Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Buddha

Wisening up? Who is your teacher? Buddha, Jesus, Obama… 

A few bits of wise sayings

Is it you either believe in a God or submit to a life of despair?

As if living among the religious clerics and fanatic religious believers is not the ultimate in desperation.

In the Far East, the source of mass production of cloths, people still manually weaves the garment of monks and for burial ceremony.

What do you gain from meditation?

From The Idealist‘s photo.

Have you already been in Hell? Probably you are a spiritual person

From Freedom Is A State Of Mind‘s photo.

Neuro Linguistic Programming impression on us

"The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations which we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us, and which knows only the oppressors’ tactics, the oppressors’ relationships."</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Audre Lorde
And I’m still free, totally free
Like @[136336876521150:274:Sun Gazing]</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>Please Share
Generation Alpha‘s photo.

The Roman philosopher Epictetus wrote:
“Is there another end but death? It is the fear of death that is cause for the cowardice and despicable nature of mankind.
Practice against the fear of death. To that end, let all your words, studies, lectures, and behaviors be guided to taming fear of death.
It is the only way for people to feel liberated…”
(Accepting death can be forced on us in due time. Accepting that it is natural for people to kill me is out of the equation for accepting death. Otherwise, why are we striving for companionship and for compassionate communities?)
The irony is that religious clerics are professional con artists, and they are honored and paid to resume their conning activities every day.

Promised Paradise way on Nahr Ibrahim (Lebanon); (Apr. 26, 2010)

My body is aching from yesterday horrendous adventure.

In the last three weeks, my nephew has been trekking sections of Nahr Ibrahim (Abraham River, in the district of Byblos,) in company of the wonderful and non complaining dog Misha.

Last Friday, my nephew blundered in my earshot that he is going trekking on Saturday.  I invited myself to be part of the trekking party.  My nephew didn’t respond, hoping that I am most probably jesting.

The next day, I got my tiny backpack ready for the adventure.

My nephew was pretty much lukewarm when confronted with this readiness on my part: he might have serious reservations (you might read my post on trekking in Sad Shabrouh for preliminary causes)

Obviously, I am wearing my swimming trunk: It is a matter of trekking by a river bed, but my nephew warned me that we will have to “wade” in sections of the river.  In my mind, wading means being submerged to the waist at best; I didn’t take into account reasonable factors such as slipping or falling into deep holes.

The party was of around 20 membersand in 5 cars.

We parked in the lowest valley village I know; the village is called Showan (I might edit this post for further details later on).

We reached a section of the river to cross of about only ten meters. It is not a roaring Amazon by any stretch of the imagination.

Big George hopped leisurely to the other side; he is wearing just a swimming trunk and a tiny backpack; he looked like Tarzan.

I was encouraged to be among the first strong hearted member of the trekking party, as is usually the case.  I tied my old pair of khaki sneaker around my neck and raised my jeans to the knee. And that should do the trick.

The first few steps got me face down; I am all wet and thus, nothing mattered anymore.  I hurried my “wading” exercise and fell down several times before I reached destination.  I am bruised, physically and emotionally.

The few cigarettes I had in my shirt pocket are ruined; I decided to remove the cigarettes from the wet box to dry out the cigarettes. I gently picked one cigarette from the box by the filter part and the filter easily separated. And it was the case for the other cigarettes one by one.  I had the pleasure of a discovery: the process of manufacturing local made cigarettes is basically gluing the filter part to the finished cigarette.

I undressed completely, save my swimming trunk: Health dictated that the swimming trunk should go too.  A few members were aligning a tree trunk to permit female members to cross the river safely.

Someone said to wait for my nephew since usually he brings a rope for that purpose. I cursed my hastiness, only to realize that my nephew wanted to make this adventure a Seal or Marine exercise: you have got to feel the pain!

George was in the middle of the river playing the school or scout guard in case of emergencies.  Suddenly, George exclaimed “I feel cold.” George remedy to warming up was to run like Tarzan to the promised paradise.

It goes without saying that I was the first to follow George.  I was not running at all: my wet sneakers weighted 20 pounds.  Then, I saw George hiding behind a bush, up a mount like Tarzan; I was climbing to rejoin him when he preempted me: “Don’t climb. I lost my way.”

Now George climbed a high rock in the river watching for any arriving company.  I ended “wading” my way by the river side to paradise land..

I am glad to report that “bodily navigation of cabotage” by river side made much sense to me.  A few members of the party were advancing ahead of me, using a secret path to a location.  I said: “Better not stop. Let us move on to the Promised Land.”

