The California Rampage: the Disappearing Difference Between You and ISIS

Why can’t the FBI, CIA and the president just make a statement to dispel doubts about whether this attack is or is not a politically motivated attack, by ISIS or whatever name they choose to give it? Is it that difficult to make that determination despite all the billions of $$ we spend on ‘anti-terrorism’ paraphernalia and surveillance equipment? Did we give up our privacy and internet freedom for this? The mainstream media and our government seem unable to find the difference between ‘you’, the ‘gun-crazy American’, the gun-toting disgruntled worker, and ISIS. The transformation of ISIS into ‘you’ is described further down in the post. For now, Who benefits from this state of ‘uncertainty’?

I know who does not benefit from it: the Muslim and Hindu communities in the US, and the rest of us. The Hindus pay for the Muslims on account of their traditional garments; the public confuses them with Muslims. The Muslims here will pay even if they immolate themselves to prove they are with us and not with ISIS; unfortunately what they have to say doesn’t matter to deaf ears. And the rest of us, well…

If you put your money on producing war armaments, it would be silly not to promote wars to use the armaments. The president is right, but not in the way you think: as long as there is a market for guns, we will be at war. Taking the guns away from people here will not prevent massacres, not here nor around the globe. See Paris, and see the massacres of civilians in the middle east by Western and regional powers. As long as we are in the killing mentality, whether our warmongering governments or us personally, we’ll use guns to kill others around the globe, and those guns will continue to kill us, directly and indirectly here. That’s easy to see.

Think of it this way: Suppose there were a charcoal pit deeper than a man’s height full of glowing coals without flame or smoke; and then a man scorched and exhausted by hot weather, weary, parched, and thirsty, came by a path going in one way only and directed to that same charcoal pit. Then a person with good sight, on seeing him would say “This man so behaves, so conducts himself, has taken such a path, that he will come to this charcoal pit”, and then later on he sees that the man has fallen into that charcoal pit and is experiencing extremely painful, piercing feelings.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know what the consequences of ours and other people’s behaviors will be if we have good sight. If people take the path of war and hate and killing to solve their problems, they are bound to fall into the pit and reap only more piercing painful feelings. If people here choose to kill or beat up Muslims and Hindus and Blacks and Whites and women and dogs and cats and birds…you are bound to fall into the pit of social punishment, by enacted laws, and be discredited as a human being. That ought to be enough to keep you focused away from violence.

ISIS Becomes You

The problem is not ‘guns’, it’s not ISIS. The problem is our inability to look ahead to the dangers in front of us. If you don’t question the behaviors of your political leaders and your own, what are the powerful feelings and desires guiding them and you, you will not reduce personal and social pain and suffering, you will continue to be the puppet that we all are in the hands of our badly chosen political leaders.

Our politicians are feeding this war, they have toppled all secular governments in the Middle East and are in the path of toppling the last one, Syria. Our government is supporting ISIS to topple Syria, that’s one of the reasons our government is reluctant to denounce ISIS involvement in this attack here at home.

You must ask yourselves how is ISIS better for everybody, there and here, than Assad? Is there a diplomatic solution better than bombing civilians? I’m not pro Assad or against him or ISIS. Any side I chose will invariably lead to pain because the people who make the decisions to go to war have chosen war as the answer; they just want me and you to follow their thinking and praise their intentions to keep us at war.

On the other hand, this is not a ‘good moment’ for them to manipulate our hatred against ISIS, because they are more interested in YOU, the gun-toting unhappy American than on ISIS actions here. So, ‘terrorism’ becomes ‘you’, the gun-crazy American. The difference between ISIS and you disappears when the term ‘terrorist’ is applied indiscriminately to you and ‘them’ equally with out consideration to the politics of war ; when ‘terrorism’ is a matter of  routine violence in our lives: mental illness, unhappy at work, and permanent war. We are at war, what do you expect, peace at home? That’s the message, ‘get used to it’. 

“Terrorism” is a convenient word, because it is chock full of emotions, it can be manipulated as needed. What we do or don’t do about this word will come to bite us in the derriere here at home.

Anyone with good sight can see that.

Please, don’t let them take you through the path of hatred, don’t fall into the pit of anger. Take the path less traveled, the path of self-awareness and of compassion for all those suffering by these wars so that we may demand less bombs and more diplomacy. The other word, peace, needs to be resuscitated.

