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For LaVora: Re: Lion's and tigers and bears, Ogres and monsters!

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  • carsonlynn2001
    Hi LaVora, I think confidentiality is crucial in all matters. Going on this board, or any other public forum, with one s life is like climbing to the top of a
    Message 1 of 19 , Nov 1, 2003
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      Hi LaVora,

      I think confidentiality is crucial in all matters. Going on this
      board, or any other public forum, with one's life is like climbing
      to the top of a high tower and opening up a feather pillow to a high
      wind and then trying to collect all of the feathers afterwards. No
      matter what you have said to correct erroneous assumptions it seems
      that some of the spins that continue on remind me of Nichiren
      Daishonin's words: "How pitiful, how truly pitiful." I do not know
      about you, but I have learned a good lesson about sagacity following
      this experience of yours.

      By the way I love Toni Morrison! Oprah Winfrey made me aware of her.
      Have you ever considered going on the Oprah Winfrey show? She loves
      good books.

      Peace and Blessings,
      Carson Lynn ;)

      --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "M. LaVora Pery"
      <lavora.perry@j...> wrote:
      > Hi Pat,
      >
      > You make some good points here. Perhaps I need to be more business
      > savvy. And also just simply more prudent as I've indicated before.
      > Maybe I should not have even told this group what happened. But
      it's
      > done now. I guess I could just stop writing about the latest
      > happenings. Maybe I will. But obviously not today.
      >
      > Since I am admittedly not certain or knowledgeable about lots of
      > things I will pour great energy into doing what I know from
      > experience definitely works--chant to turn the whole matter into a
      > huge benefit.
      >
      > Anyhow, yesterday I learned that Taneesha's Treasures of the Heart
      is
      > listed as a holiday stocking stuffer in Black Issues Book Review--
      one
      > of the U.S.'s prominient magazines of African American literature.
      > The text displayed with the book cover reads: "Stories of loyal
      > friendships and strong family ties are interwoven with the
      principles
      > of Buddhism." 
      >
      > I'm putting the picture up on my site now. In a minute it will be
      > here:
      >
      > http://www.fortunechildbooks.com/BIBR1103.htm
      >
      > It feels great to share space in a magazine with Toni Morrison on
      the
      > cover. For those who haven't heard of her, she is the first
      African
      > American woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in literature. She
      was
      > awarded for her body of work. She is also from my home state--
      Ohio.
      > Her hometown, Lorain, is a 40 minute or so drive from where I
      live.
      > Her book, Beloved, is my all time favorite novel for now.
      >
      > Later
      >
      > LaVora
      >
      > SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "Pat Matthews"
      > <patmatthews@s...> wrote:

      > > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "Christopher H.
      > > Holte" <chris_holte@y...> wrote:

      > > > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick
      > Matthews"
      > > > <patmatthews@s...> wrote:
    • M. LaVora Pery
      Hi Carson, Yes, I ve learned a lot from this experience as well. And in keeping with your message I think I ll just skip mentioning any contacts I ve made or
      Message 2 of 19 , Nov 1, 2003
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        Hi Carson,

        Yes, I've learned a lot from this experience as well. And in keeping
        with your message I think I'll just skip mentioning any contacts I've
        made or haven't made with folks like Oprah.

        I will say I'd be happy to be on Oprah and to meet Toni Morrison.

        Meanwhile I'm learning and growing and learning and growing...And
        determining to turn my entire experience into a wonderful benefit for
        everyone.

        Thanks for letting me know what you think.

