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  • hardie karges 7:05 am on October 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CHRISTIANITY, Eight Precepts, Five Precepts, , , Ten Commandments   

    Buddhism: It’s not what you do in this world; it’s what you don’t do… 

    IMG_0599I know it sounds like some silly game show, but it’s true. What each one of us decides to do and accomplish in this short life is largely subject to our own whims and devices, and not subject to judgment, not if there is any justice in this world. After all, the great sages and prophets don’t spend time on that, and all the great commandments, of any great religion, all begin with: “Thou shall not,” (or was it ‘shalt’?), but not “Thou shall…”

    So it’s not what you do in this world; it’s what you don’t do, and that’s my epiphany for this week, that you really don’t have to do anything! Wow! Who knew? Nothing at all! Just live and breathe and have your being, as long you DON’T kill, and as long you DON’T steal, and as long you DON’T make a nuisance of yourself in any one of a hundred different ways, then you’re doing okay… (More …)

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  • hardie karges 8:19 am on October 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CHRISTIANITY, Descartes, , , photographic memory,   

    Buddhism, Meditation, False Narratives, Pop Music and Crazy Love… 

    IMG_1559What is the goal of meditation, anyway, if not to remove those pesky little thought loops and dangling participles, half-baked ideas and non sequiturs, random musings and assorted misgivings? Notice that these are all verbal manifestations of consciousness, as if that were the only kind, or maybe the worst kind. It’s not…

    Sounds are the stickiest mental apparitions to which we (I, anyway) must periodically apply mental floss and chrome dome cleaner, Drano for clogged pipes and Janitor in a Drum for those hard-to-get-to corners where lint just loves to build up unnoticed—until your most important client shows up unexpectedly to discuss next year’s product line and drops his stylo next to that hard-to-reach corner by the sofa, uh-oh… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:19 am on September 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CHRISTIANITY, , , Forest Tradition, , , Hindu, , Noble Truth, Pali, , ,   

    First Noble Truth of Buddhism: It’s a Heartache… 

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    …and that’s about as accurate as any translation of the Pali word dukkha as any other, certainly better than the ‘stress’ or ‘discomfort’ or whatever currently making the rounds in Buddhist blurbs online and elsewhere, anything but ‘suffering’, the traditional and still most accurate definition. We’re talking about a metaphysical level of suffering here, after all, or at least existential, the kind that envelops you in its inimitable embrace, and lets you know exactly where you stand, or fall, which is usually somewhere nearby and knowable, so treatable…

    The newer ‘stress’-full definition of dukkha suggests a modern post-capitalist phase that the Buddha himself could hardly have imagined back in the classic Upanishadic era of pre-colonial India, actually post-colonial if you count Aryans as intruders, and not the high-class homeboy Brahmins that they usually like to see themselves as. They brought as many chariots, horses, cows and racism as they ever brought religion, more like high plains cowboys than the meditative masters that we now see them as (though they did have good drugs—I hear)… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:08 am on June 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bizarro, , CHRISTIANITY, Goldilocks, , ,   

    #Buddhism, #Bizarro World, and the 4 Noble Truths of #Christianity… 

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    Statue of Buddha in Kandy, Sri Lanka

    We all know the Four Noble (Aryan) Truths of Buddhism, of course, indoctrinated in us since birth: 1) the prevalence of suffering in this world, 2) the cause of suffering—desire, 3) the way to reduce suffering—reduce desire, and 4) the way to do that: the Eightfold Middle Path—do not lie, cheat, steal, etc…

    But did you know that Christianity also has Four Noble Truths? Okay, so they’re not exactly called that, but it’s easy enough to interpolate and extrapolate, so here goes: 1) this world is fun!, 2) the cause of fun is desire, 3) the way to increase fun is to increase desire—more bigger richer sexier, and 4) the way to do that: the Ten Commandments: do not lie, cheat, steal, etc. Ha! Gotcha! (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:52 am on June 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CHRISTIANITY, , , , philkosophy, ,   

    #Buddhism #Christianity #Islam: All #Religions Work—if you let them… 

    IMG_1559All religions want the same thing—goodness in general, peace brotherhood compassion and mercy in particular. But their prime proponent visionaries—Buddha, Christ and Prophet—each saw different ways of getting there—non-self and non-craving first, love and forgiveness next, and then finally submission and surrender. And all of them can work, if maybe more appropriate for different groups of people at different times in history…

