Tagged: America Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • hardie karges 6:11 am on June 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , , hippie, , liberalism, , , sustainability, , United States   

    #Political #Liberalism is Dying—and Uncool is the New Cool… 

    img_1069When the world is in chaos, normalcy is hip. For many decades now, we’ve worshipped the ‘adventurer’ out on the edge, bold and daring, whether in sports or art or literature or music: the wild man, the risk-taker, the bad boy, and all too often: the degenerate, drinker, drug abuser, and sexual deviant…

    That was all well and good in the British uptight Victorian era and its American 20th century post-war equivalent, during which we were sitting on top of the world—and our asses, all the while having fun fun fun while bombing the Hell out of Vietnam, the lady of the house staying home all day, taking care of the kids, with a little help from a hired colored hand, from the other side of town, from the other side of life, from the other side of the world, long time coming long time gone… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:04 am on June 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , , , , narrative, therapy   

    #Religion 101: Don’t just stand there; believe in something… 

    img_1572

    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    We westerners like to believe in things, and that is the way it should be, I think, even if we don’t always agree with the powers that be. Donald J. Trump was elected because most of his supporters believe in something, even if that ‘something’ is a bit unfathomable to the rest of us, even if DJT himself gets rich from his policies, while many of his most ardent supporters won’t get jack…

    But this goes way back in the American narrative: “We don’t accept charity,” said many a proud dusty son of Tom Joad, back in the Midwestern Depression-era ‘Dust Bowl’ that sent thousands scrambling for a better life in the California fields, orchards and vineyards, many of them only a few generations removed from the Enclosure Acts and potato famine that reduced the Scottish and Irish populations by half, from heights that will likely never again be reached, as long as there is a new frontier somehow somewhere… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 2:46 pm on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Narrative therapy sounds intriguing … a creative remedy for those stuck in old dead (or dead old) stories? You paint interesting pictures here, as always …

      • hardie karges 9:18 pm on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        ‘Narrative therapy’ indeed sounds VERY interesting, just discovered by me, so hope to research and comment further, but seems that is one of the mind-brain’s ‘operating systems’, music possibly another, though I see visuals as the big prize here, just a hunch… Thx, Dave, for your comments, as always…

  • hardie karges 6:39 am on May 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: aggression, America, , , , lovingkindness, mindfulness   

    #Mindfulness and #LovingKindness: American #Buddhism–for Ex-Christians and Holy (rock-and-) Rollers… 

    img_1935

    Don’t you just love the way any discussion of Buddhism in the English language tends to revolve around these two concepts—mindfulness and loving-kindness? “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…,” I guess, or why else would Buddhism need to cop new words and phrases to brand itself for people who were most likely raised on rock-and-roll and Christianity?

    But for some reason this Buddhism-now concept of ‘loving-kindness’ never appealed to me. For one thing, it’s just not a very accurate translation of the Sanskrit word metta or its cognate maitri, whose various meanings generally range from friendship to compassion. Or maybe there IS no accurate translation. I’ve communicated with several people by e-mail about my desire to formally study Buddhism at the university level, and ‘with metta‘ is a standard sign-off. So why not ‘with loving-kindness’? Good question… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:23 pm on April 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , , , yoga   

    Buddhism and Amerika: Hopelessly at odds with each other? 

    img_1773

    It seems that way at times, and the situation, indeed, may be hopeless. After all, you don’t see many American football linebackers meditating in a full lotus position, or even quarterbacks, or even half-lotus, or even punt return specialists, or even merely cross-legged on the floor, unless maybe it’s ’25 or 6 to 4′ and the mood is just right. Everything’s better after midnight, including meditation…

    And Buddhism is all about contrition and silence, while Amerikanism is all about brashness and loudness—just ask any European. We Americans aren’t a$$holes, not necessarily; we’re just full of it: full of the intoxication of life, full of the excitement of children, full of the blush and brash of youth, full of the hunt and the chase. And that’s too bad, because that’s not what is needed right now… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:25 am on March 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , collapse,   

    Buddhism, Global Warming, and the Fall of Amerika… 

    img_1572

    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    It’s sad, watching the Macy’s Parade Rose Parade, Orange Bowl Sugar Bowl Cotton Bowl, Thanksgiving Christmas New Year and the 4th of July, in celebration of past paradigms and failed promises, derived from failed premises, the celebration of a dying nation and a dying paradigm. The American century is long dead and gone, that twentieth one of the Common Era, probably best described as “fun fun fun while we bomb the hell out of Vietnam…”

    And the world weeps with us, for all our dreams lie broken and shattered like so many shards in some future midden, detritus left for future archaeologists to figure out. I can hear them now: “I wonder what happened. Why did they self-destruct? Couldn’t they see what was happening all around them?” (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:08 pm on December 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , , , , ,   

    Religion Imitates Art: Christian Self-Love and Buddhist Non-Self… 

    img_0953“Man is the measure of all things”…and there began our downfall, this from the Greek Sophist Protagoras and his very sophisticated argument that we human beings are the only thing that matters in this world, our silly views and opinions superior to all others, of course, by virtue of our virtue, and in spite of our spite, the pathological needs of humanity, a sort of radical solipsistic relativism…

    This argument only works with a strong belief and need for self, arguably the origin of consciousness, i.e. self-consciousness, and any further extrapolations indicative of the direction our culture has taken since then, hence our pathological need for democracy, free enterprise, a TV in every room and a car in every garage, every aspect an extension of, and ultimate belief in ourselves, each one of us totally different, supposedly, with or without the bar-code, identified by fingerprints and the DNA from random salivations and assorted misgivings… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:05 pm on December 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It doesn’t take a genius to realize that there is a higher consciousness than self-consciousness, or that there are higher needs than selfish ones…absolutely, the opposite is a horror story!

