Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Native American Amazon shaman (video)

Get lost! We don't want outside contact with your wars, diseases, and capitalism.
"Embrace of the Serpent" (El Abrazo de la Serpiente, 2016) features the encounter, apparent betrayal, and finally the life-affirming friendship between an Amazonian shaman (the last survivor of his people) and two foreign scientists. It is the first Colombian film up for an Oscar.
Top: Theodor Koch-Grünberg surrounded by Amazonia tribe, circa 1903. Bottom: "Embrace of the Serpent" character Theo (Jan Bijvoet) surrounded by Amazonia tribe, 2015 (pri.org).
  
Ethnobotanist Schultes, Amazon
"I met Ciro Guerra when he joined a theater group I was directing at the National University of Colombia -- years ago. He was very young," explains anthropologist Ignacio Prieto. "From the day he began, Ciro was interested in directing."
 
Today, Guerra is the director of Colombia's first-ever Oscar nominated film -- "Embrace of the Serpent" -- and he has Prieto to thank.
 
How this century-old photo inspired Colombia's 1st Oscar-nominated film
Theodor Koch-Grünberg in the Amazon
"It all started with a beautiful photo I came across [shown at right]. It's of an explorer, and he's sitting on a little bench in Colombia's Amazon. His clothing is worn. His hat is torn. He's barefoot. An indigenous boy rests a hand on his shoulder," explains Prieto. "This image fascinated me."


 
Prieto's curiosity consumed him, and he embarked on making a documentary about the man in the photo, whom he identified as ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grünberg, the first documented overseas explorer of the Colombian Amazon. The German scientist traveled around the Vaupes region from 1903 to 1905, studying its people, its cultures, and its mystical plants.
"In this moment, it is not possible for me to know, dear reader, if the infinite jungle has started on me the process that has taken many others that have ventured into these lands, to complete and irremediable insanity.
If this is the case, I can only apologize and ask for your understanding, for the display I witnessed in those enchanted hours was such, that I find it impossible to describe in a language that allows others to understand its beauty and splendor; all I know is that, like all those who have shed the thick veil that blinded them, when I came back to my senses, I had become another man.” — Theodor Koch-Grünberg, 1907
Prieto pored over the late explorer's diaries and discovered an empathetic man who appears to have treated the indigenous communities he encountered as equals, something Prieto says is still not all that common.
 
"The treatment of indigenous people is traditionally as inferiors, and it's rare for them to get to play the protagonist of a film," says Prieto. "Embrace of the Serpent" bucks these trends.

When Prieto's documentary plans fell through due to scheduling conflicts, he passed on his research to a trusted friend, Guerro.
 
Over the next three years, the two men followed Koch-Grünberg's footsteps up and down the Amazon's twisting banks, visiting sacred grounds, meeting with elders. and taking part in sacred rituals led by shamen. All in the name of research.


Once Guerra began reading the explorers' diaries in earnest, he was hooked on the project.
 
"As I started delving deeper into the diaries, I just thought that it was a fascinating story, and I couldn't believe that it hadn't been told," notes Guerra. "It was a story about knowledge, a story about people from different sides of the river, and of the world looking at each other and trying to bring this knowledge together, at the same time that it was being destroyed."
 
The goal was to make a film about the Amazon through the authentic voice of its people, rather than the more familiar trope of stranger-looking-in, and working with indigenous communities was Guerra's favorite part of the film-making experience.
 
"These people are very open, very joyful, and they are willing to share so much," he says. "We're talking about people who don't handle money for most of their lives. And everywhere you go in the deep Amazon, there will always be a plate of food and a smile for you, no matter who you are or where you're coming from." More

Sanders wins! An hour of Trump comedy (video)

Seth Auberon, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; To Night (video); ThinkProgress.org
"Hillary for PRISON 2016" We would rather see narcissist madman Trump in office.
Gracious in winnning: "When we stand together, we win!" (BernieSanders.com)
Sanders who is from the Northeast won the Northeast vote (berniesanders.com)

"A future to believe in" instead of more of the same from mainstream Klingon (AP).
Look, you stupid primary voters of new Ham Shire, I don't care... - But, Rump, you won. - Oh. It's like I was saying about new Ham Shire, lovely state. I might buy a farm there (AP).

