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  • hardie karges 4:11 am on November 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Brahmanization, , , Donald Trump, holy war, , , ,   

    Buddhist Holy War, Part II: Tune in, turn on, drop out… 

    img_1893(continued from previous)

    The Buddhist situation 2500 years ago may indeed have been not so different from our own, with a rapidly expanding population soon to go into a stall, and the Brahmanization of India underway, i.e. the caste system, threatening to lock people into a form of submission to which they’d never previously been subjected. And it’s no accident that so many religions sprouted within a half millennium or so of the beginning of the common era, with any self-respecting guru prophesying the End of Days…

    All of a sudden renunciation doesn’t look like such a bad option. And so it is today, because what can they do if you simply refuse to cooperate, simply renounce all ties to the current oligarchs, slave-owners and warmongers? They can’t force you to work. They can beat you; they can even kill you. But they can’t force you to work. They can threaten your loved ones, though… (More …)

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  • hardie karges 5:26 pm on November 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bolsonaro, Congress, , Donald Trump, Duterte, , fascist, , , Muslim, Pattani, , , , , , , Siam, , , Xi Jinping   

    Buddhist Holy War? Consider the possibilities… 

    img_1695 No, I’m not talking about fighting the mean nasty ugly Muslims that fundamentalist Buddhists are supposed to hate because they supposedly ‘destroyed Buddhism in India’ with their medieval invasion, from which Buddhism never quite recovered. But I notice that ‘Hinduism’ recovered, though, hint hint, exposing this as false narrative. It seems that India is not big enough for both, especially when Hinduism is quite happy to include Buddhism under its larger umbrella, making and marketing itself as something of a national religion, if and when it is one, at all…

    And no, I’m not talking about the situation in southern Thailand, in which ethnic Malay nationalists in three southern provinces, who just so happen to be Muslim, have fought for years to win back the independence that was taken from them in 1785 with Siam’s annexation of Pattani. Ironically this was only made official in Siam’s treaty with the UK in 1909, in which as much or more territory was simply transferred to UK ownership for the promise that they would recognize Siam’s sovereignty over the rest (and no more, demands, pretty please!)… (More …)

     
    • RemedialEthics 2:16 am on November 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      As always, your posts appear when I am desperate for evidence that there is a larger world of perspective beyond the narrow, paranoid, and increasingly violent belief system that has a firm grip on America. I stumbled into your blog while Googling the mileage from my home in the AZ desert to the nearest border town of Sasabe. I don’t remember if I ever found the answer to my mileage query, I just decided it’s about 30 miles (maybe) and that is fine because I also don’t recall why I needed to know in the first place. That is exactly what makes the internet great. It is not about being able to find the answers you need in 0.03 seconds, it is about finding the answers you didn’t know you needed. Thank you for caring about the well-being of your countrymen even though you are not in country. I realize how easy it would be to immerse yourself in the arguably more enlightened culture where you are and look away from the ugly reality that has swallowed up your homeland, but your blogs offer a clean, refreshing perspective shift that is just enough to keep the nihilism at bay for a little bit longer. Think of it as charity to those of us who are stuck here and starving for insight from outside the battle zone. Please don’t wash your hands of us just yet.

      • hardie karges 2:27 am on November 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Wow! Thanks! That just might be the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me (and I know where Sasabe is, too, nice drive, even crossed the border there once), thanks again…

    • Dave Kingsbury 5:22 pm on November 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, agree with RemedialEthics, your wider world perspective shines a bright light on parochial problems. We have a few of our own this side of the Pond but I came up with this the day after your Midterms and thought it might add a few more light protons … https://davekingsbury.wordpress.com/2018/11/07/halfway-there-a-story-in-100-words/

  • hardie karges 6:47 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Democrat, Donald Trump, election, millennial, November 6, , , , vote   

    Open Letter to the American Voter 

    IMG_1068Dear American Voter: On Novermber 6, 2018, you will be making what just may be the most important vote of your life. For some of you, it may be the first vote of your life, and for that I say ‘Congratulations!’ But for others of you, in fact, it may just be the last vote of your life, given the penchant of one of our national political parties for erecting ever-increasing obstacles in your path to the voting booth…

    This is contrary to the spirit of democracy, of course, and contrary to the trend of increased voting access that defined our country for approximately fifty years, starting in the civil rights era, which brought so many new people into the national life of our country. “But voting is so old-fashioned!” you say. True…

