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  • hardie karges 10:39 pm on June 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ego, , ,   

    Freud and the Buddha, ego and self… 

    Life is too short to waste time in pathetic displays of ego, though many of our so-called leaders offer litle guidance in that regard. And ego is one of the traditional pet peeves of Buddhism, though I doubt that the Buddha or anyone else in his time could really conceive of it the way we do in our post-Freudian world. Even if the discipline of psychology has largely been transformed from the science of the mind to the science of behavior, his tripartite division of ‘the mind’ into the three paradigms of id, ego and superego still linger in the consciousness of those of us who studied him, though such distinctions may now seem quaint, fanciful and downright misleading in our post-rational era of particles, genomes and information bits and bytes. But that classical era of psychology shines a light on the Buddhist role of psychology as analogy and metaphor, with many such ‘mental formations’ as self, soul, permanence and eternity serving as linguistic conveniences where no such observable entities may truly exist. But if it feels good, then we do it, and even the Buddha was sympathetic to such machinations and intellectual short-cuts if the results are beneficial to society and the individual in perpetual limbo and looking for a path forward where such is a trail with few markings. We spend half our lives being born and half our lives dying, gathering moments for memories all along the way, and looking for signposts to mark our progress…

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  • hardie karges 5:03 pm on May 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ego, ,   

    Happiness, Ego and Buddhism… 

    Happiness and sadness are not so different, really, just blips on a screen often better off blip-less. And this is one of the more difficult lessons of Buddhism, especially for a Westerner, who often define their lives by their passions, and their willingness to ‘go for it’ without ceasing, regardless of the odds of ever achieving the goal in question–or not. But these emotions are mere ‘mental formations’, coming and going, and morphing into their opposites, not to mention the multifarious increments that lie between in search of a sweet spot. But to me this seems more like an ego formation than a mental formation, a vestige of an eternal soul and pernicious self that constantly and consistently leap off the pages of linguistic convenience and into the safe-deposit vaults of human connivance, looking for godliness and settling for larger-than-life Big Manliness, with which to slay the dragons and dominatrices of human existence. This seldom ends well, of course. Life is too short to waste time with all the fussing and fighting involved in ego-promotion…

     
  • hardie karges 6:16 am on March 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dignity, ego, flattery   

    Dignity as the Price of Peace… 

    No one needs flattery. Everyone needs dignity. Because ego is the most modern of diseases, we all full of our selves and branded shamelessly for public consumption, personalities paid for their pin-ups and post-ups in likes, follows and shares, presumably to make up in brownie points (does anyone still say that?) what we lack in proper remuneration for our hard-earned bread and soup. But dignity comes with proper recognition if not proper remuneration, a dollar’s work for a dollar’s pay, and credits attributed accordingly, so that we can all feel good about what it is that we do and what it is that we struggle for. And that is not always easy. But it is never worth venting spleen at the robber barons and Internet trolls, with hatred and anger and vengeance running over. It is more important to correct the problem than to seek revenge, getting even just that and no more, because if we stoop to their level of hatred and anger, then they win, and we will never attain the peace of mind and dignity of place that we deserve…

     
  • hardie karges 7:06 am on March 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ego, humiliation, humility, , ,   

    Humility and the Illusions of Self… 

    Everyone should show humility. No one should be humiliated. And that is more than just linguistic word-play, given that the two words in play have a common root. But the common root is not at issue. At issue is the role of the actor versus that of an external third party, particularly with respect to issues of control and freedom, both political and social. It is a fundamental tenet of Buddhism that ego should be reduced or diminished, to the point of total elimination, since it has no fundamental role in personality, just the illusion of grandeur, to which there is no basis–ever. Moreover, humility is an act of contrition, self-contrition, a submission of oneself to the greater good of society. Humiliation is an act of violence, designed to inflict damage on another, and that is not polite, to say the least. Politeness is a dying art…

     
  • hardie karges 6:42 am on September 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ego, , , , ,   

