Warning. The following publications may induce intense reasoning.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Failure Of The Buddha

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The Buddha, as described & depicted by the ancient Buddhist texts in the Suttas, specifically the older text from the Pitaka, is painted for us as a person who did not strictly associate himself with any group, nor considered any place as a specific place of practice. That is to say, that the Buddha did not weave together with his Dhamma, the concepts of a monastery, or a religious group, under one name.

Just like researchers today, and in the past, he was a man, who suggested a system of rules & practices that recognized a problem, and pointed to a solution. And just like other researchers, even since before his time, his system was described in terms that were relevant to his time and place. Beyond its' basic principles, it only created many responses to issues of its' time.

The Buddha is depicted as debating his opinions with others. The Buddha is depicted as putting forth concentration & thought, into understanding his reality. The Buddha is depicted as a person who accepted disciples, which means that he accepted disagreement, and different ways of using his ideas.

Understanding this history of Buddhism, and by doing some research about our own contemporary Buddhism, it comes to light that there really is no such thing as "Buddhism." What there is, is the Dhamma - the rules that the Buddha described, and the results he predicted, for following those rules. We also have several millennia, in which people have tried those rules, in an endless variety of ways.

And the result? Failure. There is no evidence, whatsoever, that the Buddha's Dhamma actually achieves the results it predicts. Saying that a person has not used the Dhamma for "enough time", or that those who fail, do not "really follow the Dhamma", is not acceptable reasoning. Scientists and researchers do not, these days, accept "laws of nature" that do not prove themselves constantly.

I practice meditation,
but do so regardless of Buddhism,
like most people.
Today, there are simply too many recorded instances of people, who do follow the Dhamma, but do not present the expected results. The ending to suffering - Dukkha. This is not only objectively so. Many who have practiced this faith wholly, and for a period of several years, often describe not feeling what is to be expected.

For the Buddha's ideas to be true, to be a law of nature - Dhamma, they must repeat in a reliable manner. This is simple scientific observation. Naturally, there can be argument about the validity of certain cases. But, like with anything else, when there is an overwhelming account of failure, then there can be nothing left, but suspicion and doubt.
Lao Tzu, of the ancient wisdom of the Tao Te Ching, was not affiliated with any group, either. He taught what he saw as the law of nature - Tao, in an a way that is applicable to people, as well. These are the most concise and specific ideas he could use, to predict results with. There is an interesting correlation between the two faiths, when their origins, history and modern expressions are examined and compared.
If the Buddha ever had a religion, it was simply the manifestation of his own ideas, and nothing more. If he ever had a monastery or sacred place, it would be nothing more, than just his home. If he ever had disciples, they would be nothing more, than just interested equal parties. Buddha, like many other charismatic teachers, had his own traditions and notions about life. Those worked out in limited ways, and never proved to be anything but generally good ideas, if even that.

The same could be said about any of us.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Warhammer Production!

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Click here to download an excerpt from Thorn and Talon.

The Warhammer audiobooks were a refreshing surprise to my senses. I believed to have been well acquainted with well-made science-fiction and fantasy audiobooks, but discovered an exceptionally made production, in this case!

In my excitement, I bring this report to you, my audience, before browsing deeply into the collection; which, by the way, spans over 30 stories! Of course, most of them are rather short. Some of those I have enjoyed, so far, were about an hour long. And what an hour it was!

The production of the audiobooks includes clear narration by a professional, who does the characters very well, and music & sound-effects, according to the situation entailed. This mixture of grand production and refined stories, brings together some of the best fiction audiobooks available! The narrator appears to be British, or at least, he is well versed in their speech habits.

I will post an update, when I find myself at the end of this wonderful collection, so stay tuned.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Celebration of Ten Thousand Blossoms

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A haiku for my reaching the 10,000 unique visitors mark!

    "    people come to watch                                                
        where robots host the show                              
                       in a house of words         "            



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

No Money In My Bitcoin

My latest rap single has been released, from my home "studio"! I find it entertaining, and I sure hope that you do, as well.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Basking In Fantasy

In these cold winter days, up here in the northern hemisphere of the Earth, I find myself spending more hours reading books of fiction. Well, I say reading, but I enjoy more audio-books than paper books or ebooks, really.

It is enjoyable to imagine different worlds, full of unexplored wonders with tales of thrilling adventures. Whether these worlds are either strongly or loosely based on our own reality, matters little.

The Elder Scrolls Online
Is it all just a pretense?

The careful mixture of emotions and ideas that is displayed in stories, represents a reality that is not quite our own, but more so how we feel about it.

In other words, stories feel more real, while representing reality in an impossible way. After all, stories can describe events and objects that clearly have no evidence for, in our own lives, while still feeling true and eminent.

Sort of like living a lie?

No. Our perception of reality does not change, when we pretend. A pretense is only a layer that we put over our perception of reality, just like putting sunglasses over our eyes. It does not change our notion what is real.

Still, to pretend that a story, or even a game, has real meaning, requires from us a justification. We justify the pretense, by setting out rules of conduct in a defined setting. This is the same as actors, when they play a character on stage or in front of the camera. Pretending to be a character outside of that setting, would only then truly be lying.

Is the purpose of pretense to generate beneficial behavior?

Dreams are a pretense. We experience dreams, in order to improve the functionality of the brain, and thus generate beneficial behavior, when we are awake again.

We also have many popular games, from card & board games to sports and social entertainment games, that encourage action and thought, where idleness and atrophy would have been the default. Even if on rare occassion conflict or injury may result, those are still generally considered beneficial.

Never the less, there are many instances of pretense that neglect to consider our well-being. False marketing, militarism, nationalism, religious fanaticism & extreme hierarchies are some examples that we are all familiar with.

Behold, how this monstrosity turns into an
 innocent little girl, in front of your eyes!
Does pretense enhance our sense of reality?

It sounds like a contradiction, right? Imagining things in order to enhance our sense, or understanding, of reality. Almost laughable.

All cultures, from the wildest tribes to the most technologically sophisticated nations, bask in fantasy. More often than not, it is those most impossible ideas and stories that persist, when a culture makes the transition from tribe to nation: The belief in deities, and superstitious behavior.

It is the need of living things to grow that encourages pretense, wherever and whenever life is little more than subsistence. Boredom, tediousness, disinterest, and even apathy, are all urgent signals for us to find entertainment in pretenses that rejuvenate our faculties.

So, I must conclude that yes, pretense enhances our sense of reality. Pretense brings us to life, when we would have become dull and detached, from our own needs and abilities.

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