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  • hardie karges 6:04 am on October 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fallacy, , , logic, , , , 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 6:20 am on September 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , logic, , reductios, , , ,   

    America, Buddhism, Logic and Einstein’s Equivalence Principle… 

    img_0953You know the American dream, the whole world does: two-story house and a two-car garage, two kids in the breakfast nook and the neighbor’s kids coming over later, God’s little acre in a sanctified suburb, full ownership and bulging bank accounts, stay-at-home mom and a rising-star dad, with a bachelor’s degree in business and a lotta’ backyard gossip, Saturday at the zoo and Sunday barbecue, PTA meetings and postman’s daily greetings, fried chicken and crispy French fries, milk shakes and apple pies…

    Also known as the Australian dream or Kiwi if you prefer, but only a quarter-acre there and the fries just might be pies, so be careful what you eat, otherwise just the same, with a down-under accent, big goofy grins on the chinny-chin-chins, a weekend in the outback, a maid in the kitchen, a promise of deliverance, and the assurance of no limits: neither sky nor sand nor seacoast nor sex, all-you-can-eat in a never-ending buffet of consumer goods, entertainment, sensations, but mostly money… (More …)

     
    • quantumpreceptor 12:33 am on October 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Hardie with avoidance you certainly have the Theravadan view well encapsulated. Why else should one take 300 vows and live separately from many others but to avoid all that is potentially disturbing. In Mahayana and Vajrayana these so called disturbing emotions are actually the fuel for the fire that drives practice further and faster. There are several ways to see this is there not?

      QP

      • hardie karges 1:18 am on October 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Hi again QP: Absolutely. Yes, I love the Thai Forest Tradition, but see it best as the first step along the path, gotta’ re-enter the world at some point in order to save it, which is the highest goal IMHO. Mahayana is a bit fractured right now, though, so can’t help but think that there must be a new paradigm evolving, to account for all the world changes of the last 1000 years, which Buddhism mostly hasn’t answered yet. I don’t know that Secular Buddhism is the answer, but I definitely think it’s part of the discussion. Most religions abhor uncertainty, but I think the capacity for a true dialectic is one of Buddhism’s strengths, fingers crossed. Thanks for your comments…

  • hardie karges 6:36 am on September 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , logic, , , 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 5:32 am on July 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , logic, , , Middle Way, ,   

    Love Pictures Meditation Buddhism… 

    img_1935Falling in love is probably the closest we’ll ever get to magic in this life, that unexplainable attraction, the eyes the mouth the hair the touch the smell, irreducible to rationality, or math, or the silly logic of syllogisms, so this is reason enough to be suspicious already, correct? BUT—this is the goldfield that Christianity tries to mine—the swoon and the swearing and the general lack of sobriety, and stopping just short of climax, over and over, the better to forestall final payment, in order to accrue interest…

    We Westerners are love junkies, but almost any emotion will do, the crazier the better, any reason or rationality thoroughly rejected from the outset as antithetical to the mood. But I don’t think it’s any accident that it’s mostly the West that is in love with love, as this is the air we breathe, the pheromones and the physicality, the sexiness and the six-packs, whether abs or IPA, any drug will do. And that’s fine, if that’s what you want, as long as you consider all your options, as long as you are free to make an informed decision, BUT… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 10:35 am on May 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , devotion, , , , , juju, , logic, 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 8:42 am on August 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: logic, , ,   

    Thought for the Day: Is the Cup Half-Full or Half-Empty? 

    That is the question we’re so often asked, to determine our ultimate predisposition toward optimism or pessimism, as if there were no third option, or suitable middle ground. I’d probably say that the question is irrelevant, since we’re lucky to have a cup with which to play, and a table upon which to lay it. That is the difference between the manifested and unmanifested aspects of reality…

    You ask me to judge the cup by its content, with no mention of the quality of the content, but only the quantity. Of what would I be drinking here? Is it good for me or bad? But still I’m more interested in the cup itself, regardless. That cup might represent the known world, and its content the seven seas, the sea of possibilities. The table upon which it lies would then define the universe, the realm of mathematical probabilities…

    The space in which the table exists is another unknown dimension, accessible only by intuition and the calculi of logic and proportion. We know it must be good, though, because it’s bigger than us, and we are part of it, and thus we aspire to it, as befits anything in its position as superior to us. Moral of the story: there is more to life than silly syllogisms—and don’t ask stupid questions…

     
  • hardie karges 6:31 am on July 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , logic, , ,   

    Philosophy of Mind: Thought or No-thought? 

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    Buddhist shrine in Sri Lanka

    I’ll have to admit that it bothers me somewhat the extent to which Eckhart Tolle goes to demonize the process of thought. Is this not who and what we are, for better or worse? “All thought is judgment.” Really? But he’s definitely got a point about our non-stop narratives (not to be confused with truth or reality) and the resultant mental noise and ego-defenses inherent to such a system.

    His is basically a metaphysics of meditation, if not in so many words, i.e. (mostly) without the Buddhism. And that, of course, is the challenge, in assuming that the mental state achieved in meditation can somehow be maintained every minute of every day of your life. Is that even possible? Maybe so. But I’d like to suggest a slight detour to that conclusion.

    I’ve been reading some Buddhist texts recently that allude to something that probably translates best as the ‘true original mind’ or ‘pristine mind’, as that state to be desired, sought after and accomplished, and hence to be the model for our short shrill suffering-filled existences. Okay, good enough so far, but: what does this ‘true original mind’ consist of and how does it function? That’s the issue to be determined. In other words: Did thought begin with language? (More …)

     
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