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  • hardie karges 7:12 am on August 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Charlottesville, Chomsky, Donald Trump, , , Virginia   

    Buddhism, Religion and Politics: Many sides to blame, because… 

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    Kwan Yin Fest near Chiang Dao, Thailand

    …because we’re only human. Because we’re only animals. Because we’re only a rare form of biological life on a semi-cool semi-conducting planet of almost one hundred naturally occurring elements some 93Mmi/149Mkm from our star, the sun, พระอาทิตย์, sol, sole, soleil, sonne, zon, sunce, slunce, soare, słońce, ήλιος, сонце, солнце, aurinko, güneş, mặt trời, 태양, 太陽, شَمْسDid I forgetmata hari‘? Yes, the ‘eye of the day’; who could forget?

    People are scared. People are frustrated. People are devastated–blacks, Latinos, intellectuals, LGBT’s, old folks, and now Jews, too, everybody but arch-conservatives. People are losing sleep at night, wondering what the future holds for themselves, and wondering what it holds for their children. For most people are not so selfish, really, not truly, because their families come first. The problem is that the circle doesn’t always extend so far beyond that—unless there is a common threat—or unless you’ve got religion… (More …)

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

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

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    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 6:37 am on April 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Donald Trump, ,   

    Buddhism’s First Noble Truth: Everything is broken… 

    IMG_1559So now that I’ve self-identified as Buddhist for almost a year, I figure I know pretty well the heart and mind of the Buddha, and so should begin second-guessing him, in order to clarify a few points that remain confusing after 2560 years (cue snickers). Okay, so here goes: everybody knows the Four Noble Truths, right? 1) The prevalence of suffering; 2) the cause of suffering: craving; 3) the cure for suffering: don’t do that, and 4) the way to accomplish that: follow the Middle Path, avoidance of extremes…

    So let’s do the math, and I’ll go Buddha one-up: If the cause of suffering is craving, which is normal, then suffering is normal—at least in this world, in this lifetime. And indeed many potential students of Buddhism never get past the ‘First Noble Truth’: That this world is full of suffering, first and foremost. Now deal with it. And Buddhism does—deal with it. But a lot of people find it depressing, seeing suffering before all else, when many people consider themselves quite happy, thank you… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:09 pm on April 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Philosophy and so much more … your engaged approach is encouraging and creative … and I love the idea of ‘soft power’ … “in which the subject is unimportant, usually, but the actions to which we are subjected (get it?) are paramount … Yes, passive voice: that’s a good way to describe Buddhism, reflexive verbs and indirect objects, intransitive verbs and shy unassuming subjects… “

  • hardie karges 5:54 am on April 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Donald Trump, ,   

    Separation of Buddhism and Politics, Church and Hate… 

    img_1987No, I’m not a Trump apologist, though I know a few of his supporters, and they’re not bad people, not necessarily, though there are always a few baddies on both sides. I have yet to ‘un-friend’ anyone simply because they’re a Trump supporter, though that possibility rises in direct proportion to the extent that they choose to talk about it. When you’re from Mississippi you learn to choose your words carefully, if not STFU entirely, which is my greatest lesson so far from Buddhism: we all talk too much and say too little…

    I am one of the few Dems I know who doesn’t dump friends because they’re DJT supporters, as long as they know how to STFU. Repubs should learn that trick, too. And many of them aren’t arch-cons, anyway, but conspiracy people, just like many of Bernie’s burners. And then there are Dems who wanted Trump to win just so that he could fall farther harder, and I can almost see that, just like the reasons to support ISIL, someone to shut down economies for the purpose of reducing Global Warming… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:36 pm on April 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I like your emphasis on inclusiveness. The challenge is to go beyond differences to find similarities … or, at least, points to agree on. The discourse needs to deepen and become more creative … easier said than done. Your post is a well informed and argued start …

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

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

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    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 6:26 pm on November 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Donald Trump, , , ,   

    Religion and Politics, part 1: R.I.P. Amerika, Drowning in Democracy and Conspiracy… 

    img_0996When I got on the plane a week or so ago in Thailand, bound for Amerika, I had a feeling of impending doom that I couldn’t explain, so I begged my wife Tang not to go, assuming that it was about personal doom, and my instinct was to protect her. Now that I know what that feeling was really all about, at least I can rest easier for those I care about. What I can’t do is rest easier about the fate of the USA…

    America is now a Third World country, uneducated and proud. Welcome to Thailand and the tyranny of the majority, who just love a populist peddling pathos . We used to vote for our hopes, now we vote for our fears. We vote for the candidate who appeals to our lowest common denominators, not our highest. We build walls, not bridges. The ideas that inspire us now close doors, not open them. But the Big Winner here was not Donald Trump… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 9:30 am on March 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Donald Trump, ,   

    Takin’ It to the Trumpster: Fake Smiles and the Art of Duh-ceit… 

    “You can only smile when the losers of the world try so hard to put down successful people. Just remember, they all want to be YOU!”–Donald Trump