    In 5-600 BC, Buddhism was the perfect message, in a violent greedy war-torn world more or less centered around India, and ready for meditation (and anyone who imagines that the world was calm and peaceful before the advent of religion is tripping). In year 0-100 CE Christianity was spot on target for a world increasingly shifted westward to new fertile ground, the Fertile Crescent, and based on and around Roman power in the Mediterranean, ready for bread and circuses, passion and power… (More …)

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

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

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    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 6:56 am on April 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CHRISTIANITY, Easter, , , , ,   

    Easter and Buddhism: Religion of Passion, i.e. Suffering… 

    img_1893Christianity is the only modern religion based on emotion, rather than reason, submission, devotion or some other. Christians apparently LIKE suffering—read: passion—and so don’t avoid it but seek it out, with daredevil stunts, extreme sports, torrid romances and hot hot bodies, buffed and tanned and laid in the sand, for hours at the time, until well-done…

    Somewhere along the way we decided we liked all that and the word ‘passion’ took on new meaning, with a positive connotation, in life and in love. We’ll suffer for our art gladly, just like we’ll suffer for our sport, and we’ll suffer for love, just like Christ suffered for us, i.e. the ‘passion’, celebrated every year around this—Easter—time… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:20 am on March 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , children, CHRISTIANITY, kids,   

    Tao Futures: Philosophy and Religion, Buddha and Politics… 

    img_1661Predestination is, or at least WAS, the Holy Grail of all religion, primitive religion, false religion, to have it all figured out, planned out, whether past lives or Heaven and Hell, the threat of future punishment to keep you in line at the present, but the Buddhist belief in past lives creates life not proactive, but retroactive. Ditto Christianity with heaven and Hell. That’s the social function of religion, keeping us in line…

    This derives from the time when religion was expected to explain everything, a job largely accomplished by Science now. And each religion had different explanations, of course. The curse of all traditional religion lies in trying to make amends with all others, not to mention Science and Tech. It’s a hopeless task. If karma is a thief in the night trying to steal your future and all your presents, then Hell is where you go to serve your sentence and repay your debts—supposedly… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:20 am on February 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , CHRISTIANITY, ,   

    Four Noble Truths of Buddhism: and Christianity and… 

    img_0545All good Buddhists know the Four Noble Truths: the prevalence of suffering, the cause of suffering—grasping and craving; the way to avoid suffering—quit grasping and craving; and the details of that path—the Middle Way, or eight-fold path, similar to Christianity’s Ten Commandments. But what if the other great religions were to have four truths of their own? What would they be?

    First let’s generalize. To be consistent with the Buddhist example, four such ‘truths’ should: 1) articulate the prevailing reality; 2) articulate the cause of that reality; 3) articulate a path forward, given that reality, and 4) articulate the details of that path. Okay, so for Christianity, I figure the First Noble truth would be: 1) the prevalence of pleasure, i.e. life is for enjoyment, 2) the cause of that pleasure—acquisition of ‘goods’, experiences, or services; 3) the path forward would be to acquire more goods, experiences, and services; and 4)… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 10:52 am on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Startling insights and a pretty good blueprint for personal development, I’d say. Keats said life was a process of soul-building and the building blocks are here, ready to assemble …

      • hardie karges 6:53 pm on February 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I love all the Romantic poets, big influence, can’t believe I never made it to the Lake District…

    • davekingsbury 4:47 pm on February 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Reckon you did in spirit. It’s just a bunch of rocks and tearooms, anyway …

  • hardie karges 6:55 am on February 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , CHRISTIANITY   

    Religion and Apocalypse: You don’t have to be Christian… 

    img_1773…to see the ‘End of Days’ looming large like a ‘Construction Zone’ sign at the end of a long shady lane, subtitled ‘Bridge Under Construction: NO Entry’, and a bridge to the future is indeed what we need, because as it is, we’re about to drive off the edge of that bridge long before it’s finished and ready…

    This has all happened many times before and will likely happen again as the humans species and its duct-tape civilizations stumble forward on all fours, not in some cycle of re-births or rapture, but more like boredom, psychosis or rupture, human beings selling themselves into service as so many beasts of burden, bred for breeding and so much suffering…