At least I beat Cruz and that @$$hole Jeb.
Young people, independents, women, rural voters, and gun owners came out in droves to vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders (Independent-Vermont) in the New Hampshire presidential primary on today, driving the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist to a wide-margin victory over his opponent [the hated mainstream hypocrite and mendacious candidate] Hillary Clinton. In fact, almost every demographic group -- men, women, first-time voters, past voters, non-gun owners, middle-income people, low-income people -- gave a majority of their support to Sanders, according to the New York Times. According to the Times, Sanders only lost to Clinton among voters 65 and older and voters in families earning over $200,000 per year. More

Trump comedy (but he's not kidding)

(To Night) Racist-sexist Donald Trump is a menace: Ultimate compilation of funny moments

Vote your fears or your ideals, Democrats. Hillary is for war, the death penalty, and most other things Republicans like. Klingon Clinton is the mainstream candidate, incorrigible liar, and war hawk. We need change we did not get from Obama (JenSorensen.com).

Trump winces. "How to be a Republican Feminist" (JenSorensen.com)

"Art of the Deal: the Movie" (Trump comedy)

Seth Auberon, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; The World (pri.org); Funny or Die.com

Rescuing Mes Aynak: Buddhist Afghanistan

Hannah Bloch (natgeo.com), Simon Norfolk; Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (eds.) Wisdom Quarterly
Searching for treasure, looters ravaged this larger-than-life Buddha. “Archaeology is the only way to protect the site,” says Philippe Marquis, who oversaw excavation until 2014.

War brought to light hidden Buddhist history.
Where was the Buddha born and raised? He was raised in the three seasonal capitals of Shakya Land, or the "Land of the Shakya Clan," ancient Scythia, modern Afghanistan, not Nepal (see ranajitpal.com).

Boy gathers potatoes in Bamiyan (W).
The texts describe Kapilavastu (Bamiyan, along the Himalayan foothills of the Hindu Kush), where young Prince Siddhartha Gautama had one seasonal palace.
 
But the texts refer to two others appropriate to the three traditional seasons: hot, rainy, and cold. The two other locations for palaces were likely modern Kabul and Mes Aynak.
Massive Buddhas of Bamiyan
The Shakyans, led by King Suddhodana, Prince Siddhartha's father, were well aware of the prince's renunciation and travel to the east to "India." (There was in fact no such place as "India" at the time; there were loosely affiliated kingdoms and republics 300 years before Emperor Asoka united them. There had been a Bharat; the Buddha spoke of Jambudvipa, this continent or planet or section of the galaxy, "the Rose Apple Land").
 
Afghanistan (left), Bihar (right)
Prince Siddhartha traveled to the Kingdom of Magadha and then to what is now called Bihar (after the Buddhist word for temple complex, vihara) and Bodh Gaya ("Enlightenment Grove"), where the wandering ascetic Siddhartha became the Buddha, the "Awakened One."

His father the Shakyan king kept tabs on the renunciant Siddhartha through emissaries for the seven years he was gone on his spiritual quest.

Siddhartha's former wife, Bimba-devi
His wife, Bimba-devi (Rahula Mata, Bhadda Kaccānā, who like most figures in Buddhism is best known by her descriptive name Princess Yasodhara), was also well aware of Siddhartha's whereabouts, so much so that she took on whatever austerities he engaged in.

For example, when he wore saffron robes, slept on the floor, and took only one meal a day, she did the same. She was stuck in the luxurious palace with the royal family raising their son, Prince Rahula, next in line to rule.