    Kudos to Rubio (“Little Marco”) for asking his supporters to vote for John Kasich in Ohio. I like it. I don’t like Trump. The only apologies I have for previously referring to him as a ‘disgusting pig’ are to the hardworking barnyard animals of this world. He represents everything that is wrong with America–the arrogance, the stupidity, and the mindless aggression. The fact that so many Americans seem to identify with that a$$hole would seem to indicate that we are a nation of a$$holes. I hope that’s not true… time will tell…

     
  • hardie karges 12:19 pm on March 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Donald Trump, , ,   

    Karma, Tr*mp and the 2016 Election… 

    Image result for mandarin duck picsMy wife says Donald Trump reminds her of Mandarin ducks, not just the hair, but the personality.  Myself, I was thinking more like Peking duck.  What do you think?  Ni hao. Ni hao ma?

    The Repubs brought this on themselves, of course, this ‘theatre of the absurd’ style of politics that now has brought celebrity mogul Donald Trump to the brink of the Republican nomination for President. This has its origins in the obstructionist tactics that even mainstream Republicans used to inflict their inherent racism upon the country for the last seven years, offended that a black man could be smarter than the lot of them, and without even trying, they holding on to the politics of the Wild Wild South, negroes ‘wanted dead or alive’, frustrating Obama at every move simply because he’s a black man…

    In a way, Trump’s the perfect payback for the a$$hole treatment that the Repubs have exhibited over the last seven years, during which not only was racism not overcome, but was in fact doubled down. The question now is whether the Democrats will take advantage of this opportunity, or whether they instead will take the bait and succumb to the same level of absurdity, throwing caution to the wind in favor of long-pent-up desires and agendas. With Trump at the helm, Dems should be able to waltz to the Prez, and maybe pick up a house of Congress to boot. But will they? (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 12:50 pm on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Donald Trump   

    Fall of America, Act III: Bread, Circuses, Conspiracies and Clowns… 

    So what’s all this (c)rap about ‘Establishment’ candidates, and the notion that D. P. Trump and Bernie Sanders are the desirable anti-Establishment alternatives?

    The Establishment generally denotes a dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation or organization. The Establishment may be a closed social group which selects its own members (as opposed to selection by merit or election) or specific entrenched elite structures, either in government or in specific institutions…

    …In fact, any relatively small class or group of people having control can be referred to as The Establishment; and conversely, in the jargon of sociology, anyone who does not belong to The Establishment may be labelled an “outsider”–Wikipedia

    Got that? No? Well, it’s quite simple, really. It’s all about THEM: (fill in the blank). THEY can be anyone you want, anyone you just love to hate, be it the so-called Establishment, the military-industrial complex (cue rat-a-tat), the secret government (cue ghostly sounds), the Illuminati (remember them?), or you-name-it… See where this is going? Yes: how do you spell C-O-N-S-P-I-R-A-C-Y (Note capital letters)? Now, no one disputes the thousands of little conspiracies that occur everyday, but ‘conspiracy theory’ is all about the Big One: the idea that they’re all connected… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:25 pm on February 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Democrats, Donald Trump, , ,   

    Big Losers in Iowa: Trump, Polls, and Demo-… 

     US Republican presidential candidate, real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump.…crazy, baby, like WOW, brother, like don’t f*ck with my ETERNAL NOW, sister, feeling the Bern and the rising tide, of the coming revolution and time on our side, blows against the empire and folks too proud to beg, quinoa muesli tofu granola and the gluten-free fertilized free-range yolk-free three-minute egg, man…

    So Trump takes his lumps like he planned it that way all the time, but the Big News is that he lost; not that Cruz is any better, for those of us of liberal bent, badly bent but not yet broke, thank you. Cruz is an ignorant moron, too, of course, but he can be beaten (thank you, evangelicals!). The Big Scare for those of us with working cerebellums was that Trump would run the primaries and it (the Republican primaries) would all be over before it really even started, and we Dems would be left to our own best guesses and the vicissitudes of Fate to determine whether we’d live or die, and how and why…

    But that won’t happen now, and by the time Trump’s lost two or three primaries, even if he’s won the same amount, he’ll likely give up, given the odds of losing, because if there’s one thing Trump’s not: it’s a loser; quitter maybe, but not loser. Narratives can always be adjusted and back-filled to mitigate any lack of initial logic, but defeat is hard to finesse and explain away. That, of course, depends on who the Democratic nominee is shaping up to be…

    So why do we Democrats have this death wish that refuses to quit? Why do we insist on being the losers that Repubs portray us as? Call us idealists, call us starry-eyed optimists, call us die-hard revolutionaries, call us conscientious objectors, but mostly… call us for a good time: 867-5309. Okay, so let’s call it idealism. That’s a good narrative. (More …)

     
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