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  • hardie karges 10:04 am on May 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Science   

    Love, Buddhism, dialectic, and the dictates of Science… 

    The message to a noisy world is simple: silence. The message to a hateful world is also simple: love. So the remedy for any extreme situation would seem to be its opposite, at least in the short term. This can be a zig-zag situation, though, of course, flip-flopping back and forth between extremes with no middle ground. Certainly some Westerners with a racial background of extreme violence take the love love love remedy too far to the other extreme. This is the genius of Buddhism, that it constantly seeks that middle ground ‘sweet spot’ of mutual accommodation, which should ideally be the outcome of any ongoing dialectic, and constantly self-correcting. But while some scholars and priests might claim this as a higher truth, I’d say that it is simply a superior method, and therefore akin to science. There are laws that require separation of church and state, not church and science…

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    • quantumpreceptor 12:24 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting Hardy. I think science really should have a branch devoted to the study of meditation and or eastern teachings. It’s a proactive solution to an old problem.

      QP

      • hardie karges 2:39 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        And vice-versa, also, IMO, as that gap is now too wide for mere yawning; it needs to be bridged…

        • quantumpreceptor 2:42 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink

          It would be a great way to control the conversation in a logical and nondogmatic way. Leaving the snake oil salesman out to lunch and the seekers of wisdom a new path to credibility.

        • hardie karges 3:01 pm on May 12, 2019 Permalink

          exactly

  • hardie karges 7:51 pm on April 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Science   

    The multi-colored reality between dreams and darkness… 

    Just because you can imagine something doesn’t mean that it’s real. And this has been a problem since time immemorial, especially in the fields of philosophy and religion, the gap between reality and imagination, the disparate levels of materialism and spirituality. This plays to the difference between our wildest dreams and our harshest realities, and apparently it all began with language. If something can be written down, then doesn’t it exist, at least to some extent? Of course it does, but that does define reality? Probably not. Plato found that out the hard way, ditto Christianity, and Buddhism deals with it on a daily basis.This is the arrogance of the written word, and the thinking mind, by the same token. We need a better measure of reality, and science would seem to be the answer, the method, constantly shifting, nothing to do with anything like blind allegiance. Sorry, grasshopper. Your dreams can’t all come true. So I guess a few will have to do…

     
  • hardie karges 4:20 am on November 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Confucius, Golden Rule, Greek, Hippocratic Oath, Science, Silver rule   

    Buddhism 101: Do not do unto others… 

    img_1773If you grew up in the USA, then I’m sure at some point you came across the Confucian ‘inversion’ of the Golden Rule in which we are enjoined to: ‘NOT do unto others as you would NOT want them to do to you’, or something like that, chuckle chuckle, snicker snicker, at those crazy Asians who just can’t get it right, gotta’ twist everything around, maybe one day they’ll get it straight…

    Well, fast-forward a few decades and those crazy rich Asians just may have had it right all along. I mean, it may seem like a minor detail, but on closer inspection it just may speak volumes and provide a valuable clue to species survival, our species. But first things first: the Confucian version is not the inversion, if anything just the opposite, as both versions are scattered throughout the ethical traditions of the world, and the negative prohibitive version just may have come first, though that is hard to say, but likely the more numerous… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 6:20 am on September 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , reductios, , , Science,   

    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 7:22 am on December 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Science,   

    Buddhism in the End Times: Perfecting the Path of Imperfection… 

    IMG_2290Buddhism is the path of (ego) imperfection, the path of (ego) weakness, strength in numbers, especially zero, simultaneous voidness and infinity, emptiness implying that something is lacking, hopefully, that we are not hard cold single solitary free-standing proper nouns, but warm flexible adjectives, forever ready to be pressed into service to support the demands of solidity, wherever needed and as called for…

    Deepak and Eckhart and Pat and Jerry and all the other latter-day wannabe prophets and modern-day motivational messengers all have one thing in common: they’re fudging: the truth, that is. They all tell you that you can do whatever you want, as long as you never stop dreaming, as long as you never give up your passions, as long as you sacrifice all in the quest of fulfilling your vision, and that your potential is unlimited. Yeah, right… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 5:49 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Holy Grail, intelligent design, , Science   