Our Buddhist heritage: National Museum of Afghanistan, Kabul (nationalmuseum.af)
 
Rescuing Mes Aynak
Hannah Bloch, NationalGeographic.com, Sept. 2015 (photographs by Simon Norfolk )
The faces of ancient local figures depicted in painted clay evoke a time when Mes Aynak was a crossroads of Central Asia. Left: A member of the archaeological team working to save the rich cultural heritage of Mes Aynak. Patron (R), 2.8 inches, 4th-7th century, Kabul Museum.
Some 500 local laborers were employed at the site in 2012, hurrying to rescue its treasures before Chinese mining was due to begin. With mining delayed, a smaller crew works today in an area where insurgent influence is growing.
Panorama composed of three images: Archaeologists have unearthed a neighborhood of mud-brick houses, craft workshops, and possible administrative buildings. Shah Tepe, looming in the center, was fortified but bore few signs of violence (Simon Norfolk).
An eight-foot-tall stone shrine at Mes Aynak, Afghanistan, appears much larger than it is. Archaeologists have uncovered only a fraction of the sprawling Buddhist complex, which dates from the third to the eighth centuries A.D. (Simon Norfolk)
 
Mega copper deal [with Chinese] in Afghanistan fuels rush to save ancient [Shakyan Buddhist] treasures. Under threat of Taliban attack, archaeologists are excavating a spectacular Buddhist complex before it’s obliterated by a huge mining operation [after gold and rare earth minerals].
 
About an hour’s drive along the Gardez Highway south of [the current capital of Afghanistan] Kabul, beyond the bustling shops, the trucks spewing diesel exhaust, and the clatter of donkey carts, there is a sharp left turn onto an unpaved road.
 
In a district of Logar Province friendly to the Taliban, the vicinity has been shaken by roadside bombs, intermittent rocket attacks, kidnappings, and murders. The road continues along a dry riverbed, past small villages, paramilitary roadblocks, sentry towers, and an empty, blue-roofed compound cordoned off with concertina wire.
 
A little farther on, the view opens onto a treeless valley creased with trenches and exposed ancient walls. Over the past seven years a team of Afghan and international archaeologists, supported by up to 650 laborers, has uncovered thousands of Buddhist statues, manuscripts, coins, and holy monuments [sacred scriptures].

The team of archaeologists working to preserve Mes Aynak uncovered a life-size gilded plaster head of the Buddha (left). A modern Muslim laborer on the team is shown at right.
  
Entire [Buddhist] monasteries and fortifications have come to light, dating back as far as the third century a.d. More than a hundred check posts surround the site, which is patrolled day and night by some 1,700 police.
 
The excavation is by far the most ambitious in Afghanistan’s history. But the security wasn’t put in place just to protect a few scientists and some local workers. Buried below the ancient ruins is a lode of copper ore that extends two and a half miles across and runs a mile or more into the Baba Wali mountain, which dominates the site.
 
It ranks as one of the world’s largest untapped deposits, containing an estimated 12.5 million tons of copper. In antiquity, copper made the Buddhist [temples] here wealthy; colossal deposits of purple, blue, and green slag, the solidified residue from their smelting, spill down the slopes of Baba Wali, attesting to production on a nearly industrial scale. The Afghan government hopes that copper will help make the country wealthy again, or at least self-sufficient.
  
Open pit mine might save Buddhist artifacts
Detail of copper and gold bowl from Tepe Baba Wali, Mes Aynak depicts a snarling lion.
.
The name of this place is understated: Mes Aynak, “little copper well.” There is nothing little about Mes Aynak. In 2007 the Beijing-based China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC), leading a state-backed consortium, won rights to extract the copper here on a 30-year lease.
 
(China is ravenous for copper: It now consumes half the world’s supply.) The company made a bid worth more than three billion dollars and promised to provide infrastructure for this isolated, underdeveloped district, including roads, a railway, and a 400-megawatt electricity plant.
 