        LaVora

        --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "carsonlynn2001"
        <carsonlynn2001@y...> wrote:
        > Hi LaVora,
        >
        > I think confidentiality is crucial in all matters. Going on this
        > board, or any other public forum, with one's life is like climbing
        > to the top of a high tower and opening up a feather pillow to a
        high
        > wind and then trying to collect all of the feathers afterwards. No
        > matter what you have said to correct erroneous assumptions it seems
        > that some of the spins that continue on remind me of Nichiren
        > Daishonin's words: "How pitiful, how truly pitiful." I do not know
        > about you, but I have learned a good lesson about sagacity
        following
        > this experience of yours.
        >
        > By the way I love Toni Morrison! Oprah Winfrey made me aware of
        her.
        > Have you ever considered going on the Oprah Winfrey show? She loves
        > good books.
        >
        > Peace and Blessings,
        > Carson Lynn ;)
        >
        > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "M. LaVora Pery"
        > <lavora.perry@j...> wrote:
        > > Hi Pat,
        > >
        > > You make some good points here. Perhaps I need to be more
        business
        > > savvy. And also just simply more prudent as I've indicated
        before.
        > > Maybe I should not have even told this group what happened. But
        > it's
        > > done now. I guess I could just stop writing about the latest
        > > happenings. Maybe I will. But obviously not today.
        > >
        > > Since I am admittedly not certain or knowledgeable about lots of
        > > things I will pour great energy into doing what I know from
        > > experience definitely works--chant to turn the whole matter into
        a
        > > huge benefit.
        > >
        > > Anyhow, yesterday I learned that Taneesha's Treasures of the
        Heart
        > is
        > > listed as a holiday stocking stuffer in Black Issues Book Review--
        > one
        > > of the U.S.'s prominient magazines of African American
        literature.
        > > The text displayed with the book cover reads: "Stories of loyal
        > > friendships and strong family ties are interwoven with the
        > principles
        > > of Buddhism." 
        > >
        > > I'm putting the picture up on my site now. In a minute it will be
        > > here:
        > >
        > > http://www.fortunechildbooks.com/BIBR1103.htm
        > >
        > > It feels great to share space in a magazine with Toni Morrison on
        > the
        > > cover. For those who haven't heard of her, she is the first
        > African
        > > American woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in literature. She
        > was
        > > awarded for her body of work. She is also from my home state--
        > Ohio.
        > > Her hometown, Lorain, is a 40 minute or so drive from where I
        > live.
        > > Her book, Beloved, is my all time favorite novel for now.
        > >
        > > Later
        > >
        > > LaVora
        > >
        > > SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "Pat Matthews"
        > > <patmatthews@s...> wrote:
        >
        > > > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "Christopher H.
        > > > Holte" <chris_holte@y...> wrote:
        >
        > > > > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick
        > > Matthews"
        > > > > <patmatthews@s...> wrote:
      • Patrick Matthews
        LaVora, Congratulations! Sharing space with Toni Morrison, incredible. Getting advice about business always improves our business sense. We cam always learn
        Message 3 of 19 , Nov 1, 2003
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          LaVora,
          Congratulations! Sharing space with Toni Morrison, incredible.

          Getting advice about business always improves our business sense. We cam
          always learn from others about business from other businesspeople. Good
          Luck with your book, and may you have many repeat customers.

          Pat
          -----------------

          Hi Pat,

          You make some good points here. Perhaps I need to be more business
          savvy. And also just simply more prudent as I've indicated before.
          Maybe I should not have even told this group what happened. But it's
          done now. I guess I could just stop writing about the latest
          happenings. Maybe I will. But obviously not today.

          Since I am admittedly not certain or knowledgeable about lots of
          things I will pour great energy into doing what I know from
          experience definitely works--chant to turn the whole matter into a
          huge benefit.

          Anyhow, yesterday I learned that Taneesha's Treasures of the Heart is
          listed as a holiday stocking stuffer in Black Issues Book Review--one
          of the U.S.'s prominient magazines of African American literature.
          The text displayed with the book cover reads: "Stories of loyal
          friendships and strong family ties are interwoven with the principles
          of Buddhism." 

          I'm putting the picture up on my site now. In a minute it will be
          here:

          http://www.fortunechildbooks.com/BIBR1103.htm

          It feels great to share space in a magazine with Toni Morrison on the
          cover. For those who haven't heard of her, she is the first African
          American woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in literature. She was
          awarded for her body of work. She is also from my home state--Ohio.
          Her hometown, Lorain, is a 40 minute or so drive from where I live.
          Her book, Beloved, is my all time favorite novel for now.