 

Advertisements
Posted in Politics, Social Violence | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Our Ecosystem and Tech Giants Philanthropy

As I was reading the Washington Post’s article about how the Asian and Pacific coconut oil industry has callously skinned alive Borneo’s ecosystem to reap financial profits, the Buddha’s teaching about the interdependence of everything in this existence, better known as Dependent Origination, kept flashing in my mind.

Is it possible for humans to engage in commerce without destroying the ecosystem?  Was the Borneo environmental atrocity avoidable (humans, plants and animals all suffered the consequences)? Asian and Pacific nations, many of them poor, have discovered that there is a sudden demand for coconut oil in the West, and so they ran to their beautiful ocean lands and simply squeezed the juice out of the earth, not only of the coconuts,  to make a buck, so to speak. Some people needed the jobs, though. So, what to do?

Given that everything is interconnected, some answers to those questions may be tied to the other article in the WaPo: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan to give away 99 percent of their Facebook stock, worth $45 billion. These tech giants (the WaPo uses the term, it’s already accepted as collective name for them) claim they want to ‘educate’ our children, which seems a noble gesture. But is it a disinterested gesture, and does it matter? And how is their decision to put their money on education related to the environmental atrocity in Borneo?

The Buddha taught the to understand things as they are we must ask questions and scrutinize the things and our believes about them. Their way of thinking matters to us. They have the $$ and the power to impose that philosophy on the rest of society. Their view of life, morals and priorities, in education and everything else, is the one we are adopting by means of their ‘philanthropy’. They are called ‘movers and shakers’ for something, aren’t they? They shake our beliefs and our social priorities on account of the over-importance and privilege we give them based on their technological contributions.

The attitudes of the Asian and Pacific Coconut industry is the same as the tech giants’ and ours here: the search for profit at any cost, which is the philosophical base of our current form of human organization. That philosophy is so discredited that mentioning its name causes angry reactions: capitalism. Defenders of this system don’t tolerate expressions of concerns about how out of control the pursue of profit is, while the horrific consequences continue to pile up in front of our eyes.

But that’s the kind of philosophy the Zuckerbergs and the tech giants are going to teach our children, the attitude that sustains the continued exploitation of this planet for profit at any cost. Don’t expect the elite to teach moral values contrary to theirs; they are the type of people who refuse to comply with water rationing in California because, as they say, they are not us, they have too much money to be subjected to the same rules as the lower castes.

“Raw scribbles of access roads and terraced fields erase the lush diversity of Sarawak’s rolling lowlands in favor of a single tree: the oil palm. The profitability of palm oil has sent the crop sprawling across about 8 million acres of Borneo — an area roughly the size of Switzerland. (Mattias Klum/Tierra Grande AB)”

To avoid more Borneos, we need to  consciously adopt an attitude of wanting to live collectively in balance, which means we most FIRST change our attitude towards money and profit as the main goal of humanity. If the main reason for wanting to change things is to stop destroying humans and the environment, then that reason is based on compassion and self-preservation, the two moral values most despised by capitalists and Russian and Chinese style socialists.

We will destroy this humanity unless we do a radical change in our attitudes.

I repeat this a lot: contrary to the Marxists and the ‘capitalist elite’, the Buddha didn’t blame the wealthy nor the poor for our self-inflicted suffering; he blamed it on our undeveloped mental power, on our ignorance of how our mind works that ends up leading us to focus on self-gratification at the expense of others. These tech giants are morally corrupt, but it’s because they are ignorant in that way (I’m not defending them). They are not the only ones with that problem, we all share  the same problem of ignorance in more or less amount. It’s not about  IQ intelligence.

How can we learn to develop our mind power while we are being constantly distracted by the culture of consumerism, hate and wars? Our social priorities are a reflection of the immensity our ignorance; they are the product of our mental tendency to self-gratification, of unrestrained greed and conceit.

And now, we are letting the hungry wolves tell us how to make the calves fatter.

 

Posted in History of Buddhism, Mind Science, Politics | Leave a comment

About the Web of Relations of Earthlings

Some followers of Buddhism meditate on the Buddha’ sayings to help them stay away from  negative and hurtful thoughts and deeds; for example, on his precept “behind every great man there is a woman rolling her eyes”…um, nope, that’s not a Buddha saying. This one is: “greed is the root of all suffering”.

