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Re: pacifism

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  • James
    There is amn ongoing debate over whether Bodhisattvas would use violence. In employing skillful means, it becomes theoretically possible that many seemingly
    Message 1 of 39 , Oct 31, 2012
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      There is amn ongoing debate over whether Bodhisattvas would use violence.

      " In employing skillful means, it becomes theoretically possible that many seemingly proscribed practices, such as violence, theft, and sexuality could be seen as use of skillful means. The use of harsh violence to one's disciples has occasionally been used as a way of opening their eyes to the nature of self and suffering; an example is the story of a Zen priest who ended a conversation with a disciple by slamming shut a door on the disciple's leg, fracturing the leg and, according to the story, causing a deep insight in the disciple. There are a number of other stories of Buddhist saints and bodhisattvas taking part in fairly eccentric and unusual behaviors in the practice of skillful means." -from the Upaya entry in Wikipedia

      Or papers such as
      Making Merit through Warfare and Torture
      According to the Ârya-Bodhisattva-gocara-upâyaviṣaya-vikurvaṇa-nirdeúa Sûtra

      http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/CriticalZen/Making_Merit_Through_Warfare_and_Torture.pdf

      I'm not pewrsuaded by these arguments. The standard definition of a Bodhisattva is a person who has attained prajna, or Enlightenment, but who postpones Nirvana in order to help others to attain enlightenment.
      According to Tibetan Buddhists there are six perfections which they exhibit,generosity, ethics, patience, enthusiastic perseverance, concentration and wisdom.
      Buddhist ethics features the first precept of non-harm that rules out violent intentional killing.
      Never Disparaging is a model for non-violence. He demonstrated his commitment to dialogue as the only means to address differences.
      "Bodhisattvas do not give themselves in service to others or in servitude to others if this will result in others being harmed or being deceived." - Stages in the Development of a Bodhisattva