          Later

          LaVora
        • carsonlynn2001
          There you go...that s right and, good for you, LaVora. Last Saturday afternoon our Blue Ridge District Study Meeting acted out the Major Persecutions of
          Message 4 of 19 , Nov 1, 2003
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            There you go...that's right and, good for you, LaVora.
            Last Saturday afternoon our Blue Ridge District Study Meeting acted
            out the Major Persecutions of Nichiren Daishonin in the woods at a
            member's home in Berryville, Virginia...a living study meeting. I
            presented the Persecution at Tatsunokuchi. Though I have volumes of
            information, I chose the article that you and, another writer, wrote
            from the September 5, 2003 "World Tribune" monthly "Friends for
            Peace", "SGI HISTORY KIDSTYLE: Sept. 12, 1271: Nichiren Daishonin's
            Life is Protected" It was easily understood by both the children and
            adults that were present and, they all understood it. Thank you very
            much!
            Together Peace Works,
            Carson Lynn ;)


            --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "M. LaVora Pery"
            <lavora.perry@j...> wrote:
            > Hi Carson,
            >
            > Yes, I've learned a lot from this experience as well. And in
            keeping
            > with your message I think I'll just skip mentioning any contacts
            I've
            > made or haven't made with folks like Oprah.
            >
            > I will say I'd be happy to be on Oprah and to meet Toni Morrison.
            >
            > Meanwhile I'm learning and growing and learning and growing...And
            > determining to turn my entire experience into a wonderful benefit
            for
            > everyone.
            >
            > Thanks for letting me know what you think.
            >
            > LaVora
            >
            > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "carsonlynn2001"
            > <carsonlynn2001@y...> wrote:
            > > Hi LaVora,
            > >
            > > I think confidentiality is crucial in all matters. Going on this
            > > board, or any other public forum, with one's life is like
            climbing
            > > to the top of a high tower and opening up a feather pillow to a
            > high
            > > wind and then trying to collect all of the feathers afterwards.
            No
            > > matter what you have said to correct erroneous assumptions it
            seems
            > > that some of the spins that continue on remind me of Nichiren
            > > Daishonin's words: "How pitiful, how truly pitiful." I do not
            know
            > > about you, but I have learned a good lesson about sagacity
            > following
            > > this experience of yours.
            > >
            > > By the way I love Toni Morrison! Oprah Winfrey made me aware of
            > her.
            > > Have you ever considered going on the Oprah Winfrey show? She
            loves
            > > good books.
            > >
            > > Peace and Blessings,
            > > Carson Lynn ;)
            > >
            > > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "M. LaVora Pery"
            > > <lavora.perry@j...> wrote:
            > > > Hi Pat,
            > > >
            > > > You make some good points here. Perhaps I need to be more
            > business
            > > > savvy. And also just simply more prudent as I've indicated
            > before.
            > > > Maybe I should not have even told this group what happened.
            But
            > > it's
            > > > done now. I guess I could just stop writing about the latest
            > > > happenings. Maybe I will. But obviously not today.
            > > >
            > > > Since I am admittedly not certain or knowledgeable about lots
            of
            > > > things I will pour great energy into doing what I know from
            > > > experience definitely works--chant to turn the whole matter
            into
            > a
            > > > huge benefit.
            > > >
            > > > Anyhow, yesterday I learned that Taneesha's Treasures of the
            > Heart
            > > is
            > > > listed as a holiday stocking stuffer in Black Issues Book
            Review--
            > > one
            > > > of the U.S.'s prominient magazines of African American
            > literature.
            > > > The text displayed with the book cover reads: "Stories of
            loyal
            > > > friendships and strong family ties are interwoven with the
            > > principles
            > > > of Buddhism." 
            > > >
            > > > I'm putting the picture up on my site now. In a minute it will
            be
            > > > here:
            > > >
            > > > http://www.fortunechildbooks.com/BIBR1103.htm
            > > >
            > > > It feels great to share space in a magazine with Toni Morrison
            on
            > > the
            > > > cover. For those who haven't heard of her, she is the first
            > > African
            > > > American woman to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize in literature.
            She
            > > was
            > > > awarded for her body of work. She is also from my home state--
            > > Ohio.
            > > > Her hometown, Lorain, is a 40 minute or so drive from where I
            > > live.
            > > > Her book, Beloved, is my all time favorite novel for now.
            > > >
            > > > Later
            > > >
            > > > LaVora
            > > >
            > > > SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "Pat Matthews"
            > > > <patmatthews@s...> wrote:
            > >
            > > > > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "Christopher
            H.
            > > > > Holte" <chris_holte@y...> wrote:
            > >
            > > > > > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "Patrick
            > > > Matthews"
            > > > > > <patmatthews@s...> wrote:
          • M. LaVora Pery
            I ... wrote ... and ... very ... Thanks for letting me know that, Carson! I really appreciate it. Also that study meeting sounds awesome. I m going to suggest
            Message 5 of 19 , Nov 1, 2003
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              I
              > presented the Persecution at Tatsunokuchi. Though I have volumes of
              > information, I chose the article that you and, another writer,
              wrote
              > from the September 5, 2003 "World Tribune" monthly "Friends for
              > Peace", "SGI HISTORY KIDSTYLE: Sept. 12, 1271: Nichiren Daishonin's
              > Life is Protected" It was easily understood by both the children
              and
              > adults that were present and, they all understood it. Thank you
              very
              > much!
              > Together Peace Works,
              > Carson Lynn ;)

