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  • hardie karges 6:54 am on October 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Chogyam Trungpa, Dalai Lama, defilements, DNA, , , , kilesha, , , , , , ,   

    Buddhism 301: Do I save myself, or do I save the world? Decisions decisions… 

    img_1893I’m paraphrasing, of course, but this is the question that has plagued—no, let’s say intrigued’—the sangha (Buddhist community) for two and a half millennia, more or less, if not in so many words, then in so many actions, cutting to the chase, and allowing for interpolations and extrapolations, i.e. whether to think big, farming ideas and allowing for fierce and free debate, or to think small, on the achievement of individual ‘liberation’ and the purging of ‘defilements’ from the composite makeshift personalities that we call ‘I’…

    And if that’s an oversimplification, then it’s for a worthy cause, ’cause sharper focus is what’s needed for Buddhism to escape the same fate in the West that it met in India a millennium ago, going down in defeat largely because of its inability to distinguish itself from a resurgent ultra-nationalistic Hinduism and an insurgent Islam, such that Buddhism simply got lost in the shuffle of competing meditative traditions and could no longer count on its fall-back position as the non-Hindu alternative… (More …)

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

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

    IMG_2290

    …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 5:49 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DNA, , , Holy Grail, intelligent design, predestination,   

    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 3:47 am on August 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Celtic, Denisova, DNA, gemome, genetics, , Kadai, , Slavic, , Y chromosome   

    World Populations and Human Genomes: Haplogroups and Happenstance… 

    Now that world genome research has been underway for a solid decade or so, it’s re-writing history with every passing day. So it is now possible to come to some tentative conclusions, even if the details are a long way from final, and the devil is certainly in the details. The most obvious tentative conclusion is that a country’s identity—best expressed in language—does not always correspond to the DNA genetic profile of the place, for example:

    Thailand is not predominantly of the ‘Tai-Kadai’ genome, though another closely related O haplogroup, probably best described as ‘Khmer’, but Turkey has few or none of any of the North Asian ‘Turkic’ genes, in fact more ‘Arab/Semitic’ J haplogroup than any other. Likewise is Germany almost bereft of the I ‘Nordic’ genome, more of which is to be found in Scandinavia… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 10:31 am on July 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alpha male, , , DNA, , , , , , Type-A behavior   

    Buddhism, Meditation, Alpha Males and the Myth of Leadership… 

    img_1893When people ask me about meditation practice and/or Buddhism, I make it clear that meditation is one thing, and Buddhism is another, though I certainly appreciate both, even if knee problems likely mean that I’ll never achieve the classic lotus pose, and maybe not even the half of it…

    …so sitting meditation becomes chair meditation, which is just as good or better, just not as cool to look at, though maybe better for sati, ‘mindfulness’, if the cross-legged pose is uncomfortable, thus freeing the mind for focus, on nothing, emptiness, the vast undefined, even if in a sitting position less defined than the classic figure-8 flower… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:45 pm on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think the link with the wider world is as significant as the opportunity for personal development. This makes that point firmly, Hardie.

  • hardie karges 10:12 am on August 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: DNA, ,   

    Meditation, Visual Thought and DNA: our crown of thorns… 

     

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    DNA as word as DNA as word

    Was everything fine until the invention of language spoiled the soup, adding a layer of symbols between us and reality, where symbols were not necessarily needed? Without getting lost in the issue of whether language is instinct or invention, let’s assume so, for the sake of argument, that people began thinking in language when that had not previously been the case…

    So people naturally fell in love with them, the little sounds and symbols, when they weren’t necessarily intended for everyone in the first place, maybe just priests and scholars and their trusted accomplices. Did written language in fact precede the verbal as people felt the need to verbalize what they were describing in pictures? That’s another question for another time…

    But it’s tempting to conclude that maybe phonetic language is at the heart of the problem of ‘too much thought’ clouding up our minds, too much ‘white noise’ cluttering up our collective existences, too many junk-food repetitive thought-loops colluding to drown us in mindless mental activity, BUT…… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 2:15 pm on September 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: DNA, entropy, ,   

    Language Genome Project, to Order and Disorder… 

    DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA

    DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA as word as DNA

    Isn’t it lovely and wonderful how language works: spinning out new words that reflect our life and times, just like ringing a bell, just like speed-dialing GMO’s? A prominent scientist once remarked that language evolution works ‘just like DNA, for no special reason; it just does.’ That includes the creation of high-tech-related words like ‘google, crowdfund, declutter, photobomb, sext, retweet,’ etc., all newly minted in the OED, and still many others, not so high-tech, and maybe not yet ready for prime-time, like ‘twerk, bitch-slap, slut-shame, shit-show, and one I just read up on about the lovely Miss Minaj: ‘tone-police’.

