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  • hardie karges 6:56 am on January 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , monk, monkhood, religion, ,   

    Buddhism ME 6909: Renunciation is a transitive verb–sometimes… 

    img_0953There’s nothing cuter in Thailand than a picture of a young child bowing in obeisance, before a statue of the Buddha, grahping and saddhuing with the best of them, prostrate to unknown gods, long before his little prostate gland would even know the difference, that which supplies the raw materials for reproduction, but to a young infertile mind that yet has no clue to such things…

    Now I firmly encourage respect and reverence to monks and priests and the qualities they represent, but joining the monkhood at an early age, or even growing up at the temple, and, in effect, never knowing any other life, is another thing. I mean: is that really so impressive—and wise? Doesn’t renunciation really only have its true meaning when something is actually renounced? Now, when a millionaire gives up his millions to join the sangha—that’s impressive… (More …)

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    • Dave Kingsbury 5:06 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. Hardie, long time no speak! Been taking a little winter sabbatical from the blogosphere – viewing it, anyhow – to catch up on some offline reading. This strikes your customary balance, with all sides examined and a careful conclusion reached. I think your considered stance is sensible and persuasive in the modern world. As Rimbaud said, it is necessary to be absolutely modern …

    • hardie karges 5:18 pm on January 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, Dave, good to chat, been wrapped up in my own college/monastery duties for months myself, now freer a bit to wander. I just wish DT would leave the scene, so that I can write about happy things again, ha! Thanx for comments, I persevere…

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

    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 7:25 am on August 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bashar, , , , Lobsang Rampa, New Thought, , Now-ness, religion, , Theosophy   

    The Messy-onic Tradition, part 2: Eckhart and the Also-rans… 

    (Continued from here). I would consider Eckhart Tolle more of a genuine prophet than Deepak Chopra, and with a genuine message, however limited, a fairly well fleshed-out theory of ‘the Now’, but here, too, there is vagueness and also many tossed mixed metaphors conveniently confusing empirical facts with familiar fictions, not the same thing, and dangerously close to anthropomorphic representations of entities that are nothing if not God-substitutes…

    For example, what exactly does Tolle mean when he asks: “What Is It That The Universe Really Wants To Be Created Thru Me?” Is he implying that the ‘Universe’ is like a person with wants and desires? And there are other bothersome examples of vagueness: ‘NOW’, ‘Presence’, and ‘Consciousness’ are all offered in the same breath as equivalencies but still largely undefined, unfortunately…

    And then there are his ‘energy centers’. Google that if you want to get the address of your nearest marijuana dispensary in SoCal. ‘Nowness’ is his big deal, but that can lead to irresponsible hedonism, too, if not correctly applied… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:30 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The Eckhart Tolle advice was good. I loved the way he paused before answering. So different from the usual blather from pundits.

    • hardie karges 5:20 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, Eckhart is not bad at all…

    • NMF 2:28 pm on September 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      What I am discovering in all of this, is that all these teachers are teaching the same thing, spreading the same message, albeit in different ways. Namely: we are expressions of one divine spiritual energy, just in human form having a human experience and that is part of the great Universal Expansion. At the core of their teachings, they all point to the same thing: we are all messiahs, some in training, but all eventually awakening to the truth of who we are Light, Love and Life.

  • hardie karges 5:32 am on May 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , religion, , ,   

    Buddhist Karma: more than just cause and effect… 

    img_2116Karma is one of the major tenets of Buddhism, and one of the most misunderstood. The issue of past lives I’ll save for later; first let’s deal with this life. The basic idea is that if you do good things, then good things will happen to you. And if you have to take at least one religious tenet on pure faith to qualify as religious, then I’ll take that one, which I firmly believe, that by doing good, the world is thereby incrementally vaccinated against evil. Thus karma is frequently called the law of ’cause and effect’, BUT…

    That’s not exactly correct. It’s better than that. It’s more than that. It’s purer than that. If I give you a five-spot and you hand me a hot dog, that’s not karma. That’s business, and bad health. Thank me for my custom, bloke. And if I pick up the neighborhood kids to take to school on Wednesday, because that’s my day to man the carpool, then ditto. That’s an agreement, therefore a transaction, maybe not business, since no money changed hands hand, but not karma, either… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:26 am on April 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , experience, meaning, religion   

    Buddhism, Philosophy and Life: Meaning or Experience? 