Karim said: We have reached destination!”  That was a major letdown.  Apparently, the goal was to reach a puny and sickly waterfall.

George hopped behind the Nahr Ibrahim “Water fall”, climbed a rock and sat like Buddha.  I lacked the energy to remove my sneaker and Jeans (weighting 50 pounds), climb a slippery stupid rock and emulate Buddha.

I was the first to vacate Nahr Ibrahim Paradise and got lost on my way back.

I got entangled by lichen and other sorts of nasty prickly branches.  I am back to “wading” by the river side. I realized that the soles of my sneakers are floating free; held miserably by the tip of the shoes.  I was no longer fooling myself: a military helicopter should land and take me home.

I reached first “base” wetter than a disgruntled cat.

One of soles had vanished in the river. I didn’t wait and immediately re-crossed the Rubicon wading in my favorite technique, world known as “Adonis49 super efficient wading technique” to be emulated by Marines and Seals.

I reached second base and harangued the dozen members who smartly refused to cross to get going and follow me: I wanted to urgently locate a sunny spot to dry.   A smart girl reminded me that the sun is no longer vigorous and barely could warm an ant.

Nothing could assassinate my plan: I have got to be first back to the parked car.  I lost my way again and waited for a member to show me the correct secret path. My nephew picked up the second sole and volunteered to relieve me of my weightier backpack: any pound less is a great boost to my morale.

The last 100 yards to destination was the most voluptuous and rewarding trip stretch ever.

When we arrived home, my nephew placed my “sole-freed” sneakers on my room threshold, along with one wet sole.  I asked him: “Why did you do that?  I thought that I left my useless sneakers where we were parked” (as a warning to trekkers in the village of Shwan to cancel their prospective projects).

Devilish William refused to leave any material evidences that might discourage trekkers in those damned vicinities.  I made the last effort to visit my sister just to tell her “I think it is a miracle that I am back”.

My sleeping sister could not but chuckle and interject: “You are supposed to know better than anyone what a trekking project means to William.”

This trekking was a well planned project to inflict most pains and humiliation, but I turned out to be a leader on my way back; and second to leaders most of the adventure.

“Sophie’s World” on David Hume; (Written on Dec. 4, 2009)

How I stumbled on Jostein Gaarder’s “Sophie’s World”, one of New York Times best seller?

My niece is reading this book as required textbook in high school. The manuscript is of 513 pages divided in 35 chapters and talking of a wide array of philosophers and concepts from Socrates, to Descartes, to Hume, Hegel, Kant…, Freud, and the Big Bang.

A short introduction to the story might be entertaining.

The first chapter introduces us to Sophie Amundsen, a 15-year-old girl. Sophie arrives home from school and finds a first envelope addressed to her. The sheet of paper has a single hand written sentence “Who are you?”  Sophie finds another envelops that says “Where does the world come from?

The last delivery of the mailbox is a postcard “Hilde Moller Knag; c/o Sophie Amundsen, 3 Clover Close. Dear Hilde, happy 15th birthday. Forgive me for sending the card to Sophie. It was the easiest way. Love Dad.”

Sophie knows of no Hilde and the phonebook was of no help. Sophie has now three problems to resolve, all in one day. Sophie is baffled and confused:  She is starting her philosophical initiation.  Would Lillemor be the same person? If her hair was not straight and defying all cosmetics for a curly appearance, then would she behaved different? If her nose was a tad bit longer or her mouth smaller, would she be the actual Sophie?

The next problem is even harder to reflect on. Can anything come from nothing? If not, then how far has she to go to the sources in the creation process? Can a creating God come from nothing?

I jumped to page 267 on the British philosopher David Hume (1711-1776). 

Hume was the contemporary of Voltaire and Rousseau or the Age of Enlightenment.  The previous Age was of the “rationalists” such as Descartes, Lock, and Spinoza.

Hume published his main work “A treatise of human nature” when he was 28 of age.  He claims that he got the idea when he was 15.

The empiricist Hume (believing in experiments as the most valid method for acquiring knowledge) said:

“No philosophy will ever be able to take us behind the daily experiences or give us rules of conducts that are different from those we get through reflections on everyday life.”

For example, people have experienced or sensed wings on birds, but that does not mean that the complex idea of “angel” exists. Angels are associations in man’s imagination; thus, the concept of angels is false as an experienced reality and should be rejected from the knowledge baggage.

If a textbook does not offer any experimental reasoning concerning matter of facts and existence then it should be committed to the flames as a book of knowledge.

Hume wanted to know how a child experienced the real world. Hume established that man has two types of perceptions:

1. impression (immediate sensation) and

2. ideas of external reality.