    What does this say about us as a people? I’m not sure that I want to know. Then there are many new words which merely reflect the evolving structure of language itself, in which grammatical inflections are deemphasized from their original purposes, and nouns are recast as verbs, adjectives, etc. and vice-versa, hence: decisioning, decidualize, Christianist, etc. Isn’t it great? They say SAT scores are at their lowest point in a decade; I wonder why. Riffing on that scientist’s previous point of language imitating life, maybe it’s time to discuss the law of entropy as it pertains to language…

     
  • hardie karges 8:48 am on March 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , DNA,   

    Religion 101: DNA as a Crown of Thorns—God Genes, Gay Genes, Devils in Blue Jeans 

    crown of thorns

    crown of thorns

    There has long been scuttlebutt about some so-called ‘God Gene’… but none has ever been found. And there has long been scuttlebutt about some so-called ‘Gay Gene’… but none has ever been found. Now there is even talk of a ‘travel gene’ predisposing us travelers to lengthy peregrinations and various unnamed (unmentionable?) and unrequited desires. So what? Why does it matter? Why bother even asking the question? Thus the debate rages, long after Calvin, long after Hobbes (no, not the cartoon characters; where do you think they came from BTW?).

    Free will vs. determinism is one of the major debates of the post-classical pre-modern Christian religio-philosophic phase, long after St. Augustine incorporated Plato into the mix, and St. Thomas added Aristotle. This is closely contemporaneous with the Western philosophical tradition’s division into two opposing camps: the British Empiricists and the Continental Rationalists. For those of you unschooled in that history, that was a preference for either experience or rationality as the basis of knowledge.

    And it was no passive intellectual preference, the roots of it likely going back to Gothic pragmatic feudalism in the decentralized European countryside after the downfall of Roman hierarchical imperial cities, and continuing in the sprawling US/UK suburban piecemeal planning vs. centralized European cities to this day. (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:46 pm on February 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: calculus, DNA, Go game, kidney stones, , math   

    Renal Calculus and Differential Equations: DNAANDDNA of Language 

    I don’t know why kidney stones make me think of math any more than I know why the word ‘calculus’ is named for pebbles, BUT: I think the two are connected.  I think all language is connected if you go back far enough, only question is whether it was assembled from the ground up or whether it came down from priests and scholars up above (on the pyramid).  I’m going to suggest that basic naming words may have been created and shared amongst the peasant populace first, but the priests and scholars likely did all the rest.

    Still, this is no mean feat.  I mean, it’s not like we make up new words every day.  We don’t.  We adapt what’s already there.  Just look what ultimately derived from that proto-word for ‘pebble’ as probably first enunciated somewhere on the Anatolian peninsula or nearby Eurasian steppes, something that probably sounded a lot like ‘cal’ (Spanish for ‘limestone’ btw) or maybe ‘kalk’: calcium, calculate, chalk, calculus, caulk, calendar (maybe) and… the list goes on.

    If my theory is correct, I wonder how many naming words existed before the priests and scholars got wise (pun) to it? It is known that ‘core vocabulary’ consisted of body parts (makes sense, just throw in some onomatopoeia) AND (drum roll here)… small numbers. Thus the act of counting (or calculating, if you will), using pebbles, no doubt, is intrinsic to language.  Cool.

    So sentences are equations, so to speak.  That means grammar. Yuk.  There is no shortcut.  There is no way to ‘Learn Any Language in Three Weeks’.  That’s BS.  That’s marketing.  Throw that book away.  Throw that program away.  Save your money.  They’re laughing at you on the way to the bank.  If you want to crack the code, then crack the book.  There are different study methods, sure, and handy ways to ‘hack’ any language.  Try them all, then crack the book.  There are no freebies in life, except life itself… now let’s play ‘Go’.  Chinese chess.  Weiqi.  Japanese, maybe?

     
  • hardie karges 10:45 pm on March 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , DNA   

    Unseen forces rule the world. 

    They’re called bacteria and they’re out to get you. They’re easy; they just want to eat, sleep, and reproduce. Sounds like ‘the hood’. Viruses are the tricky guys, DNA in a condom, ready for action. Where did DNA come from? Are humans reproduced with the help of viruses? Are humans reproduced for the benefit of viruses? Is it a fundamental dimension like space or time, light or gravity? We get a false sense of security in the developed world that all is clean and pristine, sterile and anesthetic. On the contrary, the world is nothing if not esthetic. Esse est percipi. All we know are our perceptions, not the things themselves. This does not mean that there are no things themselves, which can lead to some misunderstandings about the nature of human existence, hence conspiracy, holographic paradigms, and general discontent with affluence. Would there be a world of light, color, and sound without someone or something there to perceive it? The world defines itself in its own image and likeness. What else lies there waiting to be perceived for lack of a charged coupling device capable of processing the info? The stringier the theory, the more dimensions that are required for it to make sense.

     
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