    img_1111One of the first glimpses of consciousness—self-consciousness—for any self-respecting member of angst-ridden rebellious existential youth is that, “life has no meaning.” And apparently that is a rite of passage from adolescence into adulthood, as palpable as puberty, as awkward as rolled-up jeans, as unforgiving as suicide–or so I hear…

    And there is no certain cure for it, though many treatments have been tried and many medicines prescribed. Until finally the master gurus of my own generation collectively said: “Enough!” and suspended the search until further notice, teachers like my own personal heroes Joseph Campbell and Alan Watts, the more respectable members of a club that included Timothy Leary on one hand and Alan Ginsberg on the other… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 4:25 pm on December 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , religion,   

    Waiting for it: Electronic Buddha in the Electronic Forest Temple 

    img_0908I think it’s a bum rap, the false narrative about smart-phones and other tech, how we never talk to our neighbors any more—we never did! Unless they’re nice. And we still do, if there’s something to discuss. Should we regress to the day when stay-at-home wives have nothing better to do than chew the fat with the housewives’ club all day every day? Yes, I know it’s a real job, but still…

    So why did no one ever make an issue of us reading news papers all the time, or listening to radio? No, they never did that until TV, couch potatoes and all that jazz, and that defines the line that divides our civilization from the initial inquisitive developmental mode to the current acquisitive ‘been there done that’ full-of-it mode, a civilization in decline, with red lights flashing… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 4:01 pm on December 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      A damning indictment as well as indicating the seeds of renewal, taking in a sharp comparison of then and now and asking big questions for the future. As EM Forster said, Only Connect …

  • hardie karges 6:26 pm on November 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , religion,   

    Religion and Politics, part 1: R.I.P. Amerika, Drowning in Democracy and Conspiracy… 

    img_0996When I got on the plane a week or so ago in Thailand, bound for Amerika, I had a feeling of impending doom that I couldn’t explain, so I begged my wife Tang not to go, assuming that it was about personal doom, and my instinct was to protect her. Now that I know what that feeling was really all about, at least I can rest easier for those I care about. What I can’t do is rest easier about the fate of the USA…

    America is now a Third World country, uneducated and proud. Welcome to Thailand and the tyranny of the majority, who just love a populist peddling pathos . We used to vote for our hopes, now we vote for our fears. We vote for the candidate who appeals to our lowest common denominators, not our highest. We build walls, not bridges. The ideas that inspire us now close doors, not open them. But the Big Winner here was not Donald Trump… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:14 am on September 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Existence, Freud, , religion   

    Buddhism, Existenz, Ego and the Three-Body Problem… 

    IMG_0712The ultimate conundrum of life is that we didn’t ask to be born. The ultimate responsibility is that we not dare to risk death, either. For that we never know the reason why, but simply that it—life—is given, and things given must be accepted in the spirit with which they are given, not without question, but definitely without fail…

    Yet we do risk death, deliberately, repeatedly and with great flair, and often for no good reason. Up until less than a hundred years ago, as hard as it is to believe, people wanted to go to war, to fight, to kill, and this was the high point in many a young man’s life—or death! We look at the past with a mixture of wonder and agony at all the gratuitous violence and senseless destruction without realizing that the key to that phenomenon is right within us—and largely curable… (More …)

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

    Philosophy of Mind: Thought or No-thought? 

    IMG_1184

    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 …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:23 pm on June 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , religion   

    Religion, Linguistics and Politics: the Muslim Problem is an Aryan Problem… 

    IMG_1122

    The ugliest church in the world: Kabul, Afghanistan

    When you think of Islam, you generally think of the Mideast, and all things Arab.  Yet more than half of the total Muslim population lies to the east of the Shatt al-Arab, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and that line that separates Iraq from Iran, Arab from Aryan, them from us.  Huh?  Aryan?  Us? What gives?

    Yes it’s probably no accident that the most problematic of Muslims are our own not-so-distant relatives.  You’ve heard of the Beverly Hillbillies, right?  But what about the Kandahar Killbillies?  Yes, it’s true: one of the peskiest terrorist problems in the world comes from our own relatives from the same original ‘hood out back on the steppes, on a different stairway to a different Heaven, even if exactly the same Semitic god… (More …)

     
    • Dave Kingsbury 9:20 am on June 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The opposite to labelling and stereotyping … pro-evolutionary, you might say, showing how language is a wordhoard that art can use to reconstruct old ways of looking.

      • hardie karges 9:25 am on June 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        According to prominent micro-biologist, language and DNA function almost exactly the same, in terms of evolution: “no reason why they should, but they do…”

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