You Better Find

When the truth is found to be lies
And all the joy within you dies…

Full lyrics HERE.

Tear Down The

“If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it. Go over it. Go around it. But get to the other side of that wall.”  ~Donald Trump (Yes, it’s real:  source)

See What’s Become of Me

I didn’t really need a punch line- I just really liked the first four panels.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal by Zack Weinersmith is on the web HERE.

Karma Chameleon

“Some people think karma is fate. ‘It must be my karma,’ they sigh, resigning themselves to some calamity. But karma doesn’t have to be bad. It can be good. And we make our own karma. Every thought, feeling, and deed sows a habitual karmic seed in our mind that ripens into a corresponding positive, negative, or neutral experience. Anger and jealousy manifest as painful, unhappy experiences. Selfless, joyful thoughts and feelings flower into wondrous, fulfilling experiences.

“So we don’t have to resign ourselves to ‘our karma.’ We control our karma. Every moment is a new juncture, a chance to improve our way of thinking and thus our circumstances. This principle of interdependent causation is the bedrock of the Buddha’s first teachings, the four noble truths.”  ~Tulku Thondup Rinpoche (via)

My favorite definition of karma is:  “Where you are now is a result of decisions made in the past; where you will be in the future is the result of decisions you make now.”

We’re not gods.  We don’t have complete control.

But we do have quite a bit.

Not Because

“I want to underscore this point: we find greed difficult to control not because it is natural, but because it has been generated by long, unchecked habituation. This is important to recognize, because even though old habits may be tough to break, all habits can be broken.”  ~17th Karmapa

I’ve heard that excuse so many times in my life.  When people behave terribly– taking more than their fair share, leering at pretty girls– they make the claim that this is natural; simple human nature.  They argue the other side, too:  the reason they hate homosexuality and powerful women is because it’s unnatural, and therefore sinful.

I don’t think “natural” and “unnatural” are really all that important.

I’ve never known an honorable person to argue that they are.


Minor Keys

Fascism 101

Manufacturing a crisis in order to invoke emergency powers is something we’ve seen before.

It didn’t end well.

In Defiance of All That Is Bad

“Even when we don’t ‘win,’ there is fun and fulfillment that we have been involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need hope. An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not being foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of competition and cruelty but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.

“What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places – and there are so many – where people have behaved magnificently, it energizes us to act, and raises at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” ~Howard Zinn,  A Power Governments Cannot Suppress (via)

Dictatorial Reasoning

“It is no more logical to think ‘I am more important than this person’ than it is to think ‘I’m more important than this insect.’ Such a view has not one single logical reason to support it but is merely dictatorial and egotistical reasoning. An ant’s life may be of little consequence to us, but to the ant it is everything.”  ~Lama Zopa Rinpoche (via)