Look No Further Dude, Maybe Dudeism is the Rug for You.

Dudeism's version of the Yin YangDudeism is new to the the tournament of ideas, the vast array of world views and religions, but already it is becoming a worthy opponent. Among the din of hyperbole and conflict that dominate our discourse, Dudeism offers a gentler approach. Not that Dudeists are always quiet and willing to let aggression stand, but that the metric of what deserves to be called out as a travesty is much different than that of the “religions” many of us are used to.

The belief systems that dominate the landscape are all vying for your attention, if not your obedience, we Dudeists are content to, for the most part, let things be. With an “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” attitude Dudeism offers a moderate stance compared to its compeer “religions”. Dudeism doesn’t want you to do anything in particular, in fact Dudeism encourages maybe doing less. Hell, Dudeism doesn’t even necessarily want you to become a Dudeist. In a world with so many demands on the individual Dudeism stands apart by not demanding, offering is our gig, not taking.

While there are things that are intolerable in this world, Dudeism finds most of the so called sins from other beliefs to be essentially non issues. Take for instance, the gay marriage debate that rages across this planet. Dudeism is blind to gender roles READ MORE HERE DUDE

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Deconstructing the 31st Verse

Weapons are the tools of violence, the Tao Te Ching verse 31.

Weapons are the tools of violence

In J. Legge’s translation of Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching, he starts off with “Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen, hateful, it may be said, to all creatures”. So he is saying be they marvels of engineering or even possessing some gracefulness, the singular purpose of weapons is to end life. Sometimes they are put to service to protect the lives of some, but that is only because they can take it away from others. When we recognize that our most precious gift is life, why would we want to take that from another unnecessarily. Do not all beings consider life to be the most precious of all gifts?

Lao Tsu doesn’t stake out an extreme position, he recognizes that there are times that the decent will be called upon to employ weapons READ MORE HERE DUDE

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Of Liberty and Citizenship

There is a lot of talk about liberty and freedom these days, and it is oft quoted that freedom is not free. It is not free, it is paid for with citizenship, it is defended by citizen soldiers and nurtured by citizen programs that serve and nurish our fellow Americans.

Citizenship is the reciprocity of rights and duty, liberty depends on a strong citizenry to maintain it and citizenship depends on liberty to strengthen its citizens. It is the give and take of society, where individual rights are ensured through the collective will, it is the Yin and Yang of self governance. To exalt one and deny the other leads to the collapse of both, where duty out weighs liberty we find fascism and the seeds of totalitarian states. Where individual liberty overshadows the duty of citizenship we find anarchy and feudalism.

What debt do we owe the individual or the collective? The collective, when tempered by individual liberties, creates an environment where individual initiative and hard work can prosper, regardless of one’s station of birth. When individual liberty is held in esteem the collective benefits from those who push the boundaries of industry and enlightenment. The one builds upon the other, constantly maintaining a tension that is expressive as it is impressive, through the co-operation of individuals we excel as a society.

It is citizenship that leads to service in our military by individuals, and individual initiative is what fuels our collective economies. One with out the other would leave us all  READ MORE HERE DUDE

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The Tree of Life

Mankind has been using the cannabis plant for thousands of years, it has given us food, fuel and shelter. Some of the oldest artifacts of ancient man show how early and comprehensive our interactions with the hemp plant have been.

The seeds, it’s fruit, are an excellent source of nourishment, and have been used as a food source since recorded time. It’s fibers have been used as rope and textiles, it has lashed our homes together, clothed us and powered our great sailings ships. Hemp seed oil has lit our lamps, bringing light into our darkest nights, it can even fuel our modern means of transportation. Henry Ford designed his first cars to run on hemp based bio-fuels. There are thousands of ways we have found the hemp plant beneficial to our physical survival and comfort.

Cannabis has also secured its place in our religious and spiritual lives, the intoxicating effects of THC have been associated with numerous religious traditions. In Hindu beliefs the god Shiva is said to have discovered cannabis’ “rejuvenating” qualities and is sometimes pictured with Bhang, a beverage made with cannabis still widely used in India today.

Some entomologists have argued that the holy anointing oil of the Bible contains cannabis as one of its main ingredients. The Sufi leader Haydar is said to have promoted the use of cannabis for spiritual purposes and Sihk worriers used it to treat fatigue and wounds, mental and physical, sustained on the battlefield. Today Rastafarians use cannabis regularly for both recreation and religious purposes, espaousing its physical and mental benefits.

Nearly all cultures that have related spirituality with cannabis have spoken of a “lightening of the heart” and a feeling of inter-connectedness with with world. Not just the world of man, but the animal and inanimate worlds as well. A sense of belonging to and being of natural world, not simply some distinct identity apart and separate from it. Many describe heightened awareness of nuance in music and art, feeling more like they are part of it than simply as an observer.

“The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I’m down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse.” Carl Sagan

For some the use of cannabis is a truly spiritual experience, one of harmony and wholeness with the world, bringing a sense of peace and tranquility to their lives. It may not be for every one, and some may just be getting high, but to others it is a loving and life affirming sacrament of spiritual awakenings. Giving insights into the human condition and how we all share this amazing adventure, with the ability to sustain us in mind, body and soul it truly is a tree of life.

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For the Children Dude!

The Dude Goes to the Conventions

The Dude heads to the Democratic and Republican Conventions in the upcoming weeks to represent his No Kid Hungry organisation. Jeff Bridges will be attending both conventions as a spokesperson for No Kid Hungry, talking to both Democrat and Republicans about the need to end food insecurity among the children of this nation.

More than 16 million children will likely experience the suffering of food insecurity this year. Poverty is suffering, the fear and anxiety felt by so many of our neighbors is real and terrible. As one who grew up on government cheese I am acutely aware of how this suffering manifests, and I know it has negative impacts for our whole society. When so many live in fear of not having the basic need of food it pulls us all down, we allow our selves to be surrounded by despair and wonder why things look so bleak.

With so many wrong headed ideas dominating this campaign, and all the rhetoric being slung around, it is good to know there are Dudes out there who will rise to the occasion. By bringing his message of hunger in America maybe our friend Mr. Bridges can bring some civility and compassion to our political discourse. Two features that are woefully lacking in today’s political climate. We need more “take it easy” and abiding, let’s hope some of his Dudeness rubs off on the people vying for our votes.

Go get ‘em Dude, may more limber minds prevail.

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