there is something preeminent and necessary about gods and goddesses, for the purposes of religion, and that may very well be true, call it the ‘primitive’ phase of religion, talking heads and sacred beds, divine revelations and karmic retributions. And in the beginning, capital ‘B’, the East and West were probably very similar, and probably closest to the Hinduism of today: the more gods and goddesses the better, and subvert the divine order at the risk of your own mortal and eternal suffering… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 3:11 am on July 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , prison   

    Buddhism, Life and Death: Welcome to Prison… 

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    Shan ‘Tai Yai’ temple…

    Welcome to prison. Welcome to the farm. Welcome to this life, 3-D, biological, in which you will live an average of seventy-plus years, maybe more maybe less, with time off for good behavior, if lucky, subject to local conditions, and just a few rules. So these bodies will be our home, and this life will be our penitentiary, life at the speed of sound, dreaming of light, and avoiding gravity…

    That doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it, though, just that knowing our limits and avoiding extremes is usually the better bargain than seeking them out, by my understanding of Buddhist insight. And yet we do seek them out, don’t we, especially we Americans, with our extreme sports and our extreme prejudices, and our passions and our pride, that usually goeth before a fall? (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:04 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cockroach, , , , subway   

    Buddhism, and the Cosmic Cockroach of Divine Retribution… 

    img_0545Hollywood is not the glamour capital of the world, as many people imagine. In fact, it’s pretty slummy, though a vast improvement over a decade or two ago. Remember Kramer’s apartment building during his trip out west (actually just right across town) in the old Seinfeld TV show? Yep, like that (that dive goes for $100 a night, now, BTW, a sure sign of impending gentrification)…

    So to see a cockroach or two in the Metro station at Hollywood and Vine is no surprise, especially considering the amount of fast food that gets tossed by the wayside by the area’s homeless, who are apparently equally bin-less, in mind if not in fact. But the elderly lady on the mezzanine level seems particularly entranced by the one she’s found trying to make a run for it, far out of his comfort zone down by the tracks, big and juicy, and slow on the getaway. Actually the lady’s probably younger than I, but you know… (More …)

     
    • tiramit 6:13 pm on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      “(the) mind’s ear, hearing what it’s feeling, substituting imagination for the lack of investigation.” This is a teaching in itself. I’ve never been to Hollywood and the thought that it is not at all what it seems holds my attention for a moment, thanks.

    • davekingsbury 3:34 pm on July 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      That’s the way to do it! I share your horror at the vendetta. Great post, by the way, as good as David Sedaris. Better, actually, because it has a message …

  • hardie karges 10:40 am on July 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , animal, , human, , reintroduction, , wilderness, William Wordsworth   

    Buddhism, Taming the Wild Child: Save the animal, not the wild… 

    img_2116“…the animals I’ve trapped/Have all become my pets/And I’m living off of grass/And the drippings from the ceiling/But it’s okay to eat fish/’Cause they don’t have any feelings–Kurt Cobain, ‘Something in the Way’

    And that’s about right, I’d say. But a tamed animal, a mammal—especially cats and dogs—are nothing BUT feelings, it seems to me, having long ago lost their wildness and their feral instincts, on some cold dark night way back when it was far preferable to cultivate humans as masters, in exchange for security alarm services, rather than toughing it out in the wild with wolves and foxes and other lower uncivilized breeds…

    But we Westerners, Americans especially, are so in love with the wild, and the wilderness, or at least our romantic conception of it, that we go to great and elaborate expense to ‘reintroduce’ those other lower species that we once hunted or otherwise annihilated, i.e. ‘extirpated’ to near or even complete extinction… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 10:31 am on July 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alpha male, , , , , , , , , Type-A behavior   

    Buddhism, Meditation, Alpha Males and the Myth of Leadership… 

    img_1893When people ask me about meditation practice and/or Buddhism, I make it clear that meditation is one thing, and Buddhism is another, though I certainly appreciate both, even if knee problems likely mean that I’ll never achieve the classic lotus pose, and maybe not even the half of it…

    …so sitting meditation becomes chair meditation, which is just as good or better, just not as cool to look at, though maybe better for sati, ‘mindfulness’, if the cross-legged pose is uncomfortable, thus freeing the mind for focus, on nothing, emptiness, the vast undefined, even if in a sitting position less defined than the classic figure-8 flower… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:45 pm on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think the link with the wider world is as significant as the opportunity for personal development. This makes that point firmly, Hardie.

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