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  • hardie karges 7:51 am on March 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bible, , homelessness, philosophy, ,   

    Buddhism and Christianity: Homelessness as Renunciation? 

    IMG_2234Despite the quick conclusions of some Western sympathizers, there is nothing more opposed in this world than the modern doctrines of Buddhism and Christianity. Sure they both want you to be good and do good, but beyond that the ways and means are almost exactly the opposite. Christianity plays offense. Buddhism plays defense. Christianity is a religion of action. Buddhism is a religion of renunciation. Christianity is a religion of passion. Buddhism is a religion of dis-passion…

    Originally, though, that word ‘passion’, in Latin, meant ‘suffering’, and so at that point, they indeed did have something in common, the bond of suffering, and the bond of enlightened transcendence, through the experience, and hopefully release, from suffering. Since then, they’ve largely gone separate ways, through the vagaries of circumstance, cultural and otherwise. So that today, the Western Christian ideal would be to achieve eternal life, this life. The Buddhist ideal is to escape ‘the wheel’ entirely… (More …)

  • hardie karges 7:35 am on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: belief system, , , , , , philosophy,   

    Buddhism: Religion, Philosophy, or…? 

    img_1931Some people say Buddhism is not really a religion, though I know some monks who would beg to differ. Here’s what my dictionary says about religion:

    1. the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods. 2. a particular system of faith and worship. 3. a pursuit or interest followed with great devotion.

    Well, the first definition certainly does not fit Buddhism, since there is no all-powerful superman waiting to part the waters, and the second only fits if we define what Buddhists do as worship—so maybe. The third one is frivolous, in the sense that ‘consumerism is the new religion’, but maybe somewhat accurate, especially in the case of ever-trendy Amerika, where Buddhism is currently a hot topic, but where much, if not most, of the information disseminated about it, is limited, or misapplied, or downright inaccurate… (More …)

    • Dave Kingsbury 2:57 pm on January 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I like the resonance between ‘unattainable’ and ‘aim-able’ – the whole piece is down-to-earth and easy to relate to. Science, according to the guy who wrote The Golden Bough, superseded Magic because both offer ways of influencing the world – where Religion asks for the intercession of higher forces. Not sure where Buddhism fits in to that, suppose it depends which variety one goes for …

    • hardie karges 7:51 pm on January 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      “Before Joseph Campbell became the world’s most famous practitioner of comparative mythology, there was Sir James George Frazer…(and) The Golden Bough”, been on my ‘to-read’ list for 50 years, maybe I should do that now as part of some MA research, thx, Dave. No, there need be no disputes between Science and Buddhism, or any religion, for that matter IMHO. I don’t want to have to make a choice… and that is the great challenge, to make those details fit. It won’t be easy, but I do think that Buddhism has the ability to do it, what with its flexible doctrine, if it only has the will to do it. Predestination is attractive–and easy, just not a defensible position for me…

    • Terborn Zult 2:57 pm on January 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Not bad; the progression from religion(s) to one or several non-religious belief systems is already a step in the right direction, because it allows the “believer” to be in favor of certain principles without having to submit to some entity that is supposed to be somehow intrinsically “higher” than humans or human thinking. So, it’s a step away from mental slavery. If this step is done seriously and systematically, it not only leads to kicking out all superstition, but also to seeing the simple fact that, after all, non-religious ethical “belief” boils down to nothing more than having a certain preference for some principles and guidelines over others. With no mysticism needed to “justify” those principles and guidelines.

      However, care needs to be taken to avoid religious mysticism’s sneaking back in through the backdoor. Any assorted principles and guidelines adorned with a halo of absolute value or truth would risk becoming a new religion, as any claim of absoluteness is a sure-fire indicator of creeping religification and transformation into a new mysticism.

      Already during the 19th century, then during the first few post-WWII decades, there was a danger of religification of science in the mind of the general (non-scientific) public, frequently promoted by preposterous “science” journalists and other (usually financial) wannabe profiteers from scientific success. Whereas all serious science is a completely relative enterprise, with no fix points being fixed eternally.