Ideas are recollections of impressions.  For example, getting burned is not the same sensation as remembering getting burned: this would be a pale imitation of actually the stronger feeling of being burned.

Ideas can be simple or complex; we may form complex ideas of the world for which there is no corresponding “object” in the physical world such as angels or God. Each element in the complex idea was previously sensed and the mind constructed a “false object” if not actually existing for the senses.

Descartes indicated that “clear and distinct” ideas guarantee that they corresponded to something that really existed.

One example for Descartes affirmation is the ego “I”, which is the foundation for his philosophy.

Hume begs to differ.

Hume considers that the ego I is a complex idea and constantly altered.  Since we are continuously changing our alterable ego is based on a long chain of simple impressions that we did not experienced simultaneously. “These impressions appear, pass, re-pass, slide away, and mingle in infinite varieties of postures and situations.” It is like the images in a movie screen: they are disconnected single pictures, a collection of instants.

It is the same concept of Buddha (2500 years earlier). Buddha said “There is nothing of which I can say “this is mine” or “this is me””.  Thus, there is no “eternal soul” since “Decay is inherent in all compound things. Work out your own salvation with diligence.”  Hume rejected attempts to prove the immortality of the soul or the existence of God but he never ruled out their possible existence or that of miracles.

On his deathbed, Hume said “It is also possible that a knob of coal placed upon the fire will not burn.

A miracle works against the laws of nature; but again, we have never experienced the laws of nature.

All that we know results from “habit” of our experiences, such as witnessing relationship or “cause and effect” occurring many times, but that we can never say that it might happen “always”.

For example, adults are more awed by magic tricks than children: a child is no more impressed by an apple falling or just floating because he didn’t acquire the habit in his mind for natural occurrences.  Expectations lie in our mind and not in one thing following another.

We human are great in the task of cutting and pasting everything that impresses upon us. Hume says that the preconditions to assembling complex ideas is to have entered all the elements in the form of “simple impressions”.   If we imagine God to be infinitely “intelligent, wise, and good being” then we must have “known intelligence, wisdom, and goodness”.

(How man brought in the “infinitely” in his concept? Did it come from watching the sky as a substitute to the experience of infinity? Somehow, man is able to extrapolate on piece meal experiences).

Hume wanted “to dismiss all this meaningless nonsense which has long dominated metaphysical thought and brought it into disrepute.”  (The introduction of the term metaphysical gave terrible nightmares to the succeeding philosophers fearing that they might sound metaphysical and had to explain at great length their concepts).

Hume cut off the final link between faith and knowledge.

(I conjecture that the deficiencies of our perceptual senses provide rich sources of strong impressions that modify our view of the real world.  For example, when we see double for a while (a temporary affliction), or we feel the ground waving and shaking under our feet when drunk, or under the influence, or when we hear background noises, then these sensation are real first impressions and not just ideas.

Thus, the weaker our constitution, the more acute and varied are our experiences; the more adapted our brain for capturing associations the far more complex is our perception of the world.)

Many rooms for Happiness (January 29, 2009)

1.      Happiness is: good health short on memory (Ingrid Bergman)

2.      There are pieces always missing in happiness (Bossuet)

3.      It is difficult to find happiness within us; it is impossible elsewhere. (Buddha)

4.      Happiness requires talent; misfortune none (Cocteau)

5.      When you swim in happiness don’t forget keeping a toe on firm ground (Escayrol)

6.      Happiness is not acquiring nor enjoying; it is not desiring to be free (Epictetus)

7.      Happiness is the blues at rest (Leo Ferre)

8.      Happiness is kid’s dream realized in adulthood (Sigmund Freud)

9.      Happiness is rarely current (Gusdorf)

10.  Happiness is attention to details (Liu Hiang)

11.  Happiness is not of reason but of imagination. (Emmanuel Kant)

12.  Happiness is to resume desiring what we already have.(Saint Augustine)

13.  Two serve happiness: faith and love (Charles Nodier)

14.  The largest room in the House of Happiness is the waiting room (Jules Renard)

15.  Happiness doubles every time we share it. (Albert Schweitzer)

16.  Do not proclaim a person happy before he dies (Sophocles)

17.  I have decided to be happy: it is great for health (Voltaire)

18.  Happiness is learning to enjoy solitude (Adonis49)

19.  If you can’t be happy then scrap Heaven: we enjoy what we know. (Adonis49)

20.  Cultivate your garden: happiness is sprouting (Adonis49)

21.  Are you a survivor? Stop searching: you are wrapped with Happiness (Adonis49)

22.  Give me fairness; I’ll be happy for both of us (Adonis49)


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