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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

a hint, a hint for elsewhere

a hint, a hint for elsewhere
where you may find, scrawled across the interwebs
a mirror image of a post
a cryptic poem, doubly spoken
turned into
a portal

Friday, October 3, 2014

A new form of loneliness

Loneliness can exist, of course, all throughout the time of growth and development.

One distinction for the loneliness I sporadically experience (or which, perhaps, underlies even my most crimson moments of sweet solitude), is that these days, compared to when I was younger, my loneliness is no longer quite so wedded to victimhood.

An old blog I used to write in had the tagline "I opt to be misunderstood".

Of course, this was intentionally provocative; It spoke as much about my rebellion as it did about my desire to be loved, cared for, and indeed, understood and comprehended.

These days, there is a loneliness which presupposes that, actually, there will indeed be times when I will not be understood, and that this misunderstanding may be as much about others' lack of capacities to understand as it may be about either my own inability to communicate something comprehensibly, or about my own defeatedness about the elusive nature of "comprehension"; allowing myself to be swallowed up in the identification with Mystery.

Not to "be mysterious", but to be ... allowing of Mystery to be what works its way through me/us, or that supercedes any human attempt at comprehension.

This loneliness is victimless.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The World’s Politest Protesters

"Rather than presenting scenes of smashed shops or violent confrontations with the police—the sort of images we have grown accustomed to in Cairo, Ukraine, and other sites of popular protests against oppressive regimes—the photos from central Hong Kong show smiling students sitting around doing their homework, passing out donations of food, and meticulously picking up litter—even sorting out the recyclables. What, then, is different about these Hong Kong demonstrators? And how might their almost exaggerated politeness help them against the notoriously severe Chinese Communist Party?

The answers to these questions can be found in the appropriately titled “Manual of Disobedience.” Published online several days before the Occupy Central campaign was set to begin, the document (written in Chinese and English) is part how-to guide and part philosophical mission statement. It details the movement’s tactics, the rules for nonviolent protest, the legal codes that may be violated, and the exact procedure to follow should someone be arrested. It also implores protesters to “avoid physical confrontation, but also to avoid developing hatred in [their] heart,” and explains that the protests must be a model of the values that they are striving to see in their society, namely “equality, tolerance, love, and care.” The protesters understand that these values will not only help win over sympathizers, but lay bare the illegitimacy of the regime if it moves against them with excessive force. These aren’t youthful idealists; these are savvy political operators who understand the secrets of successful nonviolent resistance."


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

An historiography of Buddhism

Buddhism strikes me as being one of the relative "golden children" of world religions in white/Western Australian awareness. Unlike Catholicism, which has to contend with its all too famous examples of the mistakes and abuses of institutional power, Buddhism does not have a centralised institutional authority for all Buddhists around the world.

Unlike Islam, which has to defend and differentiate away from ongoing violence committed in its name, Buddhism is typically associated with pacifism or non-violence, apoliticism or quietism.

Unlike, also, Judaism, Jewish-ness, and Zionism, which are poorly differentiated in many people's minds, Buddhism, as a religion, has not been quite as tormented by the loss of homeland, nor people, in diaspora, not as much rooted by a (historically understandable) will to statehood.

Buddhism is conflated more with meditation, its doctrines hinting at being a "psychology" or a "science of the mind". Buddhism talks about actions and consequences, outside of the machinations or whims of an intervening Divinity outside of one's own intentions, motivations, and habits. There are wholesome and unwholesome actions, loving and non-loving actions. The teachings of Buddhism are referred to, in Sanskrit, as the Dharma.

"Buddhism" itself is an invention of post-European contact with a plethora of cultural, spiritual, philosophical, ritualistic and political expressions, which have enough family resemblances with one another to be described under a unifying, and historically quite racialised, category of "Buddhism". Buddhism has been racialised, in that the category "Buddhism" was historically constructed as an amalgamation of many expressions of non-European "Otherness" (in all their beauty/exoticism, as well as their frightening and unfamiliar dangers) and, in descriptions, conflated the expressions of Buddhism with "Orientals" and "Asians".

Part of the evolution of a religion like Buddhism, then, is that the religion itself, the term "Buddhism", itself already indicates its precipitated encounter with a historically more "White" or "Western" or "European" sensibility, and forms of categorisation of religions or religious difference. Just as historically "white/European-dominant" cultures become more intentionally multicultural (however effectively) in their makeup, so Buddhism itself begins to write its own history anew.

Asia goes Christian
and white Australia goes Buddhist.

Who is writing whose history?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday, September 7, 2014