Image result for funny buddha quotes

That image is an excellent depiction of that message. But if greed and desires are at the root of suffering, how do we find that root without the wonderful precepts, like the one above, before or after a behavior manifests?

processWhen the Buddha said that “greed is the root of all suffering” he had a whole ‘theory’ to explain that this suffering is the result of a process, a mental process which culminates in a particular thought or deed that will produce joy or suffering, or be emotionally neutral. But we are oblivious of this process during at least 99% of our daily living and fail to make the connection between the suffering or joy, which is the end product of the process, and its origin. I guess that’s the second of the 4 Noble truths: there is the origin of suffering.

The second important teaching is that  the existence of everything on this planet is contained within a web of interrelations.

blue-marble

If it is born on this planet, it shares with everything else in it its dependence on the earth’s atmosphere, and contributes something to the planet during its existence or at the time of death. It is also interrelated with every other earthlings: animal, vegetal, and mineral. We are all linked by that atmosphere. That’s why when you bomb Syria, you feel it here one way or the other: budget cuts, refugees, terrorist attacks…It’s the butterfly effect.

Consequently, everything anyone does will have an impact on the planet and its inhabitants, either at the micro or macro levels. But, again, we spend 99% of our lives unaware of that relation, we totally ignore it to the point that we find explanations or excuses for our behaviors as if they were not related or would have no impact on this planet on which our lives totally depend, invariably of race, class, religious believes, gender, political affiliation, etc.

Space Junk Graphic

This graphic, created in 2013, shows the cloud of space junk surrounding Earth. If smog and contamination doesn’t create global warming, that cloud of junk definitely can; and it is man-made too. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/JSC

So, it is through studying and meditating/pondering (for those who don’t like to meditate) on the cognitive process that we will be able to develop the  type of knowledge and understanding needed to live a personal and social life with less oppression. The sutra The Root of Existence is the one to start with. Practice applying the teaching to your life and to understand how others engage in cognitive errors.

science2

That’s the type of power that the dreamers of mind uploading can’t promise you. The type of super-knowledge the tech giants offer with their ‘mind science’ is encyclopedic, piling up gigabytes of  data in ‘memory’, and it is heartless.  All of that data will only  desensitize you and turn you into a heartless robot. Knowledge without heart is just words. The Buddha offered both to us.

 

Posted in Mind Science | Leave a comment

The Path to Immortality: Through Torturing Animals

WARNING!

The first four minutes are heartbreaking and may be disturbing to animal lovers. You may want to skip the first three minutes.

 

I have to quote myself, sorry, from the previous post:

This is the new science, were the  concept of knowledge and of the thing to be ‘known’ – the body (not the human that inhabits it) – are devoid of their humanity and of human concerns: thinking and the self are reduced 0’s and 1’s, to wiring  and coded instructions, to digitized brains.

self control

One could interpret the Buddha’s teachings as his vision of humans influencing their evolution. He knew that the only way we can transform the disheartening violent and emotionally ignorant Homo sapiens into a new and compassionate humanity is by developing its mental capacity, so it can finally catch up with its ability to create tools and transform the technology of self-destruction into life-affirming tools. He aimed at the mind with mind as a tool, teaching that there is no human progress without the ethical/moral element of compassion. The goal of evolution in the Buddha’s vision is to end self-inflicted personal and social suffering, and its source: wars, hate, greed…The tech giants see evolution as a business, except that they will own you.

If you want to be a knowing-all god, well, good luck with that. All you’ll achieve is becoming a know-nothing slave.

Video | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Dead Science Walking: Tech Giants Killing the Scientific Method

“He and the tech titans who founded Google,Facebook, eBay, Napster and Netscape are using their billions to rewrite the nation’s science agenda and transform biomedical research.

“It seems pretty egocentric while we still have malaria and TB for rich people to fund things so they can live longer.” Bill Gates.

Has science failed humanity? Dead Science Walking

What is the purpose of science? Whatever it is, it has failed in improving the quality of relations among humans over the last two centuries.  Many of the products of science are inaccessible to the majority of people; they often end up used as weapons of mass destruction and in private hands.

But if  you thought that science has lost touch with our personal and social needs, expect things to get really grotesque:

“their objective is to use the tools of technology — the chips, software programs, algorithms and— to understand and upgrade what  they consider to be the most complicated piece of machinery in existence: the human body.”

