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  • hardie karges 7:06 am on January 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2018, , , , capitalism, , , ,   

    Religion, Politics, Hope and a Prayer: Happy 2018, Good Riddance 2017… 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    If you’re American, and you’re reading this, then 2017 has probably been a very tough year for you, as it has been for me, for this is the year in which we’ve seen our beloved country rocked to its foundations, for no particular reason, other than the general hatred, prejudice, rudeness, crudeness and bad judgment of our barely-elected President, by a distinct minority, due to the anomalies of our Electoral College system, in which our state lines themselves represent a form of gerrymandering that makes a mockery of democracy…

    But that’s not the real problem. The real problem is that as our world grows more crowded, our sensibilities seem to be growing harder and colder, with people feeling less and less toward each other, and governments even worse. The Fall of the (Berlin) Wall in 1989, and USSR in 1991 was supposed to usher in a new era of freedom and responsibility, and instead it has ushered in an era of unparalleled greed and hatred… (More …)

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    • Terborn Zult 3:19 am on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      If “with Communism no longer around to keep Capitalism honest, then Capitalism no longer is (honest),” the question is: how come Buddhism, which has been around for much longer than so-called “communism” (in reality: just the first stages of socialism; and a pretty adulterated version of socialism, for that matter), has never managed to keep capitalism honest, not even for a few decades? If I had the choice, I would most certainly opt for the more efficient -ism….

      • hardie karges 3:46 am on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t think it’s ever tried, TBH, since it is not an economic system at all, two entirely different realms, truthfully, such that no matter how much I detest Trump, for instance, I would never suggest that Trump supporters can’t be Buddhists–some are, in fact. Theravada systems are extremely (non) self-oriented, in fact, such that the paradigm is that of a monk not only renounced, but cloistered, and entirely dependent on lay support. I’m moving more in the direction of Mahayana, if not entirely secular, which is much more world-oriented. There is no reason why socialism and Buddhism can’t occur together, really, which is my dream, and certainly much more inspiring, for me at least, than Soviet-style communism, and likely the reason it failed: hard-core materialism is just very inspiring for many, if not most, of us. Thx for your comment, Norbert, and happy new year…

    • RemedialEthics 10:23 pm on June 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:
      I stumbled upon this blog at the perfect time. It is now June 2018 and I am so disillusioned with the apathy and outright nastiness of my fellow Americans that I am looking at real estate in Mexico and somehow (thanks to more than a slight case of ADHD) I ended up here and have been peacefully absorbed by hopeful rather than hateful words for the first time in months.

  • hardie karges 7:22 am on December 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , capitalism, , ,   

    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… (More …)

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

    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 …)

     
    • davekingsbury 4:38 pm on August 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You seem to have all the bases covered here. I’ve saved it to re-read …

    • quantumpreceptor 2:10 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hardy, I love your blog it’s always good to read. Today I just have one comment. I am a Buddhist and my cup is full of possibilities, and in no way limited. But I do agree we need to learn how to live better, I believe doing no harm extends to our home our planet not just to other beings, this is the way forward. It is too hard to sell such a good idea as you have put forward with only a half full cup.

      QP

      • hardie karges 5:46 pm on September 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Full of possibilities, absolutely yes, empty of extraneous attachments hopefully…

  • hardie karges 5:37 am on October 2, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , capitalism, , ,   

    Religion 102: She’s Gotta’ Have It—Christianity, that is… 

    IMG_0379…stuff, that is, the more the better, piles and piles of it highly derived and thoroughly contrived, mostly useless adornments and bows of worship to the gods and goddesses of fashion, reflecting the finely manicured thumbnail status of our culture, whatever is trending; that’s most important, much more so than whatever came before and whatever will come after, pesky details best left to historians and our paid apologists…

    Yes, apparently Jesus died on the cross so that we could go shopping, among other things. Some of my favorite ‘other things’, by way of example, are the daredevil stunts that we Westerners have become famous for. How many people risk their lives each year climbing mountains that there are no reasons to climb, or reaching speeds that there are no reason to reach, or performing stunts just for the big screen, just for the sake of celebrity?

    (More …)

     
    • jodie 10:32 pm on October 31, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      It would seem that the path you are on is as experientially biased as all religious, philosophical, or psychological endeavors ultimately are. If it suits you then ….. sit well…..