              Thanks for letting me know that, Carson! I really appreciate it.
              Also that study meeting sounds awesome. I'm going to suggest that we
              do something like that here.

              -L
            • Christopher
              Chris, I wasn t defending the SGI ( though I sometiomes do :^) ) anymore than I was defending Lavora. I was just pointing out that any org has just as much
              Message 6 of 19 , Nov 3, 2003
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                Chris,
                I wasn't defending the SGI ( though I sometiomes do :^) ) anymore than I was defending Lavora. I was just pointing out that any org has just as much right to free speech ie; this is what we feel about blase blase as does the individual on the street. When I do speak about the SGI though I speak only on what I know and have expeirenced. I have never run across the SGI that many here claim to have. The SGI that I am a member of is a wonderfull place. This does not mean that others are biased ( though some admittedly are ) they may well have in their expeirence run into the corporate wall. Sometimes I do become a little bristly but I guess that is because for almost two plus years I was independent simply because there was so much bad press on the SGI. This viewpoint is expressed widely on the internet so I try in my own small way to fight that attitude.
                Christopher
                NMRK

                "Christopher H. Holte" <chris_holte@...> wrote:
                Chris, Who is charging at windmills?

                In this post and your subsequent one you defend the SGI's right to
                tell her "no dice" on her books, which is what she was complaining
                about. Whether anyone is defaming her yet is immaterial. Her problem
                is that her book is being refused on the grounds of her exercising
                free speech. No one has to "say" anything to make that point. The
                point is in the actions. By circling the wagons around this issue
                you are defending the status quo. By attacking this issue folks are
                attacking the status quo. The Don Quixote analogy applies all around.
                People seem to feel that those who disagree with them are ogres and
                giants. Those who want SGI-Santa monica to change come to feel that
                way about the staffers working there. Those who work there seem to
                feel that way about the "dissidents" and big mouths like Andy, and I
                guess like me.

                If you like the status quo then refusing to sell LaVora's books might
                make sense in some loopy way, but since her books are written for
                children and have nothing to do with politics -- and since the Gakkai
                has always been rather fitful and inconsistent in this country with
                respect to the way it protects and nurtures it's "Precious next
                generation", it is an unhealthy thing to refuse her book simply
                because someone doesn't like something she said on a web-site. She
                has a right to be upset. And I'd think that you and Terry and Kathy
                and the rest would be more upset about this than Andy is. After all
                Andy can buy the book at Amazon. It would be you that might want to
                read it to your children or your grandchildren.

                I feel a special identification with passionate defenders of the
                Gakkai named Chris. I understand that people take the notion of
                loyalty very seriously. I was watching a TV show that documented one
                great poet's sojourn at ST. E's, and it was a sad thing to behold how
                his idiocy on behalf of the Fascists during World War II landed him
                in a mental hospital. But I'm not sure who's mental health was worse,
                his or his jailors. But the fact is he'd been overtly disloyal.
                However, LaVora wasn't guilty of anything anywhere near so disloyal.
                In our Country, maybe not the rest of the world, but here at least,
                we have a tradition of honoring reasonable dissent. Such dissent is
                not unity breaking unless partisans use it as a wedge issue to cause
                people to go for each others throats.

