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  • hardie karges 6:04 am on October 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fallacy, language, , , , , , soteriology   

    Buddhism and Language: the curse of narratives… 

    IMG_0599Though not often heralded as such, language is arguably the world’s greatest invention, and I think that, like most inventions, it might have a limited lifespan of prime utility, and it’s a very arguable point that the world just might be better off without it. I don’t arrive at this conclusion lightly, given that fact that I love language with all my heart and all my soul, but if it’s outlived its usefulness, then it just might need to be put out to pasture (and there just might be something better)…

    Of course, whether people would be willing to do this is debatable, but still, it’s probably worth having the discussion, just to make the point, if nothing else. And the point is that many of the world’s problems are verbal. A policeman gives an order, and you are supposed to obey, immediately and without question. Otherwise they’ll shoot you, in America, at least, no matter that you’re deaf or not an English speaker. That’s not their fault. And, of course it’s not the language’s fault, either, for the bad intentions of its major malefactors. But still one of its main functions is aggression, to be sure, e.g. ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’… (More …)

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  • hardie karges 6:30 am on September 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: craving, , , , language, , , , , , , , 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 10:35 am on May 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , devotion, , , , , juju, language, , woo-woo,   

    Got religion? Juju or woo-woo: take your pick… 

    IMG_0829Beyond all the fibs and fantasies, behind all the lies we tell ourselves, is the l-DNA we create for ourselves in language, a trail to our past and an arrow to our future, and pretty much the only thing we had before y-DNA and mt-DNA, revealed now to be something like a parallel universe to those more precise measurements, yet far more analogous to the largely hypothetical cultural tracks and traces, like c-DNA, full of long lonely nights and broken promises, frightened misgivings and belated thanksgivings…

    But the first thing we did in every case, and probably even before language, was to speculate on the nature of things, and try to create some meaning for it all, maybe even best articulated in fear, that which we fear being that which we worship, synonymous anonymous, or even better in groups to amplify the effect exponential… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:11 am on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , language, lila, ,   

    Buddhist Communion in the Land of Big People… 

    IMG_1588The loneliness of travel should be crushing sometimes, but it’s not, not really, and I seem to attract it, by design, as if to do otherwise would mean I’m lazy, and corrupt, too weary in my old age to do the right thing, stay true to my principles, those principles of non-possession, non-attachment and non-consumption…

    Because even though there are no shortage of roadside attractions out there, pubs and clubs and the bestos of restos, that’s not where you’re likely to find me, out hooting and hollering until the sun comes up, as if that were the natural order of the universe, and not its opposite… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:08 am on December 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , dipa, double entendre, , Indo-European, , language, , nikaya, , , ,   

    Buddhism 6399, Pali 201: Double Entendres, Double Intentions? Or not… 

    img_2116Evam vadi: “Therefore, O Ananda, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Rely on yourselves, and do not rely on external help. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Seek salvation alone in the truth. Look not for assistance to any one besides yourselves.”

    So said the Buddha on his death bed, in his final instructions to the sangha, the Buddhist community, his followers. There’s only one problem, or question, or issue, if you prefer: the Pali word dipa can mean ‘lamp’ or (drum roll here, please)–‘island’. In fact ‘island’ is probably the more frequent translation, given the prominence in Buddhism of that most famous of dipas—Sri Lanka…

    (It does NOT mean ‘light’, not really, as often translated in the statement above, ‘light’ in the sense of that abstract quasi-dimensional entity which has a speed of 186,000mi/300,000km per second and serves as the upper limit of our human-ness, and therefore somewhat defining our status as physical, i.e. not totally spiritual, beings, in a material world, however sentient and well-intentioned)… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 7:30 am on September 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , language, , present, Reimann, tenses   

    Barefoot Buddhism, Chasing the NOW… 

    IMG_0738‘NOW’ is a buzzword equal to or greater than any other these days in New Age thought, ersatz Buddhist philosophy or joint-less meditations on the human condition, foregoing the deep ruminations on inner conditions and outer connections in favor of a lighter and more superficial treatment of the matters at hand: love, peace and happiness. And I like it, BUT…

    What is it exactly? ‘Nowness’ is usually described as ‘this present moment’, but that only begs the question of whether there is such a thing or not, and if so, then WTF are we really talking about, i.e. what is it? Now we know that it is a convenient shorthand in grammatical tenses, but that means little or nothing, since in many languages the present serves mostly as a generalized non-tense, more than any one specific moment… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 1:35 pm on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Sent me straight back to TS Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’ … here’s part of the opening, which suggests more than it solves. Yours, for me, covers more ground.

      Time present and time past
      Are both perhaps present in time future
      And time future contained in time past …
      … What might have been and what has been
      Point to one end, which is always present.
      Footfalls echo in the memory
      Down the passage which we did not take
      Towards the door we never opened
      Into the rose-garden.

