Buddhism and Stoicism

Buddhism and stoicism are highly compatible with each other.

Stoicism is fairly simple. Here is a (too) short summary:

Our normal impulse is to see misfortune, loss, death, and the choices of others as primary concerns, since they can significantly affect our lives. But this is where the Stoics deviate from our natural inclinations. They offer a bold new take: a thing doesn’t automatically become your concern just because it might affect you. (The Only Thing You Need to Get Good At)

Be sure to read the article linked above. It provides more information and links.

Silk Road evolved as ‘grass-routes’ movement

“Archaeology documents the development of mountain-herding economies in highland Asia as early as 3000 B.C., and we argue that centuries of ecologically strategic mobility on the part of these herders etched the foundational routes and geography of ancient trans-Asian trade networks,” Frachetti said. (Source)
Buddhist monks and traders carried a major part of China’s Buddhist tradition into China via the Silk Road. ABN

Christian universal love is a dubious concept

As practiced today by many, I don’t think it works.

An example I know in detail is the story of a woman whose second husband was a closet alcoholic. After she discovered his problem and divorced him for other reasons, which were profoundly complicated by the booze, she continued to believe that he just needed more Christian love. Long story short, eventually she came to understand that you cannot love someone away from alcoholism. That tactic only enables them in too many cases.

A second example appears in the video below, Wilders’ opponent uses many abstractions, including Christian love, to defend his position. His defense reminds me of the woman in the story above. It is an a priori defense, an application of a rule that obviously cannot be right every time.

Why is wisdom thought to run counter to universal love in Christianity? Why can’t loving your neighbor be tempered with a wise understanding of your neighbor?

Here is the vid, which is interesting in and of itself.

By the way, I favor love and kindness as much as reasonably possible. I also favor erring on the side of mercy and kindness as much as reasonably possible. But there is a line there that I believe it is stupid to cross.

Most of the arguments about immigration in the US and Europe today are arguments about degree. Often those arguments get mixed in with “universals” like constitutional law, Christian love, fairness, rights, and so on.

Reasonable minds may differ, but all factors need to be considered, including the factors of the traditional culture of the region and the needs and desires of the citizens who are of that traditional culture.

In my view, some new people is good. Too many new people is not good.

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Edit 3/18/17: I am a distant foreign observer, but my guess is Wilders lost at least partly because he says things about Islam that there is no need to say. A simple cultural-demographic argument is all that is needed.

“Culture and demographics are our destiny”

What could be more obvious?

And yet, this obvious statement from a US Congressman is producing a minor firestorm among US media and political elites.

The full Tweet from Steve King of Iowa reads:

Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.

A cuck is basically someone who denies the obvious fundamental truth of King’s statement. A cuck supports policies that help them personally in their career (think neocons and “principled conservatives” in addition to leftists) but undermine their culture, society, or people.

Almost all cucks are white. You won’t find very many Chinese, Japanese, Jewish, Arab, or African cucks (in their own homelands). Unless, maybe they are Christian.

Christian so-called “universal morality” places little or no importance on ethnic, cultural, historical, or racial realities. That’s nice and may become so in future when robots, gene-splicing,  and brain-computer enhancements are the norm. But as of now, those are not the norm.

Basic human realities of violence, perfidy, hypocrisy, and deceit, unfortunately, still do rule the world.

Fundamental truths are always very simple when stated outright and it is very easy to muddy the waters of basic truths. But they are still true and you are a fool to ignore them.

Arch leftist Howard Dean, Tweeted in response:

King is a total ignoramus and no one takes him seriously.

Dean’s response is the fundamental Christian/Western response approved by our elite masters of today. It says, “this person is bad, not one of us,” while conspicuously refraining from providing a counter-argument. Dean is a cuck, like it or not.

For Buddhists, here is what the Dalai Lama himself has to say on this issue:

BERLIN: The Dalai Lama said in an interview published Thursday that Europe has accepted “too many” refugees, and that they should eventually return to help rebuild their home countries.

“When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has himself lived in exile for over half a century.

“A human being who is a bit more fortunate has the duty to help them. On the other hand, there are too many now,” he said. (Source)

The Dalai Lama knows from experience that too many immigrants destroy cultures. Tibet is all but lost due to massive immigration from China.

Buddhist morality is based on wisdom not compassion. Compassion must be tempered with wisdom. This is why the DL says in essence, “When we look in their faces, we feel compassion for them but culture and demographics are our destiny, so it’s is wrong to take in too many as Europe already has.”

The word cuck arose to combat the kinds of words Dean and the left use all the time. It’s unfortunate that public discourse needs a simple response like cuck but that’s reality too.