  • hardie karges 11:25 am on December 25, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: capitalism, ,   

    Merry Kerygma (Disgust for Dogma), I Am Furious (Mellow): Fugue State in 3 Parts… 

    (There comes) that feeling that you get when victimized by the wannabes, lackeys and lapdogs of late-era capitalism who feel their futures to be threatened, so busy themselves building bunkers and moats, walls and bridges; bankers salesmen agents middle-men and their sons and daughters working commissions tighten the screws holding back proletarians and progress, especially in America the most Communist of all countries…

    …a communism of the mind, brutalist structures strictures and constructions, multiple male-enhanced skyscraping erections, filling post-apocalyptic city centers long vacated for the necessities of parking, crumbling rusty dusty rotting hulks, beauty sacrificed to convenience, with female submission to financial straits and straighteners for the benefit of comfort; souls slathered with gadgets and gizmos and widgets and whatchamacallits; freedom falls flattest and fastest when and where the wallets are fattest, lives battered and fried, looking for existential catsup… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:46 pm on December 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Letting go of the preconceptions and mass deceptions … great line! This has inspired a new year resolution. 2016 will be the year I satirise the clichés we all live by …

  • hardie karges 1:07 pm on November 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , capitalism, ,   

    The Decline of Western Civilization: RIP Amerika, Christianity, Capitalism, Democracy, etc… 

    Well, we had a good run, we did, Western Civilization, that is, as first articulated by Greece and Rome, before taken up again by London and Paris some 1000 years later, then New York, Toronto and Sydney for the final roll-out. Democracy was our method, Christianity was our mantra and capitalism was our madness. It worked spectacularly, until now, until we’ve run out of resources and ideas. Now we’re put to the test: what’s next?

    Well, it doesn’t look good for the home team; seems capitalism is something of a pyramid scheme—works fine when you’re on top, with lots of resources and free time. Now other non-Westerners can play the game as well or better than us: first Japan, now China, with India, Brazil, and Russia hot on the horizon. Where does that leave us? Well, it should leave us defining the next era, beyond capitalism, beyond consumption, beyond die-hard democracy. But it’s not.

    We’re totally unequipped for what comes next, all of us Westerners, Amerika the least, screwing up the Mideast, sowing our dreams of democracy, and leaving nothing but chaos in the wake—enough, already. We Amerikans have nothing to teach the world about politics, least of all democracy. We can barely get a budget bill through Congress to pay our debts. Now we’re destroying the environment, while still pushing the political and economic agenda of growth growth growth. We’re sick. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 11:28 am on September 6, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , capitalism, ,   

    The Decline of Western Civilization (Part 2: Bankers, Barkers and Religion…) 

    Christian God

    Christian God

    But first my Sunday confession, Father: I’ve been called Communist and I’ve been called Jihadi. Liberals call me a Conservative. Conservatives call me a Liberal. It’s all true. I’m a contrary son-of-a-b*tch, known to act as the devil’s avocado, barely ripe, slippery when wet, but not merely for the sake of argument, I swear, but to try to reach some higher truth, later if not sooner, and for all our sakes, not just my own. When I lived in Berkeley I WAS conservative. When I lived in Mississippi I WAS liberal. Doctrines are there to be challenged, and dogma is there to be run over by karma…

    Now we all know how stupid are the tea-party wing of America’s Republican political party, but that doesn’t mean that Democrats are all geniuses (genii?). The difference between conservatives and liberals, or republicans and democrats, which basically defines the power relationships in the world, is basically the difference between the two types of people in the world: those who save their money—or resources—and those who don’t. Please note, Republicans, that I didn’t use the word ‘lazy’ and I don’t intend to, as I don’t think that is the fundamental issue. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:28 pm on May 21, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: capitalism, ,   

    Politics 101: Welcome to Amerika, Last Bastion of Communism 

    Pyongyang, North Korea: City without cars…

    If it seems unbelievable at first, that the bastion of Capitalism is really not much different from Communism, then consider the following: freedom is illusory and our lives are largely programmed. Most American cities have been reduced to hulking shells of their former selves, vast and brooding, devoid of any life, or not much, anyway. The fact that this is by and large a civilicide sui generis accomplished by volunteer transmigration to suburbs and gated communities is irrelevant in my humble opinion. Suicide is no better than homicide.

    The typical American city resembles nothing so much as the typical Communist city, with broad avenues and pompous statues, monuments to nothing so much as collective national ego. There are few if any people in the parks, few if any tacos on the streets. You can see this today in many a leftover satellite of the USSR like Tashkent, Uzbekistan, as easily as you can see it in many a leftover satellite of the USA like Shreveport, Alabama (yeah, I know; I’m making a point). (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:18 am on April 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: capitalism, , , KABBALAH,   

    Religio-Politics 2015: Capitalist Kabbalah, Dial ‘F’ for ‘Freedom’… 

    I don’t know why there is such hatred from mostly-Christian Westerners toward Middle Eastern cultures generally and Islamic religion specifically, any more than I know why there is such racism toward black people from those same Westerners. I suspect it’s because we’re so similar, and historically so close geographically, so competing for the same turf, really, physically and psychologically. They’re violent; we’re violent. They’ve had great cultures; we’ve had great cultures. They’re stubbornly opinionated; we’re stubbornly opinionated. They had slavery; we had slavery. So why all the animosity?

