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  • hardie karges 9:15 am on May 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Attachment, , , life, nidana, upadana   

    Buddhism, Attachment, Life and Freedom… 

    To be connected but not attached is the trick, ties that bind loosely. And this is a tricky spot for Buddhism, particularly with regard to the doctrine of Dependent Arising (or Origination) which provides a systematic formulation of the notion that, for lack of a better quick saying, “we are all connected.” But the ninth ‘link’ (nidana) of that system specifically forbids attachment (upadana) to such phenomena as ‘sensual pleasures, mistaken views, external forms, material pleasure/comfort, routines, persons, appearances, ego and…an individual self.’ (buddhajourney.net) Yeow, that’s a heavy load of attachment to avoid! But that tricky spot is also a sweet spot, because what is important is not checking off all the boxes of non-attachment, as if they were things, but to have goals and directions, arrows and road maps to show us a path where such things are easy to talk about, but not so easy to follow. Life is a balancing act, between attachment and freedom, abundance and lack, safety and risk, certainty and chance…

  • hardie karges 9:20 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , life   

    Which is More Important in Life: Meaning or Experience? Living for the Present, or the Future… 

    ‘Living in the Moment’ is the big mantra of our modern age—and it shows. Almost nothing is being left for the future, certainly not responsibility and sustainability. With all due respect to those visionaries of bygone times who honestly felt that we needed to loosen our butt-screws and learn to boogie, fretting our guitars rather than fretting over the future, I respectfully suggest that maybe that train of thought long ago left the station, and maybe needs to backtrack a bit…

    I’d respect my hero Joseph Campbell less if he hadn’t himself backtracked on his own famous dictum to “follow your bliss,” which he later amended off-the-cuff to “blisters”—sounds less hedonistic. Still the die is cast. We are a nation and world society that follows its whims like no other before, all the while marching off the cliff of non-sustainability, the capitalist foundations of this society heavily based on oil and other fossil fuels that will one day run out, and destroy the planet, long before its people will give it up, most likely…

    To put it bluntly, we’re committing societal suicide, or let’s call it “civilicide”. And that’s the global level. On a personal level we’re doing no better, sacrificing all for the moment, rather than plan for a future that may or may not come. Sounds like self-defeating prophecy to me. I think I realized this while myself writing an article for inclusion in a book about ‘following your passion.” But most of my friends—artists, musicians, writers and such—don’t need to follow their passions. They need jobs!  I don’t need 150 more countries; I need focus!  Nevertheless, in the course of that project I came up with a concept that I like even better–highest common denominators.  More on that later…
    (More …)

    • Kc 11:31 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      speak for yourself on the sustainability thing, we’ve been working for years to be that way, it is a bit more difficult (or not) in a mean small southern town, but by god, we have food, at least within hitching distance or walking if needed. Home grown food, and finally the farmers’ are disliking chemicals. it is high time. still i dream of a farm, pigs, goats, chicken, a mule and 5 acres, plus a well, an outhouse wd be nice but it really matters not where you poop as long as you poop. the self sustainability dream is alive and well in MS, ya just gotta know some people. and Barter, barter, and more barter. peace to you Karges.

      • hardie karges 11:54 am on August 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I was referring to society, yes, self-sustainability is achievable with land and seeds…

  • hardie karges 2:34 pm on May 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , life, Stuff   

    Stuff of Life… 

    The stuff of life is the stuff of light: particles and waves in constant emotion, 186Kmi/300KKm per sec, constantly expanding, at least up to a point, that point being us; if you had a strong enough telescope, could you see your back? I wonder…

  • hardie karges 6:50 am on November 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cyanobacteria, life,   

    The Reasoning for the Seasoning 

    If Thanksgiving gluttony is misplaced, then Black Friday is disgusting. It was nice to hear a friend opine that we don’t need more feasting; we need fasting. I couldn’t agree more. You don’t celebrate abundance with gluttony. Circumstances have changed much since those days way back then when the main challenge in life for the average bloke and his little family was keeping bellies fed. Calorie problem? Yeah, right—getting enough of them. I suspect there’d be no little astonishment at our modern-day battles with belt-lines.

    But that’s not the problem. The problem is that we’re so fat and sassy with our farm-fed turkeys and our swipe-screen smart phones that we’re losing touch with the natural world and the need for struggle—yes, struggle. When Jesus said that rich people would have the hardest time getting to Heaven (however that’s defined), he wasn’t joking, like some modern apologists would like to suggest.

    That struggle for existence, against all odds, can be spiritually satisfying. That extra helping of cake is not. Gluttony and spirituality are mutually incompatible. When William James talked about the ‘moral equivalent of war’ he was referring mostly to the positive aspects of the ‘greater goods’ involved in that activity, would that only the negative aspects could be avoided. That is suggested in the modern mantra to “live every day as if it were your last,” though few consider the wider consequences, I suspect.