This is the new science, were the  concepts of knowledge and the thing to be ‘known’ – the body (not the person that inhabits it) – are devoid of their humanity and of human concerns: thinking and the self are reduced to 0’s and 1’s, to wiring  and coded instructions, to digitized brains.

Computer technology, as with all technology, is a tool; it produces computerized consumer goods, but  has been elevated to the class of new science, one which officially dispenses with the scientific method, the heart of Western science, and with all the requirements it demands  fulfilling before one can claim a scientific achievement.

The first step is take down those silly posters about the scientific method. They just give the wrong idea about science. The second step would be to change the textbooks.

“The first step is take down those silly posters about the scientific method. They just give the wrong idea about science. The second step would be to change the textbooks.” What is wrong with the scientific method? Rhett Allain of Wired magazine.

In this post I will discuss how the tech giants are enacting a technological coup against our national science sector to crown computer and data hoarding technology as the official valid ‘science’ of our society. It’s a ‘science’ controlled by them; and it is up to you to decide whether it is in your best interest and of society for this handful of billionaires to impose their personal god-like ‘scientific’ priorities (immortality, for example) over the rest of us.

I also discuss at the end of the post my view of Buddhism as a conception of the ‘new Homo sapiens’. The Buddha said  “you don’t need technology to achieve an all-knowing mind”. Well, he didn’t say it like that, but that’s what he would say today. It’s either the tech giants’ grotesque idea of  ‘all-encompassing mind’ as mind uploading sci-fi  or the Buddha’s development of mind by natural means to achieve knowledge with a heart, with a purpose: developing compassion to stop hurting each other and destroying the planet. It’s your choice.

The lack of compassion of scientists is appalling. This is unnecessary. But don’t tell that to those who only think about their own needs. This is working on ‘immortality’. That head is supposedly alive. See the video https://thebuddhawasoutofhismind.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/the-path-to-immortality-through-torturing-animals/

 

 

            Is it sciences’ duty to fix social problems?
            What is the purpose of science? 
            What is science? 
            Is science the same as technology? 
            Should it be in private hands?

Ditching the Scientific Method: Tech Giants’ Scientific Revolution

The new millennium has started with a humanity-changing ideological scientific revolution, um, not a good one. Today, an elite of non-scientists billionaire computer technology businessmen, dubbed “the tech giants” (TG) by our mainstream media, are single-handedly, openly, shamelessly and arrogantly subverting our notions of science and appropriating our public national scientific sector. They are imposing on our society their ‘scientific’ agenda, and they don’t welcome our input.

Blatant. TechCrunch’s conference theme says it all.

Their attitude, exquisitely saturated with overestimation of their personal importance to humanity, is most relevant today in any discussion of the state and future of the modern scientific profession, and in deciding our scientific goals and policies in the future.

These technocrats  have declared that the scientific method, science itself, is useless and anachronistic, basically unnecessary to achieve what god and nature have  been unwilling to grant ‘man’ (meaning them): immortality. You don’t need science or god for that! All you need is hubris. Their next logical priority is ‘controlling the evolution of the new Homo sapiens’ through their patented computer technology

Their impact on the scientific sector is palpable. They are buying scientists and researchers (privatizing science) who are churning out the results they were paid to produce, without oversight and with disregard to ethical and quality control considerations, without conventional science to corroborate their claims. And their futuristic visions are now part of our culture, absorbed through our interactions with their computer products: PC games, iPhones and other computer tech wonders.

Non-scientists tech giants buying scientists: Apple’s Arthur D. Levison, FB’s Zuckerman, and Yuri Milner.

“Vinod Khosla, one of Silicon Valley’s most revered venture capitalists, likened the practice of medicine to witchcraft. He argued that machines are better than the average doctor and that disruption in health care was more likely to be driven by those outside the industry [like him] than those in the profession.”

The New Homo sapiens Roboticus

The phrase now in vogue ‘the evolution of the new Homo sapiens’ is nothing but a metaphor for the envisioned transformation of every aspect of human relations through technology in private hands: finance, business, entertainment, access to improved ‘life-expectancy’ technology, crime prediction, environment-changing technology, warfare…That’s enough to merit worrying about junk science, again.

The focus of technology is on products of physical comfort, not on the pursuit of deep knowledge about life, what is the mind, what is the self, consciousness, what makes us human, and knowledge itself; yet,  they claim having successfully replicated some  of those human capacities they admit they don’t understand. But they have also said they don’t need to understand what consciousness is. That claim from them make sense to me.