      James


      --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, John the Buddhist,-Lotus fan 卐卐 <nathandknutson@...> wrote:
      >
      > no you are not the starter, I checked that. I see what you mean by passivity and pacifism. OK, you are right about them not being cowards, but not all instances of courage are good. I see violence as a thing Bodhisattva reluctantly use when there is no other option. And they will make mistakes and we must be conservative here...people kill people in the middle of robbing...messed up.
      >
      > "Dreamers" and people "in the real world" I think balance each other out, neither really has it "right"
      >
      > There will be a day when we "evolve" out the need for senseless violence, can't cite anything, saw it on The Daily Show, humans are becoming less violent. The day aint here yet but its acoming.
      >
      > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "James" <dangerousmosquito@> wrote:
      > >
      > > I'm not the person who started this thread. I would agree with most of what you have said including your comments about me. However being active or an activist is beside the point pacifist are not passive and innactive. If you said pacifism is not practical I couldn't disagree. I disagree that pacifists are cowards. Whether or not Buddhism is in favor of pacifism is an argument like most others that will rage on forever. In the Dhammapada it quotes the Buddha as having said,"Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule." that makes sense to me. All of the soldiers with all of their guns and bombs do not. I fail to see anything heroic or courageous in them. Yet one non-violent protester standing for what is right though it cost their life is inspiring to me.
      > > You may say I'm a dreamer
      > > but I'm not the only one.
      > > I hope someday you'll join us
      > > and the world will be at one.
      > >
      > > James
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, John the Buddhist,-Lotus fan 卐卐 <nathandknutson@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Although I detect some snottiness towards the end of that, I think since I probably came across the same way in my last one its just as well and I will try not to hold it against you. I appreciate it that you toned it down, thank you for putting up with me, I know I am annoying.
      > > >
      > > > Now...I do not consider MLK and Gandhi pacifists, there were quite active, not passive. Gandhi had the luxury of fighting against the late English empire, and MLK the USA, both very flawed but more enlightened than Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Further, Gandhi himself is quoted to something like "I would rather it be a peaceful movement based on courage than a peaceful movement based on cowardice. In fact A violent revolution based on courage is better than a peaceful revolution based on cowardice". That is NOT the quote exactly or even very close at all Im sure, but it captures the meaning of what I think I read in the special features part of the DVD version of that movie they did of him. I think it is possible to use no violence, provided you take violence but not give it back, to achieve good ends, however that is not true all the time, not true for all foes and all situations.
      > > >
      > > > On that note, some people will not lean to better themselves if a victim of their anger runs away, they need to be taught a lesson. there are some situations were we must choose the lesser of two evils, in fact there is a story of one of the Buddha's past lives where as a ship's captain he kills some crazed person who was planning to kill the people on the ship, in fact the line "out of love, I took his life" is actually said. Some bullies might benefit from a victim who does not run away, but stand there and absorbs the violence and does not fight back (the English empire on it's last legs?). Its hard to know what to do and we cant really be sure we will always be right, best thing to do is be a consistent practitioner, you might A avoid those situations entirely or B have an intuition to know which option is best. Sometimes the personality of the bully, and your skills as a fighter are such that you MUST run away. I will remind you that bloodying the nose was one of two options that I saw the wisdom of and that I was conflicted, now I present three. Gandhi, the non pacifist, took the hatred because it would have some affect on the bullies.
      > > >
      > > > Its also important to try to not put words in people's mouth. I do not believe I said I represented the Buddha's teachings and you do not (least not on violence). I hoped we could have a discussion without name calling and pettiness, I would not say my view on violence is "Buddhist official" (Tikh nhat hanh probably agrees with you on that, the Dalai Lama might not), I DO feel like the Buddha would want us to talk about this without the name calling. I never said I was against peaceful resolutions, I have no idea where you got that, except perhaps because you were incensed that a person disagreed with you, said you were acting like a bully, and called you out for it and thus darkened your perception of me, and I do that all the time so I am not perfect. What I said (and what I mean, if I have not bee clear) is that sometimes there is NO peaceful resolution. Only a fake "peaceful" one that can only lead to more suffering. we must challenge ourselves, change must be peaceful as possible, and as violent as necessary (no more, no less). I think if we challenge ourselves we will find that there are more opportunities for peaceful solutions than we think. scale is important, a drunken fool vs you or nation against nation, not the same situation. If we can't agree there, than oh well, I am confident people will choose to stand up for themselves rather than go extincted. a few pacifists here and there is not a bad thing, in fact they remind us to calm down, even if their absolutism is ignorance misunderstood as wisdom. If we can't agree there, thats ok, I don't think any less of you.
      > > >
      > > > I do not see that quote as conflicting with what I said, we should deal with that fact that he said what you quote but also that he said what I quoted. If nichiren is a voice of wisdom, defending yourself even with your sword is OK if you must, but the warrior's life is not good. I am not an absolutist, I believe you can be able to defend yourself, or your family, your children from being rapped, by what means you need to, without being a professional warrior, putting yourself by choice in a situation where you must kill people for no reason.
      > > >
      > > > I don't care if you disagree with me, I am allowed to read what you post (it was you that started this thread right?) and voice non agreement. Just as you are.
      > > > namu myoho renge kyo
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "James" <dangerousmosquito@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > I just want to be clear on what you are saying.
      > > > > Ghandi and Martin Luther King were cowards.
      > > > > You would rather bloody someones nose than walk away.
      > > > > You represent the teachings of Buddhism and I do not.
      > > > > I am a bully because I quote your own words to show you promote fighting over peaceful resolutions.
      > > > >
      > > > > If quoting Nichiren is a necessary part of putting forth an argument (and I really don't believe it is)
      > > > >
      > > > > "In your case, you are a member of a warrior family, an evil man who day and night is involved in the business of killing. Since you have not left your household [to become a priest], but have remained a warrior to the present, by what means can you escape the three evil paths? Should you not think about this very carefully?"
      > > > > - Reply to Hakiri Saburo
      > > > > The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin - Page 410
      > > > >
      > > > > Now that I have quoted Nichiren obviously you must admit that I have been right all along.
      > > > >
      > > > > James
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • Angela
      It is always a pleasure and informative to read your posts, Don :) Angela ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      Message 39 of 39 , Nov 7, 2012
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        It is always a pleasure and informative to read your posts, Don :)

        Angela
        On Nov 7, 2012 11:10 PM, "djgropp" <djgropp@...> wrote:

        > **
        >
        >
        > <<Is english a second for you?>>
        >
        > That's a funny question for you to be asking. Do you put the period
        > outside the quotation marks beause your British? In American English we put
        > the period inside the quotation marks.
        >
        > <<If you are so linguistically sensitive think of it as growing
        > breasts...I cant really tell what you don't like, the testes or the fight>>
        >
        > That's right; you can't possibly know what I like and don't like...if you
        > knew me you'd come to realize that my thinking no longer revolves around
        > genitals or genetic expressions of any sort. My adolesence is long over,
        > yet my pure vigorous youth is returning,much to my delight and amazement.
        > I've learned the "art of extending our lives" and my wife and I are proof.
        >
        > If you'd like to research the evolution of my ideas, thoughts and notions,
        > just start with my message #4510, December, 2000.
        > That was about 100,000 messages ago. I've been on this board ever since.
        >
        > I owe much gratitude to the good people who belong to this club and have
        > continued posting all these dozen or more years. The somctimes fierce
        > confrontations and disagreements we've had helped motivate me to study more
        > deeply.
        >
        > Though I've never waivered in the primary foundations of my faith, much of
        > my previous years of thinking had to be re-thought, and many of my original
        > notions have become tempered while my ability to express myself has become
        > much, muh more refined and cultivated.
        >
        > Many thanks for all the years to, "You know who you are!" Too many names
        > to mention. All my best regards, prayers and warmest wishes.
        >
        > Through my interactions on this board, all my ideas and expressions had
        > become subject to re-examination, and in the process, my ability to
        > communicate became much more refined because I had to study diligently to
        > defend my positions.Any way, if nothing else, my vocabulary has improved.
        >
        > I'm a teacher, and so it helps me.
        >
        > Take care.
        >
        > Yes,"grow a pair" is common rhetoric, a pundit's jargon. I was wondering,
        > don't you think perhaps you might have been a bit too hasty in evaluating
        > me, rather than simply absorbing the situation. Scholars often create
        > problems because rather than congizing facts, they begin to evaluate each
        > other. Needless to say, that's very subjective. And what the heck, truth is
        > subjective, i.e., "only in the eyes of the beholder."
        >
        > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, John the Buddhist,-Lotus fan
        > � � <nathandknutson@...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Its an expression, "grow a pair". Women also say "if you don't think I
        > have the balls to...." and other such things. Is english a second for you?
        > > If you are so linguistically sensitive think of it as growing breasts.
        > >
        > > or do you truly believe weakness is a life preserving trait? I cant
        > really tell what you don't like, the testes or the fight.
        > >
        > >
        > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "djgropp" <djgropp@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > <<there is a world out there that wants to kill you, and will unless
        > you grow a pair>>
        > > >
        > > > That's kind of funny...you really believe that? What role does gender
        > play in your sexist scenario?
        > > >
        > > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, John the Buddhist,-Lotus
        > fan � � <nathandknutson@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > Shijo Kingo was once ambushed by other Samurai jealous of his
        > success, he fought with his sword for his life, and wrote to Nichiren of
        > it, Nichiren wrote back;
        > > > >
        > > > > "I have carefully read your letter, in which you described the
        > recent skirmish with powerful enemies. So they have finally attacked you.
        > It is a matter of rejoicing that your usual prudence and courage, as well
        > as your firm faith in the Lotus Sutra, enabled you to survive unharmed...
        > You must have escaped death because of this deity's [Marishiten's]
        > protection. Marishiten gave you skill in swordsmanship, while I, Nichiren,
        > have bestowed upon you the five characters of Myoho Renge Kyo. There can be
        > no doubt that Marishiten protects those who embrace the Lotus Sutra.
        > Marishiten also upholds the Lotus Sutra and thus helps all living beings.
        > Even the words "Those who join the battle are all on the front line" [from
        > a Taoist work] derive from the Lotus Sutra. Employ the strategy of the
        > Lotus Sutra before any other. Then, "All enemies are crushed." These golden
        > words will never prove false. The heart of strategy and swordsmanship
        > derives from the Mystic Law. Have profound faith. A coward cannot have any
        > of his prayers answered."
        > > > >
        > > > > a coward cannot have any of his prayers answered. Pacifism is
        > cowardice, and ethically wrong. It it just as wrong as being the aggressor.
        > We must as Buddhists try to never be the bully, never be the aggressors.
        > But airy fairy ideas like pacifism do not account for the fact that there
        > is a world out there that wants to kill you, and will unless you grow a
        > pair. The Buddha did not teach ahimsa, instead we are to try to love
        > everyone, but we must defend our own existence. Even of Gandhi, it must be
        > said that he had the luxury fighting the English Empire on it's waning
        > years, and not the Nazis.
        > > > >
        > > > > Be neither a Viking nor a Jain monk. Our path is called the Middle
        > Way.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com, "charles" <cdeverett@>
        > wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > "Pacifism is the spirit that breathes beautiful peace on
        > > > > > all planes, within every atmosphere, and that blesses
        > > > > > those who impose hurt, even those who curse you;
        > > > > > and that prays for those who despitefully make use of
        > > > > > your name, or who persecute you.
        > > > > > Do not fight on any realm. Be true pacifists. Never fight
        > > > > > evil but command it to obedience to a higher law. But do
        > > > > > not command it on its own level, or your command will
        > > > > > be of no value. There will be no power in it. Rise above
        > > > > > the evil and look down upon it from the heights and
        > > > > > then command that it falls into a state of obedience. In
        > > > > > this way you will contribute to the healing of all wrong
        > > > > > states in life, and in the world in general. You are all to
        > > > > > be as Stars in the firmament, that is, centres of Divine
        > > > > > Radiation. That is how to overcome evil. Do not enter
        > > > > > into conflict, physical conflict or mental conflict, but be
        > > > > > true pacifists, Children of the Peace, the Great Peace". John Todd
        > Ferrier
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
        >
        >


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