    By all rights we should each be able to vote on-line with a government-supplied identification code, with no other obstacle than the need to have a digital device, or the means to get to one. But it doesn’t work that way, unfortunately, as one still has to show up in person, often wait in line, and then hopefully have a choice worth making. I even had to show proof of my address last time in Tucson, Arizona, only after making elaborate travel plans for the privilege… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:53 am on October 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Donald Trump, , , , , , , ,   

    Buddhism and Trump, Religion and Politics… 

    img_2116It’s easy to bemoan my fate as having no choice but to be a citizen of the same country that Donald F. Trump presides over, even if not currently resident, but bemoan even more the fact that he seems to have hijacked my mental process, so that it seems that I am almost totally incapable of thinking about anything else, except how to get this over-stuffed individual out of my life and out of my mind and hopefully even out of my country so that one day I might go back there if circumstances so warrant it…

    I mean: wouldn’t I really rather be spending my time, and precious brain cells, discussing subtle points of dharma, rather than gross points of politics? Of course, though, the argument could be made that I wouldn’t even be a Buddhist if the presence of Donald Trump in his original rise in the political polls hadn’t inspired me to it, for whatever reason, as the two events were nearly simultaneous. For, like the reductios ad absurdum that Mahayana Buddhists once used to disprove the intrinsic existence of ‘stuff’, so I can define myself in opposition to a known quantity… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 4:11 pm on October 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      … we are the God species, like it or not, holding the keys to survival in the palm of one hand, while the other hand plays with its iPhone… great line, Hardie, in a piece that goes head on and wins through to something very helpful and worthwhile!

    • hardie karges 5:20 am on October 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Dave. I swear I did not know previously of the book of the same title AND on a similar subject. I do now, haha…

  • hardie karges 6:36 am on September 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Donald Trump, , , , syllogism, ,   

    Buddhist Dilemma: Is Inner Peace Possible in the Era of Donald Trump? 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    Americans are frightened. People are scared. They read about things like this in books, but never dreamed that they would have to live through it: the American Civil War, the French Revolution, the Boxer Rebellion, The War of Spanish succession, Genghis Khan, the Persian Wars, Adolf Hitler, the Aryan invasion, Rape of Nanking, 100 years War, Josef Stalin, the American Genocide, the Mexican War, Chaco War, World War I, Opium Wars, Crimean War, Vietnam, wars of the world and genocides in general…

    But the American civil war was not really a civil war, as many historians have pointed out, but rather a War between the states, with many unwilling participants on each side of arbitrary lines. What is happening now is the true civil war, an internal conflict not only within societies, but within people’s own minds, as to what is right and what is fair, what is appropriate, and whether there will be violence, whether there will be casualties, and whether there will even be any affordable healthcare to mitigate the circumstances… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 9:41 am on September 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      A timely and thought-provoking piece. Our small world is impossible to escape, nor should we try. The middle path becomes a touchstone. Thanks for posting, Hardie.

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

    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 …)

     
    • 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 7:15 am on October 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Daesh, Donald Trump, , , , , Nietzsche, Sharia   

    Dr. Strange Dharma: How I learned to Love Donald Trump, and ISIL… 

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    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    I’ve been through this all before, you see, like back in May, 2014, when I was returning from Asia via Europe, i.e. Istanbul, specifically so that I could do a side trip to the Iraq border, and make a little incursion into the northern quarter, maybe even go as far as Mosul, if things looked good, and my resources and patience were holding up, something I’d heard you could do, without ever really leaving Turkey, officially, that is, as long as you come back to the same border, and re-enter Turkey, just like nothing ever happened…

    But it seems somebody else had the same idea, a then-little-known organization variously called ISIL, ISIS, IS or Daesh (not Riprock). It seems they were causing a spot of bother there, huffing and puffing and blowing houses down, all in the name of Islam, putting the fun back in fundamentalism, telling people what they want to hear, and then doing what they had always intended to do—invoke Sharia law and rule as an Islamic caliphate… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 3:49 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Do you think that your car is running well if it accelerates effortlessly while driving you off a cliff? Haha – a pertinent question given our current weird, er, trajectory. You make a convincing case for the value of suffering, however. Let’s hope that cliff launch turns into a learning curve …

    • hardie karges 4:52 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’ll drink to that…

  • 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, , , , , 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… “

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