In technology you only need data because you are only producing objects, consumers products. So, the technologistsvision of the new Homo sapiens is of a robot imitating human motions devoid of moral components.  This is passing as science, even though the robot is only a tool, i.e., technology.

On the other hand, the act of inserting a chip in a human brain (to ‘update’ that person’s mind, I guess) doesn’t create a new humanity: the person can’t pass the chip implanted in his/her brain to  his/her child during conception. What is new is the relation between humans, where the owner and producer of the chip and software  can control the behaviors of those carrying his computer products by code and from the distance. If that prospect doesn’t scare the bejesus out of you, I envy you.

self control

Self control?

THE LANGUAGE OF PSEUDO-SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY

Being that the tech giants expertise is computer technology, their view of ‘man’ evolves parallel to their products, conceptualized in the language of their craft, visualized as dressed with the materials of their products: computer, PC, (digital) data, software, electronic circuitry, silicon chips…

brainy

That laptop is really you!

For example: In computer technology the words ‘store’ and ‘primary storage‘ used to define a container that stores electronic circuitry which can be turned on and off by applying high or low current; those words are now obsolete, not representing the evolved tech giants’ view of humans as an inferior form of the super computer they are striving to build.

So, the tech giants swapped terms of art of their craft, like ‘primary storage‘, with terms associated with human capabilities or living matter: the container for circuits became ‘memory‘. It’s not human memory – we have no silicon chips in our brains (yet) – but computer memory, coded commands, 1’s and 0’s, now viewed as equivalent or superior to that of humans, even though it is still only a ‘container’. Computer memory is a metaphor usurping the identity of human memory, so to speak.

memory

Which of these two memory containers better represents your own type of memory?

The consumers’ passive interaction with the products of computer technology (PC, iPhone, etc.) allows, by mere habit of using the technical terms, for updating their definition of memory, accepting the metaphorical as being the real thing.

Computer technology is the accumulation of data acquired, mostly illegally and unbeknownst to us, from every single human interaction with a computer online, for the purpose of coding instructions for a machine to produce movements which we interpret as ‘human-like’. That is their science, how to acquire data and organize it. But, that’s really technology, not ‘living science’. Life is about biological processes, computer software is about electronics and coding. There’s a big difference, folks.

Image result for junk transhumanism

The Tech Giants: Attitudes

They are the Silicon Valley CEOs business men of computer and digital technology who have come to believe that their god-like self-image, arisen from their financial power, from their indisputable creativity and, sadly, from a public that treats them as divine avatars, is the real thing. Included in this category are the similarly thinking giants of other economic sectors.

They have made statements to the effect that, due to their superior minds and importance to society, they should not be subjected to the same laws that apply to the average human being. While criminal laws were probably in their minds too, it is to the same laws of existence discovered and developed by the Buddha to which they were referring in interviews, i.e., the law of impermanence, that everything is subject to change, and death is an inconvenience. Well, the Buddha didn’t say it is an ‘inconvenience’; the tech giants did, and their aversion to it is the fuel behind their ‘vision’ of human evolution.

For Thiel, death is the “great enemy” of humankind
“Death makes me very angry. Premature death makes me angrier still.” Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation and the fifth-richest person in the world

This is NOT the type of death to which he is referring. He’s referring to his and other tech giants’ lives cut short when they have  so much more to offer humanity.

You will be hard press to find in any interview with these dreaming billionaires  a discussion about applying their research and technological magic to reduce poverty and inequality in this planet. That’s probably because their magic is being heavily used for military purposes, an economical sector that specializes in producing  death en mass and the most terrifying tools to do it with utmost pain.

dod

The partnership between the military and the tech giant’s goal of immortality is a contradiction worth pondering about.

dress rehearsal

Conclusion

Viewing the tech giants’ ‘mind science’ for what it really is, advanced electronic technology, not science, should make it easier to understand why they don’t discuss philosophical questions about the human characteristics they are “imitating” with their robots,  like the nature of ‘self’, ‘personality’, ‘soul’, whether it exist or not. Well, maybe it’s better they don’t get into that.

The Buddha, on the other hand, had answers to those questions.

One could interpret the Buddha’s teachings as his vision of humans influencing their evolution. He knew the only way we can transform the disheartening violent and emotionally ignorant Homo sapiens into a new and compassionate humanity is by developing its mental capacity so it can finally catch up with its ability to create tools and transform the technology of self-destruction into life-affirming tools.