    We spend beaucoups de bucks trying to find life on other planets, and in some sort of misplaced humility masking our gods of materialism, we just assume that sooner or later they will be found, not just cyanobacteria, but Zhou Blou speaking a dialect that we’ll soon master if only we run it through the right program for analysis. Ever wonder what the odds of intelligent life on this planet are? That’s probably the more important question, the answer to which I wouldn’t really want to risk.

    I suspect given the exact same climatic conditions that now prevail on the planet earth, and starting from scratch, the odds of human life occurring are vanishingly small. And I doubt that the odds of any mammal or reptile or other advanced form of life are almost as high. It took a billion—A BILLION—years or so to move from single to multi-celled organisms, without even considering the larger question of what kick-started that single-cell blue-green algae into existence in the first place. BTW comets don’t change anything; the question of what when where and how life began still lingers.

    The example of the priest who went homeless recently for two weeks just to empathize with ‘those people’ is instructive. You’d likely feel lightened and enlightened in the process. My stint as a migrant fruit-picker as a twenty-year-old still rates as one of the highlights of my life, and not because it was hip or cool or otherwise exemplary. It wasn’t. It was real. I slept in a few parks in the process, too, not to mention pickers’ cabins. That was 1974. Ten years later you wouldn’t catch a self-respecting white boy out there, by then beyond all that. Thus hippies are in line to inherit the earth, they and indigenous peoples.

    Now here we are in 2014, thankful for our toys, but not much else. Oh sure we pay lip service to family and friends, but not much of even that to Mother Nature, the nimble nymph that we’ve turned into our own private whore. To whatever extent the original Thanksgiving traditions are accurate, I think they exhibit a reverence for Nature, any and all gods welcomed. That is a tradition we should revive.

    But Nature is not always right: witness the snowball our planet was a short 700 million years ago. Humans probably could have dealt with that. There is nothing ultimately wrong with second-guessing Nature, or even manipulating it, as long as it’s done mindfully, not simply for the love of cheap thrills. Buddha, Muhammad, and Jesus were not always right, either. Matthew 6-26:

    “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”

    Actually that’s about all I see birds doing, but there’s still no need to worry excessively, which was the point of the speech. When you personally spend the time in harvest, you will not likely take it for granted. That’s food for thought—Happy Holidays!

  • hardie karges 8:57 am on February 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , life, ,   

    The human body is a temple by design, 

    halfway between heaven and earth. Thais try to help this process along by allocating extremely tall pointed hats to children as if they were antennas to keep them in touch with the man upstairs. Drug use is about returning to the world of light speed from which we came, to which we belong. It takes a certain escape velocity to break loose from Earth orbit. These efforts are misguided and doomed to failure, of course, but still not reprehensible. We all carry memories of that other world of time with us here in this world of space. They call drug use ‘getting spaced out’ but it might really be more like getting ‘timed out’, if users are really accessing that other world. If I want to get spaced out, I’ll hop on a jet. We’ve got all the space in the world here. We just don’t have much time. If there is a ghost or spirit world, then it might be just the opposite. They might have all the time in the world, but no space. The perfect world would have both. You just have to make the best of these fistulas and slow spots that comprise life as we know it.

  • hardie karges 8:53 am on October 25, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , life   

    I was brought into this world kicking and screaming, 

    scared of the darkness and scared of the light. Neither fluorescent, incandescent, neon, or ultraviolet are like the clear white light back home, unbroken and undifferentiated. Children are closer to God. The things that old people can barely get a glimpse of, children can still remember. I remember the abstract dreams of shadow and light, the penetrating darkness, the distances that could not be traversed, and that light on the other side of the divide receding into the distance. I remember the act of dreaming more than the dreams themselves. I’m homesick for the void, lovesick for the high priestess of darkness. Loneliness of the child becomes suicide daydreams for the adolescent becomes a way of life for the adult survivor. In all these years, nothing’s really changed. I still get a lump in my throat at a woman’s glance, a lump in my pants at a woman’s touch. Everything else is hypothetical. Everything else is mere color splashed on the screen, light diffracted through a prism, sound run through a synthesizer.