    Despite all the historic animosity over the Crusades, which was mostly an act of European aggression, there is the case of modern Israel, once again mostly an act of Western aggression, as Israel re-invents itself as a modern European-style alcohol-based republic, situated in the heart of the Mideast, after centuries of being ghettoized in Europe itself and largely protected in the Mideast itself.

    That’s brilliant—and our cross to bear, somehow, all puns intended. The current fad of ‘Christian Zionism’ is ample proof of that. Other than that, the only real difference is that we—and Israel—are free-for-all devil-may-care capitalist consumerist economies, while most of the oil-based Mideast is not. Hmmm… No surprise there, as Jewish banking funded Portugal, then Spain, then northern Europe in their Age of Discovery, after the expulsion from Spain along with fellow Muslims. They never looked back, at their former life as Middle Easterners—until now. It gets worse.

    For all the good it’s done, runaway capitalism today is the number-one problem facing the world, not terrorism IMHO. Enough is enough. Terrorists aren’t destroying the planet with global warming. We Westerners (Americans especially) are, we and our precious freedoms: freedom to drive our cars, mostly, around and around, uptown and downtown, whatever is left of our hollowed-out cities, existing for little more than ceremonial purposes (i.e. entertainment) now.

    The Big Lie in America is that ‘they covet our freedoms’, but the truth is far from the narrative. We said that first about Communists, and now about ‘jihadis’, and neither one was true, not necessarily because they don’t want more freedom, but because we’re hardly the paradigm for it. The communists waited in line for bread; we wait in line for Apple watches. “From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.” Both have failed miserably. So what’s the big difference? Desire selects accordingly. The prostitute picks her trick. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 10:04 am on March 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body, , capitalism, Death Cab for Cutie, , She and Him, , Zooey Deschanel   

    Religion Meets Politics; Body Meets Soul: Capitalism is the Past; Buddhism is the Future… 

    Huh? What? Is this guy illiterate? Why is he comparing apples and oranges while alluding to bananas under the influence of ananas (pineapples), knowing all the while that the only fruit that can cure his disease are cherries and sometimes cranberries? (Orange you glad I didn’t venture into tropical fruits whose names are only known through vague inference and oblique reference and bad translations like jack-fruits and custard apples and the alligator pears of a previous era?)

    Surely this is the greatest travesty of language competence since half-decent actress Zooey Deschanel and that other guy with a letter for a first name decided to call their musical duo ‘She and Him’, knowing all the while that one pronoun was nominative and the other accusative, without even considering the political implications of a feminine subject getting all on-top transitive and doing it to a masculine object, sure payback’s a b*tch, a batch of contradictions, but really his guitar-playing’s not half-bad and her only musical background is the title role in a season of ‘Death Cab for Cutie’ and the best line she ever had in a movie was “Penis!” in that flick with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. But I digress.

    I mean, you can’t just inter-mix religion and politics for Sunday entertainment, now, can you, despite or because of the fact that it’s prohibited? Can you? “Never talk religion and politics” is an adage as old as America itself and the mixing of the two is an affront to the separation of Church and State that lies at the heart of our dysfunctional system of government, isn’t it? Why, yes; dysfunctional, that is…

    Everything’s different now. Everything is a caricature of itself, and nothing is sacred anymore. Our Western and American values are up for grabs and subject to reinterpretation. Our freedoms have degenerated into licentiousness, and our liberties have lost their licenses. Our paradigms have shifted and our grounds have been re-sifted. Religion has nothing to do with church anymore and politics has nothing to do with government. Work is not all about money anymore and life is all about quality and not quantity. The merger of politics and religion does not signal theocracy. It signals maturity.

    Capitalism must die, pool sharks notwithstanding. Its continuation threatens the planet and society. It doesn’t have to end overnight, but the sooner the better: no more booms and crashes, no more zooms and clashes. I’m not talking about free enterprise, mind you. That’s different. That’s sacred. Capitalism is a perversion of it, most likely originated in the extension of credit, and the various packaging and re-packing that comes and goes with that.

    If that makes me a Communist, then so be it. I prefer ‘Buddhist’; yes, that’s no typo. It’s no accident that some of the most successful Communist countries had a prior history of Buddhism. Even today the line is blurred—in China, Vietnam, Laos, Burma and elsewhere. But I’m not talking about totalitarian dictatorships. I’m talking about shared spaces and shared societies, not shares of common stock. The only common stock I care about is DNA handed down in re-stacked decks, hands shuffled and re-shuffled for hybrid vigor and species survival.

    If religions must go through the phases of Islam, Christianity, and Buddhism (in no certain order) as lives must go through the phases of youth, middle age and ‘seniority’ = discipline, love and wisdom, then so, too, must societies go through the political phases of dictatorship, democracy and socialism both in their political and economic applications (‘apps’ for short). But the order is not ordered and the ‘roll-out’ is confusing. Silly phases must be gone through (passive voice intentional) and ch-ch-changes must occur in fields and screens of red, blue and green. Stay tuned…

     
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