He aimed at the mind with mind as a tool, teaching that there is no human progress without the ethical/moral elements of compassion. The goal of evolution in the Buddha’s vision is to end self-inflicted personal and social suffering and its source: wars, hate, greed…The tech giants see it as a business.

He taught that while soul and self are not permanent, they are necessary for us to live in society because  those characteristics, which not only humans have, are the basis for compassion and love for everything in this planet.

So, the question is: How this anti-science coup will affect humanity? I’m OK with questioning science; I’m not in favor of being dragged into the delusions of this elite computer technocrats. We need to question them and their intentions.

science2

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Human Upgrade Tech titans’ latest project: Defy death

The Immortality Financiers: The Billionaires Who Want to Live Forever

Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science

What comes after Homo Sapiens?

What is wrong with the scientific method?

The History of SIM, Whole Brain Emulation and Mind Uploading

http://www.randalkoene.com/publications/publications

Arrogance Is Good: In Defense of Silicon Valley

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1380252/Secret-life-bitter-billionaire-Eclipsed-fellow-Microsoft-founder-decades-Paul-Allen-finally-steps-Bill-Gates-shadow.html

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha
A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya
Bhikkhu Ñāṇamoli
Bhikkhu Bodhi  Look for the first sutra: The Root of All Things. I highly recommend this 109 pages discussion in  PDF by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

Posted in Mind Science, Politics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The New Buddhism: Evolutionist

NEW BUDDHISM: EVOLUTIONIST

It’s time to give Buddhism a face-lift, the energy and newness squandered away throughout thousands of years of monkish ambivalency between denying and calling itself a religion, their own internal investiture controversy.

It’s time to put Buddhism back on the path the Buddha walked for 45 years; not the one of religion, which he unmistakably repudiated. But the progressive path towards advanced efficient human relations. It was not about salvation, salvation is other-worldly and personal; he was addressing our  humanity, or lack of it.

For, instead of siting navel-watching or going back to his palace to rule as a benevolent king, he chose walking and sharing with humanity that awesome vision he had that fateful day when he became awaken under the fig tree: a society of humans with advanced thinking and mental powers; that was the ‘salvation’. He envisioned us, with his exceptional comprehension of the marks of existence, i.e., that everything is in constant change and impermanent, as naturally and in freedom evolving from the disheartening violent and ignorant Homo sapiens that we have always been, into a new purposeful human species.

But nothing resists change more efficiently than religion and the thirst for power. And the dreams of today’s scientists of the mind…they are as grotesque as when they were using their science to lobotomize children and the mentally ill to make them socially ‘compliant’:

Our bodies and brains will be surrounded by and merged with computer power, which itself will become as powerful as our brains, or more so. As we merge machines into our minds we will indeed be deconstructed and put back together. We will use technology to redesign ourselves, our children and animals, into varieties of intelligent life impossible to predict. [source]

The message the Buddha  spread for 45 years was about the imperative need for humans to quickly get on to the next level of mental development, that Homo sapiens has the capacity to expedite its own mental evolution. And in his teachings he gave us the key to get moving on: the key for a superior human being is in our minds.

He gave us his science of the mind: it is a spring cleaning of our cognitive process using the broom of compassion to sweep away all the dirt of conceit, greed and unrestrained consumerism that never satiate our sensual cravings. Unrestrained consumerism has always been with us, it’s not of this millennium. We just get better at being unrestrained, as those scientists are clearly demonstrating.

What comes after Homo sapiens is being widely discussed by the new scientist of the mind, but I don’t like the name given to it: trans-human. More important is that it must be purposeful and  consciously learning to direct the mind to end self-inflicted social suffering,  to better ourselves.

That’s why we need to get back on the Buddha’s track, before it’s too late. That’s why he kept saying “there is no time to waste”. He knew how far this Homo sapiens is capable of going with its inhumanity.

This post is too long already. In the next I will share my understanding of how Buddhism lost its path and how to find it again.  Feel free to post your comments, after all, these are the open-for-debate opinions of a lay Buddhist.

Posted in History of Buddhism, Mind Science, Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Prophetic Buddha: Heirs in the Dharma

Content
Not of Material Things
Sariputta Tells is As it Is
Grow up, Homo sapiens!