    Buddhism and Science: Pre-destination is the Holy Grail… 

    IMG_0599…of religion, science, and life, too, the mostly unrequited wish that “it’s all written,” whether in script or bar-code, to the point of retro-fitting the logic that may or may not have actually led up to some fait accompli, though that accomplished fact was never predicted even at the point of inception. This is the need for happy endings, and the one overriding narrative that drives all others, the one theory of everything…

    How many times has something unexpected happened and the first thing you think is, “Well, I guess that it was (or wasn’t) meant to be.” I know you’ve thought that. We all have. That’s a gut reaction. But sometimes I think I take it too far, to the point of filling in the details to justify that conclusion, when the fact is simply: much of life is random. There IS no predestination, and there IS no particular logic leading up to any particular event. Sh*t happens. Truer words have never been spoken… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 10:09 am on July 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , auto-da-fe, , , , , , , , Science   

    #Buddhism and #Science: #Materialism is an Act of Faith, too, auto-da-fe’…. 

    img_1773Every self-proclaimed atheist takes it as an article of faith (!) that the material world is the real world, and that any competing claims from the realms of religion and/or any other spurious metaphysics must be misguided at best, silly superstition most likely, at worst maybe even one of many conspiracy theory scenarios that inhabit the minds of the disenfranchised and disenchanted…

    Yet materialism is indeed an article of faith. The only question is to what degree. The fact that it goes largely unquestioned in the modern world, with or without the atheistic conclusion, does not make it fact, and if questioned, its typical devotee will most likely defer to common sense, as if it’s so obvious that no explanation is required. These manifestations say as much about us modern humans, of course, as it does about the validity of the assumption… (More …)

     
    • davekingsbury 3:34 pm on July 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Speaking as an agnostic who flirts with atheism, I can only applaud your identification of materialism as the villain of the piece. Developing/evolving our creative and more spiritual side seems to be the way forward.

      • hardie karges 9:59 am on July 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Flirting is fine, but I could never truly consider myself an atheist, though non-theist is different. Mostly I just want to consider all the possibilities, like Plato before me. And the fact that almost all near-death experiences involve ‘a light’ is a fact that I can’t ignore…

    • Trebronztul 7:20 am on July 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      On fact, only the early and immature forms of materialism can be considered as acts of faith or, as F. Engels put it, “metaphysics”. In his famous “Anti-Duehring” (published in 1877), he has already presented a critique of this “common sense” based materialism. From this book, I once used the following quote as the motto of my master’s dissertation that I prepared 102 years later:
      “Only sound common sense, respectable fellow that he is, in the homely realm of his own four walls, has very wonderful adventures directly he ventures out into the wide world of research.”

      By contrast, dialectical materialism goes far beyond this “common sense” based materialism. Needless to state that nowadays hardly anyone knows and cares about dialectical materialism, including most scientists. And of course, today much could be added to and modified in Engels’ materialism – WITHOUT FALLING BACK BELOW THE LEVEL THAT HE HAD ALREADY ACHIEVED IN THE 19TH CENTURY, and without falling back into religious mysticism that probably was adequate thinking for feudal and pre-feudal societies (and is dying away to the extent society progresses – good riddance!!). Of course, in times of major crises of the more advanced societies, old religious murmurs tend to come back – as crisis symptoms, NOT as useful recipes for the future!

      Here is a more extensive Engels quote that should clarify things: “Real natural science dates from the second half of the fifteenth century, and thence onward it has advanced with constantly increasing rapidity. The analysis of nature into its individual parts, the grouping of the different natural processes and objects in definite classes, the study of the internal anatomy of organic bodies in their manifold forms — these were the fundamental conditions of the gigantic strides in our knowledge of nature that have been made during the last four hundred years. But this method of work has also left us as legacy the habit of observing natural objects and processes in isolation, apart from their connection with the vast whole; of observing them in repose, not in motion; as constants, not as essentially variables, in their death, not in their life. And when this way of looking at things was transferred by Bacon and Locke from natural science to philosophy, it begot the narrow, metaphysical mode of thought peculiar to the preceding centuries.

      To the metaphysician, things and their mental reflexes, ideas, are isolated, are to be considered one after the other and apart from each other, are objects of investigation fixed, rigid, given once for all. He thinks in absolutely irreconcilable antitheses. “His communication is ‘yea, yea; nay, nay’; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” [Matthew 5:37. — Ed.] For him a thing either exists or does not exist; a thing cannot at the same time be itself and something else. Positive and negative absolutely exclude one another, cause and effect stand in a rigid antithesis one to the other.