Afghan officials estimated that the mine would provide a $1.2 billion infusion into the country’s fragile economy, dependent since 2002 on foreign assistance and now facing a seven-billion-dollar annual deficit. More

123 years' worth of National Geographic on 7 CDs for only $79.95 $9.99 (NatGeo)

The Bald Eagles of Big Bear, California

Eagle Spirit by Christian Riese Lassen, Mother of All Eagles (journeyingtothegoddess)
.
Native American eagle totem
Every winter the bald eagles return to the San Bernardino Mountains to escape from the harsher climates of Canada and Alaska. Visitors and families can witness these majestic birds in their natural environment, and even take part in the yearly bald eagle count.

Discovery Center Tour
Within close proximity to Big Bear Frontier Cabins, the eagle exhibit at the Discovery Center offers a variety of eagle facts, literature and a life-sized replica -- always a favorite among the youngsters. Additionally, there is a two-hour guided eagle tour that meanders through the forest to get a closer look. When eagles aren't soaring the skies, they're on the prowl for food. They often perch upon lakeside tree tops in search for fish, small mammals and even ducks.

Adult bald eagles sits in a pine tree ready to swoop down on fish in Big Bear Lake.
  
For those yearning to venture out on their own, the "eagle discovery guide" is a great resource for locating eagles and learning more about their activities, habits and dietary adventures in the wild. It's easy to spot eagles with the naked eye, but binoculars are recommended for a more detailed look.
 
The Eagle Eye
Eagle, Ganymede Roman era relief (wiki)
On average an eagle's eye is the same size as a person's, but its precision is far more impressive. An eagle could spot a fish in the water from hundreds of feet up in the trees. Eagles also have two centers of focus, which means they can see forward and to the side simultaneously. So when an eagle spots its prey from above, it literally "locks its eyes" on it. In other words, if the prey starts to move, the eagle can move with it, while it keeps its eyes directly focused on the prey.
 
Great Family Outing
Children are always very excited when they spot an eagle in the wild. So if you're worried about the youngsters getting bored on this excursion -- think again.
 
Forest Service Annual Eagle Count
If you're interested in being part of the annual eagle count, they're always looking for volunteers. Since 1978, the Forest Service has held annual eagle counts throughout the San Bernardino Mountains. Numbers of eagles have ranged from 10 to 40. More
  
Rotten luck: archaeologists hail "unique" Mesolithic fermented fish find
The fish weren’t quite this well preserved; in fact, the archaeologists at Blekinge were lucky to make their find as fragile fish bones usually decompose without trace.
The fish weren’t this well preserved; archaeologists at Blekinge were lucky to make the find as fragile fish bones usually decompose without a trace (Imaginechina/REX Shutterstock).
 
[Eagle food.] 9,000-year-old fish bones discovered in southern Sweden provides earliest evidence of fermentation for food preservation anywhere in the world. 

The Scandinavian diet is famously hard going for anyone who doesn’t like pickled fish -- and a unique archaeological discovery has proved that it was exactly the same more than 9,000 years ago.
 
The find has revealed that freshwater fish were being fermented on an industrial scale in southern Sweden, through a complicated and distinctly unappetizing process involving pine bark and seal blubber, which made the region capable of supporting a far larger population than previously thought.

The discovery was made during the excavation of an early Mesolithic settlement site in Blekinge, on the Baltic sea in southern Sweden. It is the earliest evidence of fermentation being used to preserve food anywhere in the world.

The fish were preserved without salt or storage jars. Instead they were acidified using pine bark, wrapped up with seal fat in seal or wild boar skins, and buried in a pit. The process required a cold climate... More

Monday, February 8, 2016

Happy Lunar New Year! (audio)

A Martinez (Take Two, SCPR.org, KPCC FM, 2-8-16), Joz Wang (CEO of 8Asians.com), Arcadia filmmaker Tom Xia; CC Liu, Crystal Quintero, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly UPDATED
Dragon dance, Chinese New Year parade, Hong Kong 2014. Communities across Asia are coming together to welcome the Year of the Fire Monkey 2016 (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty).
No, I'm actually excited about this year. Can you imagine all the bananas to eat?