    Why is Buddhism so pessimistic? Because… 

    IMG_2290I don’t know: so maybe you’ll forego your pride, like a good Christian? I notice that the prouder one is, the more ‘optimistic’ that person also is, most likely assured that whatever good fortune has come to him as a result of superior skill and talent will surely repeat itself infinitely and indefinitely, since the world is a vast abundant field of untold and uncalculated riches, the sky is truly the limit, and YOU are the master of this world, right front and center—uh huh, yeah right…

    Doesn’t that make you feel good? I mean: doesn’t that just make you want to jump out of bed, slam down some breakfast, slide into your suit, cruise downtown, zoom up to the 52nd floor, then order your secretary around, just a little bit, not enough to cause her any lasting damage, much less any drop in office efficiency, just enough to let her know who’s boss, let her know who pays the bills, let her know who wears the pants, or not… (More …)

     
    • The godlike Robert 5:43 pm on September 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I think Buddhism promotes an alternative understanding of reality. The West sees man as separate and distinct from his environment. In fact the creation story depicts the event occurring instantaneously and conjured by God. And as a spontaneous invention man has no history of relationship to anything outside his skin; not the plants, animals or the earth.
      In this story man is an ego created by a supreme ego and both are aliens to this world. Buddhism demonstrates that the ego is an illusion. What is inside the skin is no different than what’s outside the skin because neither are in your control; do you beat your own heart or can you shine the sun? The conclusion to Buddhism is that the universe is a non linear organic totality and you are only a subset of it, and not even capable any independence from it and more than that you emerged from it and belong in it! There is no other place where you could be…you see?

      • hardie karges 9:35 pm on September 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I certainly think that Buddhism offers an alternative to the Western paradigm, but that can–and does–go several different directions, operating on a level that can be used as religion, philosophy, psychology or simply technique, depending on the needs of the participant. I think Buddhism is best as an ongoing dialectic, without conclusions, something like a psycho-philosophical method, analogous to scientific method and the dialog between Theravada and Mahayana, hopefully achieving a higher synthesis. The hard part is moving past old narratives that no longer apply. Thanks for your comments!

        • The godlike Robert 12:43 am on September 24, 2018 Permalink

          As science, Taoism and Confuscanism are ongoing dialectics with no conclusions and are not religions!

  • hardie karges 6:30 am on September 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ego, , , , , , , , , , tanha   

    Buddhism is not about getting your groove on; it’s all about… 

    img_0545Control, unwavering control, of yourself, or even better: non-self, if you can manage it, easy enough but for the vicissitudes of will, that one part of the (s)kandhas that escapes easy categorization and refuses to fall blindly into place as but one of the ‘heaps’ that comprise our personalities and personas and persons that we oftentimes think of as ‘self’, or ‘selves’ if you’re bi-polar, or even ‘soul’ if you have long-term plans, or God forbid ‘ego’ if you can think of little else…

    But ‘will’ or ‘volition’ is right there listed alongside the rest of the heap of verbs-turned-nouns that define us in an act of unholy reification, feeling and form and perception and consciousness, only one a true noun, and that an abstract one, all the rest verbs with regular jobs, turned noun, so more than fleeting fancies, all except will, which needs no linguistic crutch-like suffix ‘-ness’ or ‘-tion’ to lean on, or even the gerundive ‘-ing’ to skate by on all fours… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 10:30 am on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Encouraging piece for one who, like myself, is very language-oriented. Nothing wrong with being wedded to words, of course, as long as one can cut oneself adrift to float upon an ocean of unknowing. Cripes, did I just say that out loud?

      • hardie karges 8:11 pm on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Haha, yes, I’m conflicted over the role of language, On the one hand, I love it, and on the other hand, narratives get stuck and clog our minds, pop music the most obvious example, though no problem with jazz. I think the cure is to think more visually more often and reserve language for more creative efforts, so less boring tedious language, just the good stuff…

        • Dave Kingsbury 1:34 am on September 20, 2018 Permalink

          I think the notion of getting stuck is a fruitful one – bit like a vinyl record stylus that just needs a nudge once in a while. Banal pop lyrics, advertising and political slogans – all examples of when words go bad. Music and art a possible cure – and waiting for the right words to come. 🙂