                One principle one always has to embrace in life is the one that
                the "Strategy of the Lotus Sutra" is paramount. And what is that
                strategy? It is above all the strategy of intense honesty coupled
                with an intense awareness that words are "means" as well as
                conveyances. You can state truth and in the process tell lies, but
                you cannot pile up lies and call them truth. If you tell a fiction
                you'd better be aware that it is fiction. And if someone tells you a
                fiction you are not fully aware until you can tell the difference. If
                you let fawning and twisted people behave in a fawning and twisted
                manner, they will just keep doing so. Maybe today they will attack
                someone outside your circle of friends, but soon they will attack and
                drive off one friend after another until you are quite alone. If you
                befriend fawning and twisted people they will eventually have you
                wrapped around their little finger. But it won't do you any good.

                So siding with someone when they are doing something wrong is just
                inviting bad consequences. Had I been that poet's friends I'd have
                condemned his actions from the beginning. I would have said he had
                the right to write what he wanted to, but that he should not write
                those things because they would a; get him in trouble, and b; be
                misused by those who were using him. He himself was just being an
                idiot. If I'd known LaVora was about to write Buddhajones on a
                subject related to the Gakkai I'd have warned her to let others do
                the complaining until she's sold all her books. But that is now
                beside the point. She wasn't doing anything wrong, but the outcome
                was predictable.

                Fawning behavior looks like nurturing behavior. A mother Deer fawns
                on it's fawn. Why is that painted as a bad thing in the Lotus Sutra
                if it sounds like such a good thing? Because in human affairs it is
                behavior that keeps the family unit united around the adults and
                keeps the rest "infanticized." Fawning behavior in adult animals is
                usually associated with packs. With hierarchical competative
                structures in which the strongest and most charismatic dominate the
                pack and each level of subordination "fawns" on the leader. They act
                like children in order to not have a fight. They "submit." Fawning
                animals bend their heads, crawl, "smile" and stick their tales
                between their legs. Fawning humans act in much the same manner. They
                then turn around and bite those animals who aren't close to this
                leader. Thus their own role as follower becomes an excuse to dominate
                the next tier. And so and and so forth. Such organizations are so
                natural that they develop even where the ideology is trying to combat
                them. Where the ideology promotes such behavior it spreads.

                Now in humans, much of the physical behavior is converted into
                symbolic behavior. Instead of real giants, we attack figurative ones.
                And sometimes we attack windmills thinking they are giant because we
                get confused about the distinction. Instead of doing certain things
                literally we have turned them into Curse words. Instead of picking
                our fights with bites and stares, we do it with words and
                rudenesses. But in all cases, pack behavior circles around to defend
                the pack and attack prey...And This is not the world of the Buddha
                but one of the worlds of animals. The cycle of animality is
                symbolized by a circle of different animals biting one another. It is
                the very essence of darwinism, and it is part of our lives, but
                really something we should combat, not engage in.

                LaVora wrote a bood book. Lavora's complaints were like those of a
                Sheep not a wolf. She was innocent of malign intent. And now that
                Book -- And LaVora's life -- are being used like a lamb being fought
                over by wolves. Which of us is wolves? Which of us is Sheep? How can
                the sheep survive the wolves? Who among us are really defending
                LaVora? Certainly Santa Monica is a figurative term, her book is just
                a book, but LaVora is real.

                Chris

                --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, Christopher
                <lotus19722000@y...> wrote:
                > Brian,
                > Before you pick up your lance and start charging windmills
                > calm down and see that they are only dragons in your own mind. No
                one here has to my knowledge ( and I read the same e-mails you do )
                treated Lavora with any suspicion. If they had then I'm sure haveing
                written for Buddhajones that Lavora is quite capable of speaking out
                in defense. I personally have mixed views on Buddhajones but that is
                neither here nor there. Lavora I am sure was well aware of the
                suspicion that would be brought about simply by posting on that web
                site. Terry never said anything to though to defame or in anyway
                cast Lavora in a bad light.



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              • Christopher H. Holte
                ... If you are defending the response of those officials as the right to free speech of the Org. Isn t that my definition defending the organization? Again,
                Message 7 of 19 , Nov 3, 2003
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                  > I wasn't defending the SGI ( though I sometiomes do :^) anymore
                  > than I was defending Lavora.

                  If you are defending the response of those officials as the "right"
                  to free speech of the Org. Isn't that my definition defending the
                  organization? Again, logic dictates that you don't deny the obvious.

                  > I was just pointing out that any org has just as much right to
                  > free speech ie; this is what we feel about blase blase as does
                  > the individual on the street.

