Thursday, December 3, 2015

Adele vs. PSY's "Daddy" (video)

Editors, Wisdom Quarterly; "Adele" (Key of Awesome); PSY ("Daddy," WK) 12/1

Who'd win if PSY and Adele put up their works side by side for judging? Our editors decide.*
Viral pop music videos are fine and fun, but let's also look more deeply at Korea's unique form of Buddhism and the Dharma in England (glennlewisphotography/
The Dalai Lama in UK (GF)
A better comparison rather than the world's two most popular videos might be, Korean Buddhism versus Buddhism in England.

Buddhism is very popular in England -- thanks to its second most famous colony India -- and it has been for about two centuries.

Being British (
The Pali Text Society and other prominent groups of scholars at Oxford University seem to be the first English-speaking scholars to translate, disseminate, popularize ancient Buddhist texts. Many thanks are due to the pioneering efforts of such greats as Rhys Davids, Mrs. Caroline A. F. Rhys Davids, Ms. I. B. Horner, F.L. Woodward, Wm. Stede, Maurice O'Connell Walshe, and so on.

PSY's dance influenced by Buddhism?
Christianity is waning in the UK, but for a time it was in its ascendancy in Korea with all the Presbyterian and Evangelical campaigns to take over another culture to open up new "markets" and colonies.

Military troops and militant Christian missionaries go hand and hand, and the larger purpose of both seems to be business. How can we take raw resources and ship them to Europe, and to the wildly successful British colony we affectionately call the USA?
"Gangnam Style" has 2.5 billion views, "Gentleman M/V" has .9 billion,
"Hangover" (feat. Snoop Dog) has 227 million. Can Adele keep up?

PSY is a phenom in Asia and worldwide.
Send soldiers on a mission to invade and religious missionaries on a mission to occupy. The businessmen will be right behind, first funding the campaign from Wall Street and/or Broad Street then getting the churches involved to put a veneer of respectability on the scheme, "civilizing the savages" and "teaching them our way of salvation" by the Strict Father in the Sky theory.

Then the Catholic institutions -- hegemony, ethnic cleansing, genocide, occupation, boarding schools like those visited on First Nations peoples in Canada, concentration camps dubbed "missions" in California -- can come in and molest the children while toughening them up for life in the West. Just ask Columbus or Saint Junipero Sera or the Vatican's special offices of evangelizing and banking.

The history of these tactics is well documented. It's just not spoken of in polite company because "we" would never do such a thing even if our institutions would, have, and will continue to do.

Crowds rushed to see the Dalai Lama in England in 2015 (
And now let us turn to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy incarnate, The Wikipedia Universalis.

What is Korean Buddhism?
Wisdom Quarterly wiki edit
Korean Buddhism differs from Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan Buddhism (
Korean monastics, Haesina (joonghijung/JJ/flickr).
Korean Buddhism is distinguished from other forms of Buddhism by its attempt to resolve what it sees as inconsistencies in Mahayana Buddhism.

Early Korean monks believed that the traditions they received from foreign countries [like China and Japan] were internally inconsistent. To address this, they developed a new holistic approach to Buddhism. This approach is characteristic of virtually all major Korean thinkers.

It has resulted in a distinct variation of Buddhism, which is called Tongbulgyo ("inter-penetrated Buddhism"), a form that seeks to harmonize all disputes -- a principle called hwajaeng 和諍 -- by Korean scholars (Choi, Yong Joon, June 30, 2006, Dialogue and Antithesis 2, Hermit Kingdom Press).

Korean Buddhist thinkers refined their predecessors' ideas into a distinct form. As it now stands, Korean Buddhism consists mostly of the Seon (jhana, dhyana, ch'an, zen, "meditative absorption") lineage, primarily represented by the Jogye and Taego Orders.

The Korean Seon has a strong relationship with other Mahayana traditions that bear the imprint of Chan teachings as well as the closely related Zen. Other sects, such as the modern revival of the Cheontae lineage, the Jingak Order (Korean 大韓佛敎眞覺宗, 대한불교진각종, a modern esoteric sect), and the newly formed Won, have allegedly also attracted sizable followings.
Korean Buddhism has also contributed much to East Asian Buddhism, especially to early Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan schools of Buddhist thought. More

Seon is Jhana
Buddha Gautama, Seokguram, So. Korea (Richardfabi)
According to Sri Lankan scholar-monk and meditation expert Bhante G (Ven. Abbot Henepola Gunaratana Mahathera, Bhavana Society, West Virginia) the term "jhana" is closely connected with "samadhi."

Samadhi is generally translated as "concentration" though a less misleading modern translations might include mental collectedness, effortless one-pointedness of mind, coherence of heart and mind, and so on.

The word samadhi is almost interchangeable with the Buddhist term samatha, serenity or tranquility (The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation).
In the discourses or sutras samadhi is defined as mental one-pointedness (ibid.) The great Indian commentator Buddhaghosa explains samadhi etymologically as:

The great superstar PSY made Wiki Korea
The centering of consciousness [cittas] and the concomitants of consciousness [cetasikas] evenly and rightly [one might add wholly] on a single object... the state in virtue of which consciousness and its concomitants remain evenly and rightly on a single object, undistracted, and unscattered (Path of Purification, Vism 84-85).

"James Bond" made Adele uber famous.
In the battle between light and airy PSY and heavy and laden Adele the editors rule...Adele. What! How? Look, PSY is like popcorn, whereas Adele is like corn on the cob. Both are junk by Monsanto, but at least when it's on the cob it seems more substantive.

PSY makes us laugh and dance, but Adele makes us cry and call our exes. You be your own judge, for the judges here have spoken (and it was mostly females voting, not that that could have had anything to do with their decision).

If we compare "Gangnam Style" to "Skyfall" or "Rolling in the Deep," PSY wins for dancing, but Adele crushes it for singing. She proves that again when her vocals are isolated from her live performances, which are so good she gets accused of lip syncing. (Adele would lose if she went up against "Gangnam Style LIVE").

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