Buddhism in the End Times: Perfecting the Path of Imperfection…

IMG_2290Buddhism is the path of (ego) imperfection, the path of (ego) weakness, strength in numbers, especially zero, simultaneous voidness and infinity, emptiness implying that something is lacking, hopefully, that we are not hard cold single solitary free-standing proper nouns, but warm flexible adjectives, forever ready to be pressed into service to support the demands of solidity, wherever needed and as called for…

Deepak and Eckhart and Pat and Jerry and all the other latter-day wannabe prophets and modern-day motivational messengers all have one thing in common: they’re fudging: the truth, that is. They all tell you that you can do whatever you want, as long as you never stop dreaming, as long as you never give up your passions, as long as you sacrifice all in the quest of fulfilling your vision, and that your potential is unlimited. Yeah, right…

Buddhism is more honest than that, basically telling you right up front that this life is all about suffering, and the ways to mitigate it. And since the world is so imperfect, our task is obvious. The world is imperfect, so we must work on perfecting ourselves, however difficult the training, but not thankless the task. Limits define this dimension of ours, in fact, though precise measurements are difficult, of course…

There’s nothing wrong with this world, to be sure, the imperfection is just how it is, and to expect more is false and doomed to frustration. Surely you should push the limits, and to do that is to know them. But know this, too: no one gets out of here alive. The quest for cryogenic immortal life is probably one of the most pathetic efforts on the part of Western Capitalist Christians in their quest for world domination…

I mean: what is it that you’d be trying to accomplish by freezing yourself for the future? Are you punishing yourself, or the planet, or the future? Buddhism is not like that. Western Christian Capitalists get a Big Idea and ask, “Why not?” Buddhists get a Big Idea and ask, “Why? Looks good enough to me already. It’ll do. Leave well enough alone. Too much work, for too little gain. Is it really necessary? Meh, I can do without…”

And for the last two centuries, that attitude put Asia at a disadvantage vis a vis the West, until now, as we can see that such an arrogant attitude of domination on the West’s part is destroying the planet. Sometimes—MOST of the time—it’s better to be reserved, to hold back, to double-check all specs, and maybe just call the whole thing off—better safe than sorry. I LOVE po-tah-toes, y tomates tambien son buenos…

And I’m very sorry about the state of the world today. Sure, it’s probably better than it’s ever been, but it’s looking sketchy, there are no guarantees, and it’s not nearly as good as it could be. So, does that mean that we Americans should go start some wars somewhere just to “shake things up?” Probably not. The best revolutions are those fought at home, by homies, if absolutely necessary…

(And any coincidence with Donald Trump’s announcement today that the US now fully supports any and all Israeli positions in the Mideast ‘peace process’ that is now an impossibility, is just that—a coincidence, uh huh…)

There are 7.5 billion people on the planet today, and at the current rate of growth there will be 10B by the year 2050. Feeding them all will not be the main problem. Keeping them from killing each other will be a big problem. That fact that most of them will be packed into already-overcrowded cities is only of slight consolation, that the mall rats deserve each other. They’re still human beings…

And yet neither Republican nor Democrat dare utter the prohibited phrase ‘no-growth’ as if that would be tantamount to suicide or worse—a stagnant economy. But that is exactly what Buddhism offers in its teachings and training of self-control and self-restraint. Do more with less. Preserve. Conserve. Reserve. Persevere. If that’s socialism, then so be it. What’s in a name?

Up until, oh, I don’t know, maybe about a hundred years ago, Democratic Christian Capitalism probably was the best system for the world, to see what we could do, to see how far we could go. Now we know. Now it’s not the best system. We’ve gone as far as we should go, physically, at least. Inter-stellar travel should be done by radio waves, not brick sh*t-houses. We already know that. We don’t scan the heavens looking for flying machines. We scan the skies looking for, you know. Our limits are profound and worthy of worship in themselves: the speed of light, gravity, etc…

Don’t we worship what we respect? And we should respect those limits. We escaped gravity, yes, but only by destroying the planet, and gravity is the lesser dimension, anyway. We’ll never surpass the speed of light, not physically, anyway, maybe as an observer, maybe even time-travel like that. Still we want to rocket ourselves to Mars. But we don’t scan the heavens looking for rockets; we look for waves. We know no one will be as stupid as us…

Once upon a time the world was empty and it was our job to fill it, silent and our job to make sounds, primitive and our job to develop it, intimidating and our job to conquer it. But now the world is full and it is our job to empty it, noisy and our job to make it quiet, cluttered and our job to restore it, intimidating and our job to conquer ourselves, not it. Our greatest accomplishment technologically is the simplest and the one we now take most for granted–Internet. Now we can have civilization without the cities, and that is gold…

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