 
Celebrations last two weeks! Take Two's A Martinez speaks with two Asian-Americans -- Joz Wang, CEO of the culture site 8Asians.com and Tom Xia, a filmmaker based in Arcadia -- to find out how traditions around Lunar New Year are evolving in the U.S.
 
My own year, huh? Well, I'm busy and wet.
It's the Lunar New Year today. And here in Southern California, there are lots ways to celebrate. If one wants to go to a local parade and see fireworks, we're pretty well covered.
  
But if you're a young Asian American and you don't have immediate connections with any family members, it can be difficult to celebrate the traditions that make the holiday famous in China.

I'm on fire. I'll take this year. Banana?
Many children of Chinese immigrants came to the United States at a very young age, and they say their traditions for Lunar New Year are still evolving.

Take Two's A Martinez spoke with two young Asian-Americans -- Joz Wang, CEO of the culture site Eight-Asians.com and Tom Xia, a filmmaker based in Arcadia, to find out how their traditions are changing. More+AUDIO
  
Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations are going on all over Asia (Larissa Lingad).
Revelers do a Lion Dance during the annual Chinese New Year parade in Manhattan’s Chinatown, New York City, Feb. 22, 2015 (Bryan Thomas/Getty Images).


 Monks pray near list of patients by collapsed building, Tainan, Taiwan (Lam Yik Fei/Getty).
 
An 8-year-old girl was among at least four survivors rescued today from a high-rise apartment building in Taiwan.  A 6.4-magnitude quake hit Saturday, killing at least 38 people in Tainan city in the southern part of the country.  While authorities have rescued more than 170 people, more than 100 are still believed to be under the debris.  In Southern California, home to the largest community of Taiwanese living in the U.S., relatives and friends are following the news of the rescue effort closely. More

Sex, sensuality, and a sutra (video)

Seth Auberon, Amber Larson, Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly VALENTINES DAYKevin Rothrock (The World, PRI, 2-5-16); Leningrad; Mardi Gras; Ven. Thanissaro (MN 45) 
Are Russians sexier than Americans? New video
Russians must have had more contact with extraplanetary gene pools than Americans.

I'm so beautiful, all-Russian girl, so much hotter than those Amerikkanskis (WQ).

This music video has attracted more than 32 million views in three weeks. Even for one of Russia’s most popular rock bands, Leningrad’s new song “Display Exhibit” (“Exponat”) stands out as a massive hit.

The song tells the story of a young Russian woman going on a date with a man to an art exhibit featuring work by Vincent van Gogh. The chorus, in Leningrad’s typically obscene style, repeats, “In Louboutins, f---, and in f---ing awesome pants.” (In Russian, the verse rhymes).
 
"The Mystery of Love & Sex" (Mark Taper Forum, L.A., Center Theatre Group
 
The music video fleshes out the protagonist a bit more. It begins with the woman telling a guy over video chat that she’s just turned down an allowance from her wealthy father and moved into a loft to pursue art.

The guy, who’s dressed like a businessman and flanked by wall clocks showing the times in Moscow and Tokyo, shows mild interest in her drawing.

We soon learn the woman is lying about the drawing. He then invites her to see a new Van Gogh exhibit.
 
After demurely accepting his invitation and ending the call, the woman begins jumping up and down with joy (screaming, Spaseebo, spaseebo! "Thank you, thank you!"), declaring how awesome she is.

(PCP) Catholic for a day, guilt-ridden repentant sinner for the rest of the year: Fat Tuesday! Thousands flock to Mardi Gras for the annual celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hedonistic parades fill the streets as the party rages on Bourbon Street (mardigrasneworleans.com).
 