  • hardie karges 3:32 pm on July 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Agonistes, , ego, fashion, , Ginza, Giza, John Milton, , , Samson, superman   

    Eyeless in Ginza, Superman Agonistes… 

    IMG_0258Would that this were but the latest manifestation of many cycles of rebirth, each if only slightly better than the last, so that I could know that things were improving, if only gradually, if only incrementally, but in the right direction, something to indicate the ascent of man, not the descent, and maybe more in the manner of smiling Teilhard than grumpy Darwin, for then I could take solace in that fact and be happy…

    But I can see nothing of the sort, I limited to these eyes, and this life, in this world, the only one I know, though there may be others out there somewhere, but I know them not. I only know that this is not the pure land of prophecy, we sentenced here to gravity, and suffering, because the pure land of prophecy is surely one of the purest white light, these spectral colors of the most seductive hues begging me to come down to their world of solidity, to get down and dirty with sounds, phenomena, percussion and repercussions… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 3:32 pm on July 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      This seeks to burst the limitations with a very effective experimental edge, Hardie. At the same time, down to earth …

    • hardie karges 4:52 am on July 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanx for the vote of confidence, Dave. Experiment is risky but necessary, for me at least, to clear out the cobwebs that clog consciousness. Sometimes I feel I’ve sacrificed my life to it, though, not sure if it’s for better or worse, haha…

  • hardie karges 7:47 am on March 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , divine, ego, , ,   

    Buddhism Redefined: In Defense of the Divine… 

    img_1572

    The Golden Spires of Shwedagon Pagoda

    It is almost an article of (non?) faith that sooner or later religion will lose its impetus and die, covered and buried by the very dust that it has gathered over the last few centuries, as if the only thing we need is one more app in the smart-phone to give us ultimate and infinite happiness, or one more notch on the bed-post to give meaning to a life in a world which may not otherwise have any…

    …as if the only reason for the existence of any religion was to tell us one more lie to justify the status quo of power incarnate in the body of the ruler, and secondarily to give us the trappings of knowledge, as best as could be surmised, at least a little bit, from the wise men of the ruling house, reading the stars and telling tall tales… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:22 am on December 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ego, ,   

    Buddhism in the End Times: Perfecting the Path of Imperfection… 

    IMG_2290Buddhism is the path of (ego) imperfection, the path of (ego) weakness, strength in numbers, especially zero, simultaneous voidness and infinity, emptiness implying that something is lacking, hopefully, that we are not hard cold single solitary free-standing proper nouns, but warm flexible adjectives, forever ready to be pressed into service to support the demands of solidity, wherever needed and as called for…

    Deepak and Eckhart and Pat and Jerry and all the other latter-day wannabe prophets and modern-day motivational messengers all have one thing in common: they’re fudging: the truth, that is. They all tell you that you can do whatever you want, as long as you never stop dreaming, as long as you never give up your passions, as long as you sacrifice all in the quest of fulfilling your vision, and that your potential is unlimited. Yeah, right… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:52 am on November 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , branding, , ego, , , , , , ,   

    The 49 Flavors of American Buddhism… 

    img_1936In the old days of Nikaya Buddhism, in India, before the Common Era, there were at least seventeen schools of Buddhism, chiefly Sthviravada-derived (including Theravada, Sammatiya, Sautrantika, Savarvastivada, Mulasarvastivada, etc.), and Mahasanghika-derived (Yogacara, Madhyamika, etc.), before finally settling into the three broad Theravada, Mahayana, and Tibetan-Esoteric-Vajrayana-Mantrayana ‘schools’ that we know today. Get the picture? Buddhists are not known for doctrinal agreement…

    Neither is Amerika known for its agreements, especially where Buddhist knowledge and tradition is almost totally lacking, so open to much doctrinal obfuscation and outright perjury, since the Buddha is currently hipper than sh*t, and abuse is rife. So cannabis conventions, openly proffering THC and other cannabinoids as ‘medical marijuana’ can call themselves ‘Buddhafest’ with no repercussions and likely increases in ticket sales as if such is recommended by the Big Guy himself—it isn’t, and strictly prohibited, in fact… (More …)

     
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