                  Sure, of course, but any organization speaks through the members of
                  that organization. Indeed Buddhism teaches that there is no such
                  thing as an "organization" outside of the aggregate actions of it's
                  members. That is why it is an absurdity to speak of organizations as
                  a seperate entity from those who are making up the "members" of that
                  organization. The question of who speaks for an organization is
                  important, and not just for the speakers. Those who the organization
                  charges to speak for it have a responsibility to actually speak for
                  it's "higher" purposes and not speak for their own purposes. So yes,
                  the "org" has as much a right to free speech as anyone else. You are
                  the org in some ways. But how much influence you have is another deal
                  entirely!

                  > When I do speak about the SGI though I speak only on what I know
                  > and have experienced. I have never run across the SGI that many
                  > here claim to have.

                  I never did either until I started digging a little. And then I
                  realized I had and had thoroughly blinded myself to what was going on
                  around me at the time. I cannot claim any innocence. Just ignorance.

                  > The SGI that I am a member of is a wonderful place.
                  > This does not mean that others are biased
                  > ( though some admittedly are ) they may well have in
                  > their experience run into the corporate wall.

                  The SGI most of us have been involved with has indeed been pretty
                  good to us. That is what makes these "episodes" of disunity and
                  destruction so wrenching. In a single moment, someone can find
                  himself facing the "Three Powerful Enemies" not coming from some
                  Bakufu Lord, or outside religion, or even some former affiliation,
                  but from within the organization. Even within your own little group.
                  It is sansho shima whatever "level" it occurs at. And Sansho shima
                  can be interpreted two ways. Either as an affirmation of the
                  greatness of the organization. Or as a signal that something needs to
                  change. If people are smiling after it's all over, than it has been
                  an affirmative experience. But if the trail is death,destruction,
                  fire and anger, then something is wrong somewhere.

                  In Nichiren's day he and his disciples made sure they were blameless
                  in what was happening to them. That is why he was able to weather
                  those storms without faltering. After he died some of his disciples
                  in each generation "faltered" in their efforts. Why? Because
                  sometimes they were confused about what they were doing. True
                  Buddhism is not a difficult religion to undertake practicing, it is
                  not a difficult religion to reach enlightenment by practicing under.
                  But it is facing the most difficult enemy of them all.

                  > Sometimes I do become a little bristly but I guess that is because
                  > for almost two plus years I was independent simply because there
                  > was so much bad press on the SGI.

                  And of course that "bad press" **is** sansho Shima too. However, the
                  bad press comes from somewhere, and we don't fight it by denying that
                  it has causes from within as well as from without. We don't have to
                  join in on the nonsense. And we can take seriously President Ikeda's
                  little story about his conversation with Toda about how if
                  he "doesn't like the organization" he should get involved and try to
                  change it. Even if his other disciples don't.

                  In the mid eighties I was part of a district that managed to hold
                  together despite some politics going on all around us. I didn't
                  hardly know about the politics at the time, but I did know that what
                  works is loving kindness, patience, endurance, and truthfulness. That
                  is why you are back with your SGI group, and that is why you'll stay
                  unless the nastiness manages to break through your local group. To
                  fight the "nasties" is the goal of reaching enlightenment. But you
                  don't do it by hiding out in a heavenly realm but by engaging in
                  actual "shakubuku" which always starts with "breaking and subduing"
                  our own minds of convenient interpretations, attachments, and lies.

                  > This viewpoint is expressed widely on the internet so I try in
                  > my own small way to fight that attitude.

                  You fight an attitude by dealing with the causes. There are always
                  causes within as well as causes without. I've found out from my own
                  battles with life and sometimes with others, that sometimes my worst
                  enemies are sometimes the ones who claim to be on my side. Expecially
                  the people who make me chose on issues based on personal loyalty
                  rather than "do the right thing!"

                  However, that need not be true. Even worse is when we find out we are
                  our own worst enemy. I like to imagine myself as Clint Eastwood, but
                  when I get to flying my aim is like that of Barny Fife.

                  The Nirvana Sutra enjoins us to (modernized paraphrase) "do the right
                  thing" and not let personal loyalty stop us from doing that! At the
                  same time we need to try to do it as "gently" as possible, so that
                  our "harsh words" can have enough effect so that the person can
                  someday actually see them as "the gentlest words of all."