      In other words, after the downfall of open and direct religion, it is necessary to oppose covert and indirect religion, i.e., all forms of religification, be they applied to scientific methods and results, philosophical considerations, cultural, political, economic or ecologic theories and principles, moral principles, or whatever. Sooner or later, any re-religification would result in fresh mental slavery – by sliding the “believer” back to “self-imposed immaturity” (see I. Kant: “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity’). Of course, reading and analyzing religious texts and traditions with a critical mind is neither religion nor mysticism; nor is the extraction of inspirations from those.

      Since the word “belief” is still tainted by its religious past, it would be preferable to use a different word for all forms of non-religious “belief”. Something like “conviction”, “convincement”, “opinion”, “paradigm” or so would be less ambiguous, because none of these should invoke submission to anything other than critical human reasoning. Because the latter is the most fundamental baseline of all attempts to understand “why are we here? Where did we come from? What do we do now?” – if that’s really the goal (as pointed out in the post above). The rest is history.

      • hardie karges 3:12 am on January 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        We’re pretty much on the same page then. Yes, I would like to see Buddhism get rid of all superstitions and irrational ‘beliefs’, especially since that was one of the great selling points 2500 years ago, back when the Hindus were still sacrificing animals. Rebirth is the tough one, for some reason. It seems people are very attached to their past and future lives. Being diplomatic about it, I plead ignorant, and agnostic, in order to promote ‘this life’ Buddhism. Thanks for your comments.

  • hardie karges 10:31 am on July 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alpha male, , , , , , , philosophy, , Type-A behavior   

    Buddhism, Meditation, Alpha Males and the Myth of Leadership… 

    img_1893When people ask me about meditation practice and/or Buddhism, I make it clear that meditation is one thing, and Buddhism is another, though I certainly appreciate both, even if knee problems likely mean that I’ll never achieve the classic lotus pose, and maybe not even the half of it…

    …so sitting meditation becomes chair meditation, which is just as good or better, just not as cool to look at, though maybe better for sati, ‘mindfulness’, if the cross-legged pose is uncomfortable, thus freeing the mind for focus, on nothing, emptiness, the vast undefined, even if in a sitting position less defined than the classic figure-8 flower… (More …)

    • davekingsbury 3:45 pm on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think the link with the wider world is as significant as the opportunity for personal development. This makes that point firmly, Hardie.

  • hardie karges 7:08 am on June 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bizarro, , , Goldilocks, philosophy, ,   

    #Buddhism, #Bizarro World, and the 4 Noble Truths of #Christianity… 


    Statue of Buddha in Kandy, Sri Lanka

    We all know the Four Noble (Aryan) Truths of Buddhism, of course, indoctrinated in us since birth: 1) the prevalence of suffering in this world, 2) the cause of suffering—desire, 3) the way to reduce suffering—reduce desire, and 4) the way to do that: the Eightfold Middle Path—do not lie, cheat, steal, etc…

    But did you know that Christianity also has Four Noble Truths? Okay, so they’re not exactly called that, but it’s easy enough to interpolate and extrapolate, so here goes: 1) this world is fun!, 2) the cause of fun is desire, 3) the way to increase fun is to increase desire—more bigger richer sexier, and 4) the way to do that: the Ten Commandments: do not lie, cheat, steal, etc. Ha! Gotcha! (More …)

  • hardie karges 7:02 am on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Heisenberg, , , philosophy, , Uncertainty Principle   

    #Buddhism and the #Uncertainty #Principle of #Nowness 

    img_0953There is no hotter topic in Buddhism these days, or New Age-y esoteric philosophy, than nowness—the Eternal Now, the Infinite Present Moment, etc.—not even mindfulness nor lovingkindness. This is at least partly due to Eckhart Tolle’s popularization of the topic, no doubt, but neither is there any doubt about where he got it, either—Buddhism and/or Hinduism…

    So I’ve got two questions in relation to this subject: 1) What exactly are we talking about, anyway, and 2) why is it so popular? Well, part of the problem with this issue is that it’s never really been defined, exactly what’s being referred to, as if that should be obvious, and any discussion would destroy some of its mystery, and hence some of its power, SO: I’m going to do the same, for the time being, and head to question number two… (More …)

    • quantumpreceptor 12:27 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hello HK,

      Great blog I very much appreciate your take on the uncertainty principle it rings very true for me.