    But what does it really mean? Jesus was not the only Doomsday Prophet approximately 2000 years ago. He was just the most successful one, and his small cult following eventually became religion—confession, redemption and fun fun fun. That can happen if you get enough ‘likes’, ‘follows’ and ‘shares’. But it’s a stretch of the imagination to assume that they were talking about the end of the species, or even worse—the planet…

    No, they were talking about cataclysmic changes to life as they knew it—the end of Jerusalem with the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. and the impending collapse of the Roman Empire, which it did, eventually, bit by bit. And now we’re at the end of another empire, the Euro-American one that has dominated the globe for the last 500 years. Before that time, c. 1492, I figure the world’s top cultures were more or less equal…

    And then another lesser eschatological event occurred in England with the conquest of Great Britain by William the Conqueror in 1076, destroying what Alfred the Great built, substitute Frenchified ‘north men’ for the Vandals in Rome who once took handles and ran, and once again we barbaric Germanics sank our own Titanic, especially notable because it includes the survey of holdings known as the ‘Domesday’ (Doomsday) Book, in reference to the Last Judgment…

    And now here we are again, another millennium later, staring into the abyss of our own self-destructive tendencies, after a solid 250-year-run, 1976-2016, of Anglo-American dominance. None dare call it bi-polar syndrome: schizophrenia, the white man’s disease! Homicidal tendencies from the world’s conquerors and rulers, and a death wish to boot! Good riddance…

    …because it’s based on consumption and greed, not happiness, or even love, or justice, or democracy, our overriding myth, and certainly not sustainability. That sounds like socialism, because it is, and much better than driving off the cliff in the name of capitalism. The economy has crashed before and will crash again, likely taking governments along with them, and lives, and the innocent smiles of children…

    The difference this time, is that, whereas Rome was one of many great powers, albeit the strongest, the others could take up the slack when it fell. This time we’re all connected, and any precipitous fall could take us all down together, and all that we’ve accomplished in the last 500 to 5000 years…

    If the fruit of the flower of our civilizations’ finest hour is to continue through the darkness to follow, it will likely be due to the efforts of hackers and slackers from the previous society’s fringes, connected by Internet and fueled from the sun, like raisins fallen from trees pre-ripened and pre-sweetened, recycling today’s excess detritus for many hundreds of years to come, before the production of new materials will be necessary…

    Last time the ‘darkness’ that ensued was mostly in the field of publishing—and the pursuit of knowledge. There were other more important things to do, like survive. They were mass migrations, as there likely will be again, and already are. But life went on, as it will again. Centralized subsidized power from a distance collapsed before, as it will likely do again, and power will revert to localized Big Shots, mafia men, as it already has in many villages in Mexico and elsewhere, where cartels have more resources than the central government…

    Will we ever learn our lesson? I don’t know. It seems like in the 70’s we had a clue as to where this was heading, and were dealing with it, by ‘slow-growth’ and ‘no-growth’ and back-to-nature movements, then we suddenly changed our minds when the Digital Revolution came along, that and Ronald Reagan and the excesses of Wall Street. Now all we have are DJT, conspiracy theories, crocodile tears and a pocket full of tissues…

    Maybe it’s not the time to rag on Western culture—Christianity, Capitalism, and Democracy—for causing the current problems, but I doubt that those paradigms are equipped to deal with the coming Dark Times, suffice to say. My own preference would be a Buddhist socialism, non-aggressive and self-sufficient, democracy optional. Until then we persevere. Note to Christians: I don’t think you’re supposed to actually wish for the rapture. I don’t think it’s supposed to be fun…

     

     

     
    • davekingsbury 3:59 pm on February 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yeah and what about all the leisure these robots were going to bring us? Nice end-of-days piece, Hardie, cheered me up hardly at all! 😉

    • hardie karges 8:44 pm on February 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I forgot to add: robots optional. Riffing on Stephen Hawking: Dark Ages don’t have to be so dark. They’re only dark because we don’t know much about them. Print those blogs and put them in a safe place, Dave! Digital information will likely be lost, and history will only record that which can be accessed. Yeah, I thought the future would be cooler, too… (my favorite line from pop music last year)

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