      At first sight this mode of thinking seems to us very luminous, because it is that of so-called sound common sense. Only sound common sense, respectable fellow that he is, in the homely realm of his own four walls, has very wonderful adventures directly he ventures out into the wide world of research. And the metaphysical mode of thought, justifiable and even necessary as it is in a number of domains whose extent varies according to the nature of the particular object of investigation, sooner or later reaches a limit, beyond which it becomes one-sided, restricted, abstract, lost in insoluble contradictions. In the contemplation of individual things it forgets the connection between them; in the contemplation of their existence, it forgets the beginning and end of that existence; of their repose, it forgets their motion. It cannot see the wood for the trees.

      For everyday purposes we know and can say, e.g., whether an animal is alive or not. But, upon closer inquiry, we find that this is, in many cases, a very complex question, as the jurists know very well. They have cudgelled their brains in vain to discover a rational limit beyond which the killing of the child in its mother’s womb is murder. It is just as impossible to determine absolutely the moment of death, for physiology proves that death is not an instantaneous momentary phenomenon, but a very protracted process.

      In like manner, every organic being is every moment the same and not the same, every moment it assimilates matter supplied from without, and gets rid of other matter; every moment some cells of its body die and others build themselves anew; in a longer or shorter time the matter of its body is completely renewed, and is replaced by other atoms of matter, so that every organic being is always itself, and yet something other than itself.

      Further, we find upon closer investigation that the two poles of an antithesis positive and negative, e.g., are as inseparable as they are opposed and that despite all their opposition, they mutually interpenetrate. And we find, in like manner, that cause and effect are conceptions which only hold good in their application to individual cases; but as soon as we consider the individual cases in their general connection with the universe as a whole, they run into each other, and they become confounded when we contemplate that universal action and reaction in which causes and effects are eternally changing places, so that what is effect here and now will be cause there and then, and vice versa.

      None of these processes and modes of thought enters into the framework of metaphysical reasoning. Dialectics, on the other hand, comprehends things and their representations, ideas, in their essential connection, concatenation, motion, origin, and ending.”

      • hardie karges 9:26 am on July 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for that, Norbert. In fact some of us care about dialectical materialism AND dialectical idealism…

  • hardie karges 3:26 pm on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , colon, , , Klee Irwin, , , , Science   

    What is #Reality? #Buddhism, #Quantum #Physics or Colon Cleanser, hmmm… 

    Okay, so I have my frustrations from time to time, doubts about my direction and misgivings about my methods, wishing I were more successful and feeling powerless to do anything about it. After all, these things do work themselves out, don’t they? Yes, they do. The problem is that I know exactly what to write to make myself more popular, but it just wouldn’t be honest, so I just can’t do it…

    I know exactly what people want to hear: that we’re all connected, that you are the center of the universe, that you and I are intimately connected to every living organism that has ever existed on this earth, that this very moment is the eternal now, that this is the eternal wow, that every moment that has ever existed is encapsulated in this very moment without end, that we’re all in this together, that one day there will be a better day and a better place… (More …)

     
    • tiramit 8:25 pm on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for this ‘connection’. Wow, incredible video: “all time is affecting all time all of the time” – making it up as we go along…

    • hardie karges 9:53 am on June 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, indeed it seems that way, God help us…

  • hardie karges 12:20 am on October 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Science,   

    Religion 221: Less is More, Time for New Paradigms… 

    036

    Christian church in Ethiopia

    If the Renaissance man was our hero of the 1500’s and the scientist our hero of the 1600’s, then Enlightened Man was the paradigm for the West in the 1700’s and the entrepreneur was the paradigm in the 1800’s. But then the paradigm in the later 1900’s took a dive and our new culture hero was the wild man, the playboy, the gangster, the rogue, the drug addict, the bad boy, the bad girl, the streetwalker, you get the idea: so what is the paradigm of the 2000’s? The hacker, maybe, or a terrorist? Sounds grim…

    Or maybe it’ll be a ‘gender-fluid’ ‘metro-sexual’, born and bred to do the exact opposite: never bear nor breed. Such dirty work is better left to specialized breeders and the truly old-fashioned who know how to do little else. LGBTQA’s have better things to do with their specialized hardware, especially now that non-traditional marriage has largely withstood court challenges. Now nothing is prohibited. That might help ease population pressures… (More …)

     
  • hardie karges 8:47 am on May 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Science   

    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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