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

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

    img_0953

    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 11:14 am on May 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , ,   

    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 9:03 am on April 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , ,   

    Religion Meet Politics, Soul Meet Body: Buddhism as the Perfect Socialism…. 

    IMG_1663

    Room with a view in Thailand’s temple city of Phetchaburi…

    I’ve always been struck by the existence of what I call ‘village communism’, that primordial system around the world which keeps people more or less equal by virtue of jealousy, tradition, goodwill or convenience. It has nothing to do with democracy BTW, not unsurprisingly, which, despite all the advance hype, pretty much promotes just the opposite—vast inequalities… and vast loneliness, every man for himself. You are mostly alone in this capitalist democratic world, like it or not…

    So in the traditional societies, with cities just one step up from the village, the old guild divisions still remain, with certain sections devoted to a certain craft or specialty. Now I can’t say with certainty why that is, but the result is that everyone stays at more or less the same level, copying each others’ products, and keeping a good eye on each others’ customers. Ever heard the old adage: “location location location”? This is similar to a central market even when there is none (though that is likely the origin): so no one has the advantage of location, not really, not much.  They’re all more or less equal…

    IMG_1674

    Temples everywhere in Thailand

    The ultimate in village socialism, though, of course, is family, in which the family unit is not just a spatial unit occupying certain locations of varying importance, but a spiritual unit, too, a multi-generational anchor that occupies both time and space, and firmly, too. Ever played the Asian chess-like game ‘Go’? It’s like that, occupying space and time bit by bit in an ever-increasing complexity that provides an anchor like a tree’s roots, no reinforcing rods necessary. In Asia they love their blood ties, spouse optional. In the West we love our sometimes dubious choices made in the heat of passion…

    I always thought that socialism and communism were much more appropriate to Asia than Europe for this very reason, that the societies there were so much more inter-twined and sharing to begin with, starting with the family. From there it’s a short hop to uniting those families by religion, or politics, or both. This is especially appropriate now that families are so much smaller than they used to be, down from a dozen to a few per generation, within the last one or two rounds, generally speaking, at least in the case of Thailand, with which I am most familiar. So what does this have to do with Buddhism?

    IMG_1665

    Temple in Phetchaburi, Thailand

    Buddhism is perfect for this role, with its de-emphasis on the individual. The West, America especially, is sick with individualism, which, if carried to its logical extreme, gives you something like Election 2016, with its air of despair and its climate of hate, culture gone to the dogs, with any and all civility singularly lacking. In the future—tomorrow—true sharing will be a necessity, not just the pseudo-sharing of an Uber ride or a VRBO stay. That’s not sharing: that’s vanity, driver at your fingertips and somebody else’s house at your disposal. True sharing utilizes public transportation—and hostels…

    A true socialism is an economy of sharing, by definition, and requires near-equality, and no poverty. That can’t work in societies with vast incomes and vast income differentials. Within tightly-knit societies that is less likely, since class systems function by means of class divisions. You can’t maintain an equality with people from whom you are divided. Tightly-knit societies advance together—or not…

    The old industrial model of socialism is outmoded and outdated. We need updated politics and religion for the digital age—and the future. The great monotheistic religions have a Book. Buddhism has thousands. We can create what we need, and we need it now more than ever. The separation between church and state is an illusory pipe dream, and probably ill-advised at that…

    The trick is for the predominant belief system to be inclusive enough to accommodate all sorts of individual and group tastes and predilections. Labor and management should not be at odds with each other in the perfect system, nor should sects or sexes. The true city of God would allow many paths to meet uptown at the temple to pray, and many jobs downtown at the office to work—for similar pay…

     
    • kaptonok 11:49 am on April 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      In Bankok population fourteen million souls one million live in poverty. It is a world center of finance and business.
      So what you might call western ways are prevalent in Thialands biggest city.
      Do not be deceived by apperances quite recently Buddhist monks have been found to be suffering from obesity a western purge.
      Human nature all over the globe is the same it may hide under different labels or dress itself in the thin veneer of religion but basically it has not changed.
      What sort of communism have we got in China? Why its capitalist communism dressed in the old clothes of Marxism.

      • hardie karges 1:20 pm on April 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Only one million in poverty in Krung Thep? Maybe more, I’d guess. But when I refer to Western and Eastern ways, I’m referring to traditional distinctions. Obviously those break down as the world gets smaller and more crowded. Thailand up-country is very different from BKK. And yes, I definitely don’t consider modern China as the model for socialism, nor would Marx, I don’t believe. Thanx for your comment, very accurate… 🙂

    • davekingsbury 8:48 am on April 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      As always, hugely inclusive … posts like this help me focus on the creative synthesis we need to overcome our vast problems … I’d come up with a secular religion, if it wasn’t a weird oxymoron!

  • hardie karges 9:35 am on March 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: America, , New Age,   

    Religion 102: Toward a New Spiritual Discipline 

    We’re a degenerate society, America, that is, profane and impolite, licentious and unlicensed, democratic and debauched. We’ve lost our way as a society, a nation, and a culture, for what reasons being debatable.  What’s worse: having made our deal with the Devil we now dismiss those religions that haven’t, as though our degenerate society is somehow superior.  We’re drunken, drug-addled, sex-craving, and proud of it! This is how we measure our manliness, and increasingly: our womanliness…

    Starlets repeatedly score fashionista points for how much skin they’re willing to show, as if titillation were talent. Paragons of virtue we are no longer. Is this the best we can do as a race of people? Much of this is in the name of ‘freedom’, of course, which is understandable, given our traditions, but some of it also tries to pass for spirituality, which I object to. Early Christians used to torture themselves mercilessly to show their love of Jesus and God, you know, quite the opposite of nude selfies at the Grand Canyon… (More …)

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel