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  • hardie karges 9:15 am on May 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Attachment, , , , nidana, upadana   

    Buddhism, Attachment, Life and Freedom… 

    To be connected but not attached is the trick, ties that bind loosely. And this is a tricky spot for Buddhism, particularly with regard to the doctrine of Dependent Arising (or Origination) which provides a systematic formulation of the notion that, for lack of a better quick saying, “we are all connected.” But the ninth ‘link’ (nidana) of that system specifically forbids attachment (upadana) to such phenomena as ‘sensual pleasures, mistaken views, external forms, material pleasure/comfort, routines, persons, appearances, ego and…an individual self.’ (buddhajourney.net) Yeow, that’s a heavy load of attachment to avoid! But that tricky spot is also a sweet spot, because what is important is not checking off all the boxes of non-attachment, as if they were things, but to have goals and directions, arrows and road maps to show us a path where such things are easy to talk about, but not so easy to follow. Life is a balancing act, between attachment and freedom, abundance and lack, safety and risk, certainty and chance…

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  • hardie karges 10:04 am on May 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Love, Buddhism, dialectic, and the dictates of Science… 

    The message to a noisy world is simple: silence. The message to a hateful world is also simple: love. So the remedy for any extreme situation would seem to be its opposite, at least in the short term. This can be a zig-zag situation, though, of course, flip-flopping back and forth between extremes with no middle ground. Certainly some Westerners with a racial background of extreme violence take the love love love remedy too far to the other extreme. This is the genius of Buddhism, that it constantly seeks that middle ground ‘sweet spot’ of mutual accommodation, which should ideally be the outcome of any ongoing dialectic, and constantly self-correcting. But while some scholars and priests might claim this as a higher truth, I’d say that it is simply a superior method, and therefore akin to science. There are laws that require separation of church and state, not church and science…

     
    • quantumpreceptor 12:24 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting Hardy. I think science really should have a branch devoted to the study of meditation and or eastern teachings. It’s a proactive solution to an old problem.

      QP

      • hardie karges 2:39 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        And vice-versa, also, IMO, as that gap is now too wide for mere yawning; it needs to be bridged…

        • quantumpreceptor 2:42 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink

          It would be a great way to control the conversation in a logical and nondogmatic way. Leaving the snake oil salesman out to lunch and the seekers of wisdom a new path to credibility.

        • hardie karges 3:01 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink

          exactly

  • hardie karges 9:47 pm on May 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dylan, Illusion, , , , , , significance   

    Maya, Illusion, and the Ruminations of the Buddha’s Barber… 

    Life has no meaning but that which we give it. We are the significance monkeys. We are the meaning monkeys. We are the monkeys hooked on happy endings and the agreement of subject and object. We are monkeys in love with our languages and out literature and our lust for languor, long slow baths and a reason to laugh, castles in the air and castles made of sand, visions of Johanna in the palms of our hands. We spin a lump of sugar into cotton-candy daydreams, and live out our lives in opposition to the obvious, that we are lumps of stuff pressed into the service of human hubris. We create concepts and precepts and conclusions with antecedents. But just because you can imagine something doesn’t mean that it’s real. And that’s one of life’s lessons, the difference between reality and fantasy, a sliding scale of solidity…

     
  • hardie karges 7:51 pm on April 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    The multi-colored reality between dreams and darkness… 

    Just because you can imagine something doesn’t mean that it’s real. And this has been a problem since time immemorial, especially in the fields of philosophy and religion, the gap between reality and imagination, the disparate levels of materialism and spirituality. This plays to the difference between our wildest dreams and our harshest realities, and apparently it all began with language. If something can be written down, then doesn’t it exist, at least to some extent? Of course it does, but that does define reality? Probably not. Plato found that out the hard way, ditto Christianity, and Buddhism deals with it on a daily basis.This is the arrogance of the written word, and the thinking mind, by the same token. We need a better measure of reality, and science would seem to be the answer, the method, constantly shifting, nothing to do with anything like blind allegiance. Sorry, grasshopper. Your dreams can’t all come true. So I guess a few will have to do…

     
  • hardie karges 7:31 am on April 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Fear and Awe, Recipes and Sutras… 

    Half of all religion is based on fear, fear of dying and fear of flying, fear of failure and fear of success. The other half is based on awe, whether awful or awesome, it really doesn’t matter to an emotion junkie, a feelings philanderer, ready to take a lashing for passion and come back for more, sight unseen. Because that’s half the rush, the adrenaline rush, that quest for novelty and the thrill of victory, over trivial obstacles and deliberate roadblocks, fear of the unknown conquered by insatiable thirst. But that’s a recipe for disaster, the craving for conditions with no concern for the consequences. Surely there must be a better way, a happy Buddhist medium between the extremes of delight or despair. Just curious: If I forgo the laughter, can I forgo the tears? Asking for a friend…