  • hardie karges 9:56 am on October 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: life,   

    Tang and I are getting along just swimmingly, 

    whatever that means (I hope it’s not like the salmon in Eagle Creek lying dead after the 1000-mile trip upriver just to drop trou and lay some eggs). The Food Fights (FFI & FFII) have nearly ended and an eerie peace settles over the land. Thank God for other people’s mothers. It was touch-and-go for a while. I knew when she called in her mother that the tide would soon turn in my favor. Mama don’t bite the hand that feeds. We almost split over irreconcilable similarities- selfishness, stubbornness, childish expectations, etc. It could have been another case for the epicanthic folder, file it away and try to forget. We now realize we’re made for each other, I the blue-eyed lightning to her brown-eyed earth. Understanding comes little by little, though theoretical physics would probably be easier. At least there’s no three-body problem here. She doesn’t even get jealous now unless I flirt with Death. That’s her turf (Forego the antibiotics until you need them. You can kiss a TB victim on the lips in her deathbed and still not get it if you play good defense). So finally we signed our own little Treaty of Tortillas of 2547 (Buddhist Era), based on Spain and Portugal. Basically, she gets Time and I get Space. I get to work on projects on four continents without a moment to spare. She gets a three-bedroom house in Chiang Rai with all the time in the world. Hell of a deal. She gets egg fritata in a tortilla a la Espanola; I get corn flour hydrochloride in tortillas a la Mexicana. Talk about papal bull… We meet at the crossroads in the hypothetical fourth spatial dimension of a flat universe curled up over itself in the shape of a torus, also known as the Krispy Kreme theory of the universe. I guess it’s better than an anniversary dinner at Stapleton airport in DEN while taking mutual stopovers on separate flights, like with one of my previous exes. People ask me how I can dabble in the UK while working in the US while staying in Mexico and living in Thailand; my only answer is, “practice.” Hopefully I can insinuate myself into a side-trip to Turkey and maybe dip down to Greece next year (hold the Macedonia) if I can play my frequent-flyer cards right. Hey, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em. The combination of cheap flights and vanishing oil and lingering traction-era-phlebitis in my right foot (soon to be a major motion picture) sends a clear signal to me.

  • hardie karges 7:00 am on October 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: intelligence, life   

    Nonay the wonder dog was the original Buddhist, 

    not the elaborate ritual performed under the watchful eyes of golden graven images, but the real thing, giving much, taking little, thinking nothing of self. Nonay was living proof that dogs have feelings. Even though she wasn’t even mine, just the neighborhood rent-a-dog, she’d be at the door every morning, ready for another day of fellowship. She never even took food, until she got pregnant. Things changed when we got a cat, and instinct created an ugly scene. But she learned, actually learned, to subdue her instincts in deference to the public good. No matter how much she wanted to chase that cat, she’d detour to the other side of the room to avoid its gaze and any potential conflict. She could control herself, but she couldn’t control events. Her catholic eating habits lead her astray when she tasted the rat poison, the free dog’s hemlock, extra sweet to attract them. The last thing she saw in the emergency room was my face assuring her that this was simply the way it was, not cruel, but not forgiving, either.

  • hardie karges 1:57 am on October 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: life   

    My life is a countdown, to what, I don’t know. 

    I only know that it seems to be happening in reverse order. I was born an old man, grumpy and set in my ways. Then I entered school, even though I already knew everything. It was a mere formality. I retired at age 21 from a job I never had to live as a country gentleman in an estate that didn’t even exist. I hated cities with the zeal of a reformer and the intensity of a zealot. They were an obstruction in my pastoral lifestyle. Finally I resigned myself to go into business, the gravity too overwhelming to resist. When I finally broke free, my adolescence began and I was ready to truly learn. Now I’m a child, bald as a baby’s butt without all the powder, playing in the fields of the Lord and watching a sunset that never ends. My childhood was sketchy. Adolescence was a disaster. My twenties were good and bad. My thirties were my lost decade, lost to business. The forties were better, an intellectual revolution. The fifties are looking better and better. And I’m not even losing my memory; it’s just getting full.

  • hardie karges 6:48 am on October 21, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: life, ,   

    I love my wife, though I don’t mind being gone half the time. 

    That keeps it fresh. Hunger makes the food taste real good. If I’m there all the time then it degenerates into that husband-and-wife behind-the-scenes sort of fussing-and-fighting that they never showed on Ozzie and Harriet, tending to favor smiles and sighs and bedroom eyes, while the kids become rock stars in imitation of real life. In very few species does the dad actually hang around with the wife and kids after the consummation of the marriage, so I figure I’m way ahead of the curve. Thai women are more obsessed with security than they are with finding the ultimate soul mate anyway. So Thailand works for my sci-fi style of life. Stupid me, I had to learn the language. Big Mistake. Normal Farangs live with their Thai wives in a state of eternal bliss, speaking Pidgin Shit and drinking beer. Farangs are Westerners, white ones. The term is a Thai pronunciation of the name that started off as ‘Franks’ and dates back to the Crusades era, when all white men were known as ‘Franks’ in the Middle East and Byzantium. It seems we’re on a new crusade now, and Thailand is the Promised Land that needs rescuing. Older Western guys running short on erections get to spend their remaining days with a beautiful younger Thai woman, full of smiles and spice and everything nice. Japanese and other wealthy Asians opt for the same retirement plan, and more than a few Arabs, too. There’s something for everybody.

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