Who can top the USA in the Sixties for a sexual revolution and gorgeous hippies?
 
Her mother walks in, and the audience realizes that the young woman was lying about having moved away from home (and about being rich). She spends the rest of the video hunting down the perfect outfit, which she hopes to use to seduce him into marriage and a comfortable life. First she bullies a friend into loaning her a pair of shoes that resemble the far more expensive Christian Louboutin stilettos, and then she goes to great lengths to squeeze into impossibly skinny jeans.
Desperate to disguise the fake shoes as Louboutins, she paints the heels red with nail polish and sets them to dry near the heater. Her mother walks in on her when she’s struggling to fit into her jeans. Mom gets an earful about keeping too much bread in the apartment and for genetically passing down a “fat ass,” which now prevents her daughter from wearing the right pants.

“Don’t talk that way about bread!” her mother answers. “Our granny lived through the Blockade [of Leningrad]!” Still suffering, the young woman fires back, now crying, “Granny lived, but I’m f---ed.”
 
Though she eventually finds her way into the jeans, things don’t end so well for our heroine. Join millions of other people and watch the video’s dramatic conclusion, which hardly requires Russian fluency to enjoy: More
SUTRA: The Secret Danger in Sensuality
Ven. Thanissaro (trans.), "The Shorter Discourse on Taking on Practices" (Cula-Dhammasamadana Sutra, MN 45) edited by Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, Wisdom Quarterly
Tugba Sunguroglu, Ilayda Akdogan, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Elit Iscan, Gunes Sensoy (CMG)
 
Might there be a danger in sensual craving?
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi in Jeta's Grove in Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the disciples: "Meditators!"
 
"Yes, venerable sir," they replied.
 
"Meditators, there are these four ways of taking on practices. What are the four?
  1. There is the taking on of a practice that is pleasant in the present but yields pain in the future.
  2. There is the taking on of a practice that is painful in the present and yields pain in the future.
  3. There is the taking on of a practice that is painful in the present but yields pleasure in the future.
  4. There is the taking on of a practice that is pleasant in the present and yields pleasure in the future.
"Now, what is the first? There are some Brahmins and wandering ascetics who hold to a doctrine, a view like this: 'There is no harm in sensual pleasures.' Thus, they meet their downfall through sensual pleasures. They consort with female-wanderers who wear their hair coiled in a topknot.
 
"The thought occurs to them: 'Now, what future danger concerning sensual pleasures do those [other] Brahmins and wandering ascetics foresee that they have spoken of the relinquishment of sensual pleasures and describe the full comprehension of sensual pleasures? It is pleasant, the touch of this female-wanderer's soft, tender, downy arm.'
 
The Buddha under bodhi tree with devas
"Thus, they meet their downfall through sensual pleasures. Then, having met their downfall through sensual pleasures, with the breakup of the body, after death, they go to a bad destination, downfall, to the realm of the hungry ghosts, even to hell (niraya). There they experience sharp, burning pains.

"They say, 'This was the future danger concerning sensual pleasures those Brahmins and wandering ascetics foresaw that they spoke of the relinquishment of sensual pleasures and described the full comprehension of sensual pleasures.

"'It is because of sensual pleasures, as a result of sensual pleasures, that we are now experiencing these sharp, burning pains.'

[Tree spirit simile]
Dryad (Evelyn de Morgan)
"It is just as if a maluva creeper (Phanera vahlii) pod were to burst open in the last month of the hot season, and a maluva creeper seed were to fall at the foot of a sal tree.
 
The deva [dryad] living in that tree would become scared, apprehensive, and anxious. Her friends and companions, relatives and kin -- garden devas, forest devas, tree devas, devas living in herbs, grass, and forest monarchs -- would gather together to console her:

"'Have no fear, have no fear! In all likelihood a peacock is sure to swallow this maluva creeper seed, or a deer will eat it, or a brush fire will burn it, or woodsmen will pick it up, or termites will carry it off, and anyway it probably isn't really a seed.'
 