Cucks constantly swear at and demean opponents with strong words like “total ignoramus,” “rayciss,” and “deplorable” if you disagree with them.

So those of us who despise that simple-mindedness and the way it short-circuits wise discussion have been all but forced to respond with words like cuck.

Cucks like Dean are selling out American and Western civilization for their own selfish and temporary advantage. Their descendants will hate them for that.

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Edit: The following point seems beyond obvious to me but probably needs to be stated:

Recognizing that your civilization will be destroyed if too many people from other civilizations come into it, does not mean you hate the other civilization(s).

I suppose the need to make this statement shows yet again how basic basic truths really are.

A subtle danger helping personalities face

Generally, helping personalities enjoy seeing others do well.

They have an active desire to help others.

A subtle problem with this desire is if the helper is dealing with a narcissist (or worse), fulfilling the desire to help will also involve fulfilling the narcissist’s dark need for people to attend to them.

This is an example of why we must be careful about positive moral feelings in ourselves.

Such feelings probably will not be filed in the mind as “positive moral feelings.” Rather, they might be filed simply as “good feelings” or “relationship satisfaction.”

The narcissist (or worse) feeds off the helper’s good moral instincts to maintain a dead-end desire, a low desire.

You can see this in subcultures as well. Like malignant narcissists, some subcultures will destroy, even seek to destroy, the larger culture that hosts them. They do this for pleasure and/or because it seems to them to be to their advantage.

Buddhist morality is always based on wisdom, on conducting a wise analysis of yourself and any situation.

It is good to be a helping type. But you have to be careful who you help. You really need to analyze it.

If you help a malignant narcissist because it feels right and because you are blinded to their condition by your moral feelings, you are not doing any good. You are probably causing harm.

At the very least, your positive moral feelings are being wasted. Beyond that, a more deserving person is not receiving your help. And beyond that, the narcissist is being strengthened and confirmed in their ways while a ripple effect from all of this goes outward.

Could Mysterious Cosmic Light Flashes Be Powering Alien Spacecraft?

Bizarre flashes of cosmic light may actually be generated by advanced alien civilizations, as a way to accelerate interstellar spacecraft to tremendous speeds, a new study suggests. (Source)

In Buddhist cosmology, there exist billions of world-systems, each of which contains billions of worlds. This has always sounded like a description of galaxies to me.

The hypothesis that “fast radio bursts” could be evidence of alien spacecraft is presented in the linked article, which also has a link to the study itself.

Very small decisions and what they show about us

A very small decision I make on many mornings is which coffee cup is going to be mine and which goes to my partner.

The two cups we normally use are the same and I cannot tell one from the other. If I thought one was better than the other, I would give it to her.

What happens is at some point while I take the cups from the cupboard and set them on the counter, I incline toward deciding that one of them will be for me and one for her. This “decision” is so small I describe it as “incline toward deciding.”

As I continue preparing morning coffee, my very small decision about which cup is mine spends more time in my mind. By the time I pour the coffee, I am generally always mildly set on which one is going to be mine for the morning and which hers.

My initial “inclining toward deciding” has changed into my being “mildly set on” which cup is mine. I might even feel a bit possessive toward “my” cup as I pour the coffee.

The main point is that once we make even a very weak decision or incline toward a weak decision it requires energy to change that.

Of course, I do not really care which cup I get and yet I have inclined toward one or decided on one of them. At some point in this process you have to do that.

If I try to change my decision once the coffee is poured and give “my” cup to my partner, I am aware of expending a bit of energy.

The energy required to change which cup is mine is greater than the energy required to decide which cup is mine. I only fell into my initial decision but must climb out of it if I want to change it.

I bet you do this or something like it, too. Just watch yourself and observe it happening. Once you see it, try changing to the other cup or whatever it is you have chosen.

It’s not hard to change your decision but it decidedly requires a little bit of energy. That may be some of the smallest mental energy you will ever exert, but you will have to exert it.

I find I feel a bit awkward when I change my initial decision. It seems my mind is already set at some lower level so the meta-level that  changes that does not have the right networking or connections for the transition to be completely smooth. This is the opposite of the initial decision which seems to have required little or no energy. And has managed to grow bigger all on its own, outside of my awareness.

Notice also, if you are like me, you will happily give your partner the better cup if one of them is better. That decision, too, will require energy to change, maybe even more energy than if the cups are the same. This probably happens because if you change your decision to the better cup (for yourself), you will also feel a bit selfish in addition to the above considerations. This will happen even if your partner wants you to change cups.

So either way—changing between two cups that are the same or changing from the worse cup to the better one—you will need to expend a bit of energy, even though your initial decision probably required none at all.