      However I might add that thoughts are definitely allowed in meditation. There are teachings that tell us not only that they cannot or should not be avoided and that they actually can be used as tools on the way. A good example would be this. You are meditating and you have a thought that keeps coming back and distracting you from your object of meditation. What to do? Focus on this thought and watch where it comes from, where it stays for a while, and where it goes when it ceases to exist. In this way the thought becomes the object of meditation and you will realize that you cannot hold on to the thought any better than anything else. This is explained in detail by the 9 th Karmapa in the book “ocean of deep meaning”

      Have an amazing day,


  • hardie karges 5:40 pm on June 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Android, Apple, Download, , Gil Scott-Heron, jazz, philosophy, television   

    #Buddhist #Enlightenment Will NOT be Downloaded, Downloadable—OR Televised… 


    In Spires In Thailand

    Author’s note: in the style of Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will not Be Televised,” preferably with some light jazz music in the background…

    Enlightenment will not be delivered to your doorstep by drone, from Amazon flown and by PayPal paid, nor Bitcoin bought, but traded in kind and in species of the heartfelt kind, love and forgiveness and kindness and compassion and submission and surrender to that higher power that represents us all in the courtrooms of consciousness, and the guard posts of Godliness, the board rooms of the Bhagwan and the after-death chambers of pure heavenly delight, whipped and battered and dipped in divinity…

    But Enlightenment will not be downloaded…

    Enlightenment will not be brought to you in a half-time show of the 52nd annual Super Bowl Classic presided over by Beyonce’, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande in glorious female profusion as they strut their stuff in sequins and fluff, while smoke and mirrors huff and puff in reflections and other assorted shiny stuff all around them…

    But Enlightenment will not be downloaded… (More …)

  • hardie karges 6:37 am on April 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , philosophy   

    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… “

  • hardie karges 4:23 pm on April 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , philosophy,   

    Buddhism and Amerika: Hopelessly at odds with each other? 


    It seems that way at times, and the situation, indeed, may be hopeless. After all, you don’t see many American football linebackers meditating in a full lotus position, or even quarterbacks, or even half-lotus, or even punt return specialists, or even merely cross-legged on the floor, unless maybe it’s ’25 or 6 to 4′ and the mood is just right. Everything’s better after midnight, including meditation…

    And Buddhism is all about contrition and silence, while Amerikanism is all about brashness and loudness—just ask any European. We Americans aren’t a$$holes, not necessarily; we’re just full of it: full of the intoxication of life, full of the excitement of children, full of the blush and brash of youth, full of the hunt and the chase. And that’s too bad, because that’s not what is needed right now… (More …)

  • hardie karges 6:20 am on March 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , children, , kids, philosophy   

    Tao Futures: Philosophy and Religion, Buddha and Politics… 

    img_1661Predestination is, or at least WAS, the Holy Grail of all religion, primitive religion, false religion, to have it all figured out, planned out, whether past lives or Heaven and Hell, the threat of future punishment to keep you in line at the present, but the Buddhist belief in past lives creates life not proactive, but retroactive. Ditto Christianity with heaven and Hell. That’s the social function of religion, keeping us in line…

    This derives from the time when religion was expected to explain everything, a job largely accomplished by Science now. And each religion had different explanations, of course. The curse of all traditional religion lies in trying to make amends with all others, not to mention Science and Tech. It’s a hopeless task. If karma is a thief in the night trying to steal your future and all your presents, then Hell is where you go to serve your sentence and repay your debts—supposedly… (More …)

  • hardie karges 5:16 pm on December 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , philosophy,   

    Philosophy and Physics: Conundrums and Continuums… 

    img_1034The conundrum of existence is that consciousness inhabits flesh, some how some way, or that flesh possesses consciousness, if viewed from the opposite perspective, inside out upside down, impossible to say which came first, or whether they came simultaneously like all the best sex, though the material paradigm always takes precedence in the material world…

    If I told you that the obvious answer to the conundrum of existence is to blow your brains out—immediately—then you’d naturally assume I’m suicidal or worse, manic depressive or maniac oppressive, some schizo or combo, all of the above, and I’d say I’m the same as you, just not your installment plan, one drink one smoke at the time, until death do us part… (More …)

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