"And then no peacock swallowed it, no deer ate it, no brush fire burned it, no woodsmen picked it up, no termites carried it off, and it really was a seed. Watered by a rain laden cloud, it sprouted in due course and curled its soft, tender, downy tendril around the sal tree.
 
"The thought occurred to the deva living in the sal tree: 'Now, what future danger did my friends and companions, relatives and kin -- garden devas, forest devas, tree devas, devas living in herbs, grass, and forest monarchs -- foresee in that maluva creeper seed that they gathered together to console me:

"'Have no fear, have no fear. In all likelihood a peacock is sure to swallow this maluva creeper seed, or a deer will eat it, or a brush fire will burn it, or woodsmen will pick it up, or termites will carry it off, and anyway it probably isn't really a seed." It is pleasant, the touch of this maluva creeper's soft, tender, downy tendril.'
 
"Then the creeper, having wrapped the sal tree, having made a canopy over it, and cascading down around it, caused the massive limbs of the sal tree to come crashing down.
 
"The thought occurred to the deva living in the tree: 'This was the future danger my friends...foresaw in that maluva creeper seed, that they gathered together to console me... It is because of that maluva creeper seed that I am now experiencing sharp, burning pains.'

"In the same way, meditators, there are some Brahmins and wandering ascetics who hold to a doctrine, a view like this: 'There is no harm in sensual pleasures.'

Thus, they meet with their downfall through sensual pleasures. They consort with female-wanderers who wear their hair coiled in a topknot.
 
"The thought occurs to them: 'Now, what future danger do those [other] Brahmins and wandering ascetics foresee that they teach the relinquishment and analysis of sensual pleasures? It is pleasant, the touch of this female-wanderer's soft, tender, downy arm.'
 
Thus, they meet with their downfall through sensual pleasures. Then, having met with their downfall through sensual pleasures, with the breakup of the body, after death, they go to a bad destination, downfall, the realm of the hungry ghosts, even to hell. There they experience sharp, burning pains. They say:

"'This was the future danger concerning sensual pleasures those Brahmins and wandering ascetics foresaw that they spoke of the relinquishment of sensual pleasures and described the full comprehension of sensual pleasures. It is because of sensual pleasures, as a result of sensual pleasures, that we are now experiencing these sharp, burning pains.'
 
"This is called the taking on of a practice that is pleasant in the present but yields pain in the future.
 
II
The Buddha in Tavatimsa, World the Thirty-Three (Woflgangkaehler/flickrhivemind.net)
 
"And what is [the second example] the taking on of a practice that is [both] painful in the present and yields pain in the future?

"There is the case where someone is a sky-clad ascetic.
  • [Acelaka ("cloth-less") is often translated as "naked," but as the description shows, such a person might wear garments, although the garment would not be made of cloth.]
Hindu ascetics and the ganja "sacrament."
"He goes around] rejecting conventions, licking hands, not coming when asked, not staying when asked.
 
He does not consent to food brought to him or food dedicated to him or to an invitation to a meal. He accepts nothing from the mouth of a pot or from the mouth of a bowl. He accepts nothing from across a stick, across a pestle, from two eating together, from a pregnant woman, from a nursing woman, from a woman lying with a man, from a food collection, from where a dog is waiting or flies are buzzing.
 
"He [accepts] no fish or meat. He drinks no liquor, wine, or fermented drink. He limits himself to one house [on alms round] and one morsel a day, or two houses and two morsels...seven houses and seven morsels. He lives on one handful a day, two...seven handfuls a day. He takes food once a day, once every two days...once every seven days, and so on up to a fortnight, devoted to regulating his intake of food.
 