    • hardie karges 4:38 pm on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, cool, thx, never read that…

  • hardie karges 5:50 am on September 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , language,   

    Rainy Day Religion #24 and #42: Windowless Monads and Digitless Nomads… 

    IMG_0738So this is what it’s like, I guess, to die so alone so far from home with no crib for a bed no greatest hits from the Grateful Dead, just four walls and two sheets and an extra pillow might work I guess in a pinch in a delirious state of mind where a thing anything soft and curvy might satisfy the existential need to put hard things in soft places, beats the current rage of scurvy and influenza, dengue and consumption ravaging my body with its heartless tentacles eating my soul and leaving me alone dying trying…

    so this is how it all ends, does it (?), under the weather under the gun under anything but the godforsaken sun, out there somewhere the brilliant fiery orb symbol of our existence and our insistence at certainty in the face of things that could only be described by the word God if indeed it is a real word, not just some feel-good mechanism manufactured by the conspiracy know-it-alls and designed for immediate consumption… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 12:48 pm on September 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      A really alternative perspective … makes me wonder how things are with you. Hope this is an imaginative excursion into the miracle of life …

      • hardie karges 7:31 am on September 27, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        That’s exactly what is is/was; sorry for slow response, been off at Buddhist boot camp…

  • hardie karges 5:43 am on September 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , language, ,   

    Religion’s Final Quarter, Tie Score: Monotheism 1, Zero-theism 0… 

    IMG_1183

    Statue of Buddha in Kandy, Sri Lanka

    Christians and Muslims will always be at each other’s throats, because they’re both playing offense, which I find rather offensive. We Buddhists prefer to play defense. Don’t you wish the DOD did? It used to be called the Department of War, you know. Nothing’s changed. The best defense is a good offense in American football, but life is no silly game…

    In real life the best offense is a good defense, all kung fu’s and eastern martial arts based on the idea of letting the enemy’s own aggression destroy him–just facilitate the matter. China was for a long time, and is arguably still today, a Buddhist country. It certainly isn’t Communist, far from what Marx or Mao envisioned, with its state-sponsored capitalism, and keeping up with the Joneses… (More …)

     
    • quantumpreceptor 1:46 pm on September 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Great read, thank you. I like how the Tibetans describe emptiness with the word DETONG, it has two parts, the first is empty of. And it might seem that I did not finish my sentence but I did 🙂 The second part is Joy. One might say that emptiness is the union of that which is empty of and joy. It is so simple but really a loaded statment. I might explain it this way that when one realises the empty nature of things composite that joy is the natural result.

      I have always been so disapointed of all the catholic missionaries that went to India and falsly translated the vedas and other scripts with the intention to paint Buddhism and Hinduism as a buch of nhilists wanting to disapear in to nothingness. How boring would that be? They demonised these two ways of life and purposly misrepresented them. Your entry is here to help clean this up, and we will all be better off when eastern philosophy is properly represented and understood.

      The idea of zero I find totally interesting. Zero is less dependent on one that one is of two or three. There is a logic here that a mathmatician might love. Anything that helps us get past the dependant origination of things is helpful. Does that make sense to you?

    • hardie karges 3:41 pm on September 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, yes, but it’s a huge subject, so could take days, years. My goal is to try to determine what Buddha himself meant, and the more I researched the concept of Zero, the more I became convinced that the coincidence with Buddhism was no accident…

    • davekingsbury 2:26 pm on September 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Fascinating account of the paradoxical power of non-assertion, not too far from what I was trying to say in my post – don’t know if you saw it – https://davekingsbury.wordpress.com/2016/09/04/me-ander/

      • hardie karges 4:04 pm on September 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        No, I didn’t, and yes, it IS a very similar treatment of a role for ego, just enough to get by, I’d say…

    • Christadelphians 8:38 am on March 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Instead of accusing all Christians and all Muslims you would better say ” Certain Christians and Muslims will always be at each other’s throats”. For real Christians would never go at any body’s throat, accepting all beings to be creatures to be created in the image of God,

      We too should like every body come at ease with ourself and find the emptiness but also the fullness in ourselves. We should try “to be one” with the universe and with our and the “being”.

      Real Christians should not aim to win against other people, they should win the race of them selves to the self (that is also what Jesus and his apostles are talking about).

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

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

     

    download

    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 8:47 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , language, , ,   

    Religion 202, Physics 101: Spirituality and Light… 

    IMG_1184

    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    Many religions, especially the New Age-y kind, use light as a prime metaphor, imagining this light and imagining that light as it assumes shape and form in your mind’s eye.  My ‘white light of spirit’ is not imaginary, though, even if still a bit metaphorical. That light for me is exactly the same light that any good physicist refers to, the equivalent of electricity and magnetism and one of physics’ four prime forces, together with gravity, the strong (nuclear) force and the weak (interactive) force.

    For the uninitiated, that weak force is: the fundamental force that acts between leptons and is involved in the decay of hadrons. The weak nuclear force is responsible for nuclear beta decay (by changing the flavor of quarks) and for neutrino absorption and emission…

    Got it?  And the strong force is: the force that holds particles together in the atomic nucleus and the force that holds quarks together in elementary particles.

    Simple, right?  These last and latest forces derive from quantum mechanics, and the study of smaller-than-microscopic realities that are probably best described as mathematical, i.e. the theory works, even if it doesn’t make (common) sense.  But then, neither do gravity and electromagnetism (light).  We’re just more accustomed to them, and they are available to us on a macroscopic level.  (More …)

     
    • peaceof8 10:15 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That was very thought provoking. I will for sure be noodling around in my mind DNA vs souls/ancestors/inner child. It makes me want to give reincarnation a second look, based on science and maybe a little whoop-t-do in the family tree. Interesting! I like your pragmatic approach to spirituality.

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