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  • hardie karges 6:34 am on November 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , consciousness, , ,   

    Karma and the Necessity of Imperfection 

    Maybe the world is an imperfect place, or maybe I’m just too sensitive. But the world, of course, is defined by its imperfection, and it would be futile to want it any other way, in fact, because these imperfections are what allows for change and evolution, the constant mutation of genetic units into something else, the concepts of better or worse subject to the judgment of volunteers and substitutes, while perfection itself means no such thing, just the fact that it has been completed, finished, no more change, end of story, and that’s not likely to happen, no time soon, anyway, not with egos flaring and guns flashing, the glint of hard cold steel embedding itself in our collective consciousness as a reminder of our potential for cruelty, as a vestige of our not-so-distant past, savage and brutal and begging for redemption when none is likely and where none could be further from the truth. This is ground zero, the testing area, between past and future, for liberation and release, from the bonds of self-imprisonment and the requirements for future freedom. The past is but a signpost and the present a yawning zero, a field of action between the two goal posts of judgment, neither of which has meaning except that which we care to give it, for purposes of narrative, the requirements of closure and the necessities of a happy ending, with possibilities for future options. But in every act of jurisprudence the important question is intent, no matter the difficulty of determination or the conundrums of context, because guilt without intent is in fact no guilt at all, in a good and just world, and any notion of Buddhist karma must take this into account, no less so than the Supreme Court, sitting in judgment over the law of our land. Karma is equal to actions, and actions are equal to intent. Every act of cruelty or kindness carries the weight of its own intent, no more and no less…

     
  • hardie karges 2:14 am on November 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: consciousness, Greta, hope, , need,   

    The Algebra of Need, and the Calculus of Hope… 

    When one door closes, another one opens. It has to, to let some light in.We can’t exist in darkness, not for long, anyway, nor can we exist without opportunities, and if circumstances don’t provide those outlets, then our minds, or our collective mind, will have to provide it, because it’s not clear what mind really is, or how it differs from our singular specific brain functions, we only know it as an all-embracing continuum of consciousness, regardless of whether ultimately that continuum is composed of minute atomistic particles of consciousness, or not, because the only way to analyze it is with consciousness itself, so something of a feedback loop results, in which the thing as observer and observed cannot be distinguished for proper analysis. But the light is necessary, regardless, and from outside, because our minds may be able to create opportunity from the flimsiest excuses, but light is an essential physical requirement for life, and consciousness, even if only the tiniest spark from the most diminutive flicker. A prison cell with a window to the outside is not a prison cell at all, even in solitary confinement, because there is always that patch of blue or flicker of gold to send spirits soaring or feelings flying toward heights yet unimagined or distances yet to be traversed. So we exist in Plato’s cave subsisting on shadows, because they seem so real, when something even more real is right beyond our range of perception, waiting to be discovered–or not. There are no guarantees, and false hopes die hardest, so maybe it’s best to keep expectations realistic, given the high percentage of failures. We are all canaries in this bloody coal mine. Sorry about that, Greta…

     
  • hardie karges 5:41 pm on August 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , consciousness, , past, , ,   

    Self-Styled Bodhisattva Vow to Save the Species 

    I won’t bother to look for bliss.
    I’ll content myself in the mitigation of
    suffering and in the effort to help others.
    For that is a path forward, no matter
    how many twists and turns must be navigated,
    no matter how winding the cliched and storied path.
    This is a one-stop shop, for all we know,
    so it is wise and prescient of us to gather
    rosebuds while we may, lest they be unavailable
    tomorrow, for lack of stock in house, or merely
    the wrong season for searching.
    Sci-fi scientists look in the farthest most remote
    atmospheres for life and red herrings, myths
    to live by and fantasies to smoke, magic dragons to puff.
    But that is all for an imaginary tomorrow, cowering
    in fear of a fictionalized past that has sworn
    revenge on the far-fetched future.
    Such are the menu options for consciousness,
    three dimensions three tenses three personal
    pronouns and a pocket full of tissues.
    The choices are ours, to run and hide
    or to stand and fight, with possibly a third
    option still grooming on the side.
    Regardless of the ultimate method and final
    forage for fruit, though, just remember that we
    should all be civil, and polite, and seek our highest
    common denominators, not sink to our lowest…

     
  • hardie karges 7:50 pm on June 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , consciousness, , William of Ockham   

    Mindfulness and Consciousness, splitting hairs with Occam’s razor… 

    Consciousness itself is neither good nor bad. It depends on what you do with it. The word itself is neutral, and so is the activity, no matter that mindfulness has taken on an air of otherworldliness. It is synonymous with consciousness, or awareness. nothing more or less. That is ‘sati’, stripped of all its excess Buddha baggage and allowed to be free, like a child without a care in the world, just like the Buddha intended. Let the adults worry about the subtle nuances of higher hermeneutics and advanced metaphysics, zeitgeists and weltanschauungs, windowless monads and digital nomads. To just be is an accomplishment in itself. To do no harm is even better. Enlightenment is invisible if you look too hard. Everything is clearer if you use a softer focus. Concentration doesn’t have to be so hard. At some point the only thing I ask of life is that it be simple…

     
    • quantumpreceptor 12:11 am on June 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      It is sad but we somehow have to take the word mindfulness back away from those weekend courses and certificate slinging puffs who sell it for 99$ a month. Know what I mean?

      QP

    • hardie karges 5:53 am on June 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      yep

  • hardie karges 7:42 am on January 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , consciousness, , , , , , metaphysical, , , , , universe   

    Buddhism 202: Does Mind = Self = Soul ? 