Sadhu: penance is the way to salvation.
"He is an eater of greens, millet, wild rice, hide-parings, moss, rice bran, rice-scum, sesame flour, grass, or cow dung. He lives on forest roots and berries. He eats only fallen fruit.
 
"He wears [coarse] hemp, canvas, shrouds, refuse rags, tree bark, antelope hide, strips of antelope hide, kusa-grass garments, bark garments, wood-shaving garments, head-hair garments, animal wool, owl's wings. He is a hair-and-beard puller, one devoted to the practice of plucking out his hair and beard [rather than shaving].
 
"He is a stander, one who rejects seats. He is a hands-around-the-knees sitter, one devoted to the exertion [ascetic practice] of sitting with his hands around his knees. He is a spike-mattresser, one who makes his bed on a bed of spikes. He is a third-time-in-the-evening bather, one who stays devoted to the practice of bathing in water.
 
"Thus, in a variety of ways he stays devoted to the practice of tormenting and afflicting the body [with severe ascetic practices as if it were the body, not the mind, to blame for sensual desires]. With the breakup of the body, after death, one goes to a bad destination [below the human plane], the downfall, the realm of the hungry ghosts, even to hell 
  • There are many "hells" or purgatories (niraya) in Buddhism, none of them permanent, the worst being Avici. Time in any, however, can well seem like an eternity.
"This is called the taking on of a practice that is painful in the present and yields pain in the future.
  
III
Relaxing, holding attention on the breath, greed, hatred, and delusion weakened, and I saw things more clearly. I saw how they distort reality. I continued until absorption.


 
"And what is [the third example] the taking on of a practice that is painful in the present but yields pleasure in the future? There is the case of
  1. a person who is normally strongly passionate by nature and frequently experiences pain and grief born of passion;
  2. a person who is normally strongly aversive by nature and frequently experiences pain and grief born of aversion;
  3. a person who is normally strongly deluded by nature and frequently experiences pain and grief born of delusion.
"Even though touched by pain and grief, crying with a tearful face, one lives the pure life (brahmacariya) that is utterly perfect, surpassingly pure. With the breakup of the body, after death, one reappears in a good destination [human or higher], even in a heavenly world. This is called the taking on of a practice that is painful in the present but yields pleasure in the future.
 
IV
You know, whether the world is "beautiful" or not depends more on the seer than the world. - Yeah, totally, man, I know what you mean. - But it's literally true, like when we meditate.
 
"And what is the taking on of a practice that is pleasant in the present and yields pleasure in the future? There is the case of a person
  1. who is not normally strongly passionate by nature and does not frequently experience pain and grief born of passion;
  2. who is not normally strongly aversive by nature and does not frequently experience pain and grief born of aversion;
  3. who is not normally strongly deluded by nature and does not frequently experience pain and grief born of delusion.
Quite withdrawn [and secluded] from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities, one enters and remains in the first meditative absorption (jhana) with rapture and pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by sustained and applied attention.
 
With the stilling of applied and sustained attention, one enters and remains in the second meditative absorption with rapture and pleasure born of concentration, unification of mind free from applied and sustained attention -- internal assurance.
 
With the fading of rapture, one remains equanimous, mindful, and alert and senses pleasure (piti, joy, bliss, rapture) with the body. One enters and remains in the third meditative absorption, of which the noble ones declare, 'Equanimous and mindful, one has a pleasant abiding.'
 
With the abandoning of pleasure and pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of elation and distress -- one enters and remains in the fourth meditative absorption with purity of equanimity and mindfulness, [having transcended both] pleasure and pain. With the breakup of the body, after death, one reappears in a good destination, even in a heavenly world. This is called the taking on of a practice that is pleasant in the present and yields pleasure in the future.
 
"And these are the four ways of taking on practices." This is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the disciples delighted in the Blessed One's words.
Carnivale? No, it's the GOP Carnival of Crazy (Tom Tomorrow/ThisModernWorld.com)