     
  • hardie karges 6:58 am on April 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    The Word and the World, Both Too Much with Us 

    You can be in the world and not be of the world, and that is important for those of us who choose other-worldly pursuits, as typically defined, with pleasure not reduced to sensation and payments largely in kind. Money is the mark of the beast and possession is his hand-maiden, the need to accumulate more and more, bigger and bigger, the ultimate swindle, as if existence cold be quantified and life codified. But total Buddhist renunciation is not possible, either, except for brief retreats, because to live in a world removed is only possible with strings and ties, so the same dreaded possession to be avoided, ultimately. The answer is to carry that beloved retreat with you, and me, in your head to be applied liberally at any convenient point of contact, and as constant reminder of the blessings of omission to which you, and I, have pledged heartfelt allegiance. Every mouthly utterance should be a word’s worth. True freedom is internal as well as external…

     
  • hardie karges 6:10 am on April 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Nirvana, and the Anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s Suicide 

    It’s hard now to hear Nirvana the rock band. But it’s easy to hear about Nirvana the cessation of hatred, anger, even desire, on a good day, so Buddhist Nirvana, that is. But I was once a big fan of the band, even though it was loud, raw, and anguished. That was much of the charm, at the time. But I started at the end and worked backwards, not so much because the acoustic versions were easier to swallow, which they were, but that the lyrics were understandable, and that was the point, that and the fact that I took offense at their use of the tern ‘nirvana’, not that I was Buddhist, but then neither were they. But then maybe they were Sanskritists, since they got the translation right: ‘extinction’, nothing about salvation, or even Enlightenment. So at least Kurt was honest. He just worked himself into a corner from which he couldn’t escape, not with his life. It always happens at age twenty-seven. That seems to be the threshold, the threshold between childhood and adulthood, or not. R.I.P. Kurt…

     
  • hardie karges 6:16 am on March 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dignity, , flattery   

    Dignity as the Price of Peace… 

    No one needs flattery. Everyone needs dignity. Because ego is the most modern of diseases, we all full of our selves and branded shamelessly for public consumption, personalities paid for their pin-ups and post-ups in likes, follows and shares, presumably to make up in brownie points (does anyone still say that?) what we lack in proper remuneration for our hard-earned bread and soup. But dignity comes with proper recognition if not proper remuneration, a dollar’s work for a dollar’s pay, and credits attributed accordingly, so that we can all feel good about what it is that we do and what it is that we struggle for. And that is not always easy. But it is never worth venting spleen at the robber barons and Internet trolls, with hatred and anger and vengeance running over. It is more important to correct the problem than to seek revenge, getting even just that and no more, because if we stoop to their level of hatred and anger, then they win, and we will never attain the peace of mind and dignity of place that we deserve…

     
  • hardie karges 5:44 am on March 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abundance, ,   

    Buddhism vs. Christianity: Abundance is a flawed concept, overflowing and wasteful… 

    Abundance is the Christian rap. I’m Buddhist. I want just enough and no more. But that’s the Christian back-story for you, the myth that somehow there is an eternal fountain of life and resources available for the taking, if only we connect with the creator God and his eternal love, such that he sent his own son down to seal the deal. And Jesus did a good job. So did Buddha. But both were just men, and both had their faults, in spite of their brilliance. The times dictate the message we need, and right now we need limits, not abundance, satisfaction within and without, independent of a creator God and his need for constant creation, a growth economy to mask our inability to come to peace with ourselves. We are too abundant, and miserable because of it, fighting over turf and settling for the spoils. Sometimes less is more. Sometimes it’s better to be a little bit hungry, respectful and thankful, on a perpetual quest for truth and vision, the path…

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 3:45 pm on March 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Common sense, Hardie, and alas not common enough it seems!

    • hardie karges 4:07 pm on March 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m a Boy Scout at heart, haha. Thanks Dave…

  • hardie karges 7:06 am on March 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , humiliation, humility, Politeness, ,   

    Humility and the Illusions of Self… 

    Everyone should show humility. No one should be humiliated. And that is more than just linguistic word-play, given that the two words in play have a common root. But the common root is not at issue. At issue is the role of the actor versus that of an external third party, particularly with respect to issues of control and freedom, both political and social. It is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism that ego should be reduced or diminished, to the point of total elimination, since it has no fundamental role in personality, just the illusion of grandeur, to which there is no basis–ever. Moreover, humility is an act of contrition, self-contrition, a submission of oneself to the greater good of society. Humiliation is an act of violence, designed to inflict damage on another, and that is not polite, to say the least. Politeness is a dying art…

     
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