    IMG_2747Yes, I’m talking about that theoretical ghost in each of our machines. So the first time a human being saw his reflection in still water must have been incredible, our hero unbelieving, disbelieving, unsure if what’s he’s seeing is really him, himself, and so now aware of self, for maybe the first time, previously only aware of everything other…

    Now whether our hero had language at this point is unknown, but whatever it was, it probably wasn’t much, bunch o’ nouns and maybe a few verbs, an adjective or two like special sauce, maybe even an adverb for a side garnish. But our hero must’ve looked like Groucho Marx, sans cigar, or maybe even Marcel Marceau, bluffing and feinting and miming himself in the mirror, trying to test whether it’s really real or not… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:34 am on December 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Boy Scouts, consciousness, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Boy Scouts: be prepared. Buddhists: not so fast… 

    img_1572

    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    This is one of the problems I have with Buddhism, the whole ‘no-thought’ paradigm, that always seems to find currency, notwithstanding the fact that the Buddha never said anything like that, not to my knowledge, anyway, and the term sati, which has taken on the meaning of ‘mindfulness’, probably had no such lofty connotations at the time, the problem now being one of vagueness, if not deliberate obfuscation, in order to inspire awe and reverence, apparently, as if it is untranslatable to the ordinary mortal…

    But it certainly is a common ordinary word in modern standard Thai, something like simple ‘consciousness’ or ‘mind’, so ‘mindfulness’ is a marketing hook to sell a fad to the West, that special sauce and some righteous hocus pocus, such that the makers of the film ‘Samadhi’ have to explain that the term is untranslatable to English, notwithstanding the fact that it is done all the time outside the rarefied circles of New Age fad religions… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 8:01 am on August 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , consciousness, , , , , paradigm   

    Buddhism 101: Going with the flow… 

    img_1935There are two kinds of people in this world. How many times have you heard that? That the world can be divided between optimist or pessimists. LA people or San Fran people. Cubs fan or a White Sox fan, chick-flicks or action movies, Beatles or the Stones (yawn), or maybe even white meat or dark (we’re talking about chicken, unless you’re new to Thailand and the locals are looking for you a GF)…

    But I’m thinking of something more substantial, that goes to the heart of personality, or lack thereof, that determines an individual’s entire approach to the world around him (or her) and underlies all human interaction, it seems to me. And that is whether an individual interacts with the environment, giving and taking, advancing and retreating, responding to changes proportionately, or whether the individual’s approach is to dominate the environment, and Nature, by acts of will and brute force, where necessary…

    I certainly have a distinct preference for the former alternative, and its kinship to Buddhism, while the latter alternative would seem to be more the typical American beat-em-up approach, ‘forcing Nature to reveal her secrets’ and harvesting the bounty therein with little thought to the future… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:49 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: consciousness, , , , Holy Grail, intelligent design, ,   

    Buddhism and Science: Pre-destination is the Holy Grail… 

    IMG_0599…of religion, science, and life, too, the mostly unrequited wish that “it’s all written,” whether in script or bar-code, to the point of retro-fitting the logic that may or may not have actually led up to some fait accompli, though that accomplished fact was never predicted even at the point of inception. This is the need for happy endings, and the one overriding narrative that drives all others, the one theory of everything…

    How many times has something unexpected happened and the first thing you think is, “Well, I guess that it was (or wasn’t) meant to be.” I know you’ve thought that. We all have. That’s a gut reaction. But sometimes I think I take it too far, to the point of filling in the details to justify that conclusion, when the fact is simply: much of life is random. There IS no predestination, and there IS no particular logic leading up to any particular event. Sh*t happens. Truer words have never been spoken… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:48 am on February 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , consciousness, litter, , ,   

    Buddhism 401: How Can we Live Peacefully Together… 

    img_2116

    Wat Langka in Phnom Penh

    …if we can’t live peacefully alone? Ha! You saw that coming, didn’t you? So did I, once it started gaining speed and shifting direction toward me, grinning like a devil in distress, dressed like an angel in red dress, armed with fleet feet and two gold teeth, androgynous anonymous autonomous and whispering soft incantations, interspersed with the most vile curses, carrying thunderbolts and poisoned letters in mysterious body parts only partially concealed, taking aim carefully counting as if measuring the distance, then…

     

    Wham! The thought struck me like a thunderbolt from the sky, knocking me down with its truth and simplicity, clear as a bell and as certain as death’s knell. Surely it’s been said before, but I don’t know where. I would feel guilty if I were to claim it as my own original idea, when it’s as simple and universal as it is startling and unequivocal. We are the cause of our own collective nightmares, and the solution to the problem is as simple to understand as it is difficult to execute, and almost certain to create self-searching… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:22 pm on October 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: consciousness, , ,   

    Religion 101: the Quest for Meaning 

    Hindu God

    Hindu God

    In the Beginning was the Question: WTF? And thus was born Consciousness, self-consciousness, both blessing and curse. Could the origins of consciousness be of anything besides the juxtaposition of Self and Other? I doubt it. From that is born the recognition of basic relationships, very similar to Boolean logic: more than, less than, equal to, etc. This is primal thought, thought without language. From that all the plethora and panoply of consciousness is possible.

    Now that we have language, it’s hard to imagine thinking without it, because we certainly do think in a language, just as does a computer. But computers existed, and had functions, before language, and so did we humanoids: not much, perhaps, but some, enough to populate several continents, apparently for no other reason than that they were there, and had food.

    From the basic relationships come causal relationships: if this, then that, every time, so one must be the cause of the other. Animals do this all the time, and without language, as we know it. Yet they exist—and have meaning, to us, at least. This cause-effect relationship I suspect is the origin of ‘reason’, in fact, and arises very early in the history of thought, in fact the same word in some languages. (More …)

     
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