Has anyone of you tried to organize something, a club, a sorority, a community association, a religious cult, a political party,a non-for-profit..? If you have (I have!), you know how difficult it is, especially  with respect to upholding the so-called mission statement. Well, that the Buddha had this problem too is evident in the few sutras (teachings) that his early followers chose to preserve about it in the Pali Canon.

The discussion on sutra #3, Heirs in Dharma, is relevant to the problems Buddhism is facing today.

The sutra describes precisely what today’s sangha is doing: pursuing material things, being “luxurious and careless, leaders in backsliding, neglectful of seclusion”. Interestingly enough, this sutra has kind of disappeared from the internet: Access to Insight did not include it in its website’s Tipitaka collection, and a cursory research online (which I did for this post) will yield almost nothing on this sutra.

Not in Material Things

How do his monks, not the lay followers, show to the public that they are practicing what they are preaching? That’s really the concern of the Buddha in this teaching, credibility :

you will not be reproached…you will be reproached

The underlying tone of this sutra and the content may be interpreted as him being seriously pissed off with the behavior of his monks. Consider how he begins it with what seems like a scolding:

Out of compassion for you I have thought…

In other words, once he became enlightened, the story goes, he could have just gone away and let his people find the way on their own, instead he chose to teach the impossible dharma out of compassion; but his monks are making him regret taking that decision, or he is just reminding them of this.

So, this is the problem, that they are engaging in the pursue of material things. And that would be fine if the Buddha was organizing a day-camp, but not for a radical  philosophical movement. This is similar to the story of Jesus at the temple. You are dealing here with MORAL and ethical claims to attract people so they at least consider listening to you: greed and hate are the causes of human brutality to each other.

Be my heirs in Dharma, not my heirs in material things. Out of compassion for you I have thought: ‘How shall my disciples be my heirs in Dharma, not my heirs in material things?

If you are my heirs in material things, not in Dharma, you will be reproached thus: ‘the Teacher’s disciples live as his heirs in material things, not as heirs in Dharma’; and I will  be reproached thus: ‘the Teacher’s disciples live as heirs in…

If you are my heirs in the Dharma and not my heirs in material things, you…I will not be reproached and it will be said thus: ‘the Teacher’s disciples live as heirs in Dharma, not as heirs in material things’.


Sariputta Tells is As it IS

You’ve gotta love his sublime patience. I would have fired them all! That’s why Sariputta, who didn’t have hairs in his tongue (from no tener pelos en la lengua= Spanish saying for ‘he tells it as it is’) clarified the teaching to the monks:

In what way do disciples of the Teacher don’t follow the teachings?
1. They don’t abandon what told to abandon.
2. They are luxurious and careless.
3. They are leaders in backsliding, neglectful of seclusion.

Friends, the evil herein is greed and hate, anger and revenge, contempt and domineering attitude, envy and avarice, deceit and fraud, obstinacy and presumption, conceit and arrogance, vanity and negligence.

That last paragraph is about the attitudes of the person, the glorious individual  praised by our profit-seeking ideology, that cause so much trauma to each other in society. How in hell does a human being stop being ‘human’ and becomes ‘a saint’? It’s not about that.

Grow up, Homo sapiens!

It’s about a humanity whose mind is underdeveloped, who needs to understand that their ‘natural’ way of thinking is primitive, to understand that they don’t know how their brain and mind works. That’s today’s scientists admission, that they don’t understand how the brain and mind works, this is no news.

But our scientists are pursuing an ‘understanding’ of the mind with the purpose of improving profit seeking techniques and control of others. The professional Buddhists, well, they are just riding the wave with the well-to-do class.

So, let’s acknowledge that our way of thinking is primitive, we are still in the process of evolution. It’s not about religion or ideology, it’s about our inefficient understanding of our cognitive process. Let’s get on with the learning, people!

Buddhism needs a face-lift. Go find what the Buddha himself was saying, not the interpretations these professional Buddhists are selling you. Go to the SUTRAS! Forget about imitating the Buddha or about weird meditation techniques you can’t benefit from because they come from a culture with a different attitude.

Study the basics in the sutras, forget about getting to the jhanas. Just focus on learning how cognition works or don’t work. When you understand how we get attached to things and how to detach from them, and practice it, then society starts to heal because greed and hatred is reduced little by little.

Don’t try to be a god!

 

 

Posted in History of Buddhism, Mind Science, Politics, Sutras | Tagged , | Leave a comment