                  If Nichiren could admonish his own mentor, then that demolishes the
                  entire framework of insisting on blind following in any organization
                  that takes Nichiren as it's master.


                  Chris
                • Christopher
                  Chris, Thank you for this reply. I wish I could respond to people so effectively. NMRK, Christopher ... If you are defending the response of those officials
                  Message 8 of 19 , Nov 4, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Chris,
                    Thank you for this reply. I wish I could respond to people so effectively.
                    NMRK,
                    Christopher

                    "Christopher H. Holte" <chris_holte@...> wrote:
                    > I wasn't defending the SGI ( though I sometiomes do :^) anymore
                    > than I was defending Lavora.

                    If you are defending the response of those officials as the "right"
                    to free speech of the Org. Isn't that my definition defending the
                    organization? Again, logic dictates that you don't deny the obvious.

                    > I was just pointing out that any org has just as much right to
                    > free speech ie; this is what we feel about blase blase as does
                    > the individual on the street.

                    Sure, of course, but any organization speaks through the members of
                    that organization. Indeed Buddhism teaches that there is no such
                    thing as an "organization" outside of the aggregate actions of it's
                    members. That is why it is an absurdity to speak of organizations as
                    a seperate entity from those who are making up the "members" of that
                    organization. The question of who speaks for an organization is
                    important, and not just for the speakers. Those who the organization
                    charges to speak for it have a responsibility to actually speak for
                    it's "higher" purposes and not speak for their own purposes. So yes,
                    the "org" has as much a right to free speech as anyone else. You are
                    the org in some ways. But how much influence you have is another deal
                    entirely!

                    > When I do speak about the SGI though I speak only on what I know
                    > and have experienced. I have never run across the SGI that many
                    > here claim to have.

                    I never did either until I started digging a little. And then I
                    realized I had and had thoroughly blinded myself to what was going on
                    around me at the time. I cannot claim any innocence. Just ignorance.

                    > The SGI that I am a member of is a wonderful place.
                    > This does not mean that others are biased
                    > ( though some admittedly are ) they may well have in
                    > their experience run into the corporate wall.

                    The SGI most of us have been involved with has indeed been pretty
                    good to us. That is what makes these "episodes" of disunity and
                    destruction so wrenching. In a single moment, someone can find
                    himself facing the "Three Powerful Enemies" not coming from some
                    Bakufu Lord, or outside religion, or even some former affiliation,
                    but from within the organization. Even within your own little group.
                    It is sansho shima whatever "level" it occurs at. And Sansho shima
                    can be interpreted two ways. Either as an affirmation of the
                    greatness of the organization. Or as a signal that something needs to
                    change. If people are smiling after it's all over, than it has been
                    an affirmative experience. But if the trail is death,destruction,
                    fire and anger, then something is wrong somewhere.

                    In Nichiren's day he and his disciples made sure they were blameless
                    in what was happening to them. That is why he was able to weather
                    those storms without faltering. After he died some of his disciples
                    in each generation "faltered" in their efforts. Why? Because
                    sometimes they were confused about what they were doing. True
                    Buddhism is not a difficult religion to undertake practicing, it is
                    not a difficult religion to reach enlightenment by practicing under.
                    But it is facing the most difficult enemy of them all.

                    > Sometimes I do become a little bristly but I guess that is because
                    > for almost two plus years I was independent simply because there
                    > was so much bad press on the SGI.

                    And of course that "bad press" **is** sansho Shima too. However, the
                    bad press comes from somewhere, and we don't fight it by denying that
                    it has causes from within as well as from without. We don't have to
                    join in on the nonsense. And we can take seriously President Ikeda's
                    little story about his conversation with Toda about how if
                    he "doesn't like the organization" he should get involved and try to
                    change it. Even if his other disciples don't.

                    In the mid eighties I was part of a district that managed to hold
                    together despite some politics going on all around us. I didn't
                    hardly know about the politics at the time, but I did know that what
                    works is loving kindness, patience, endurance, and truthfulness. That
                    is why you are back with your SGI group, and that is why you'll stay
                    unless the nastiness manages to break through your local group. To
                    fight the "nasties" is the goal of reaching enlightenment. But you
                    don't do it by hiding out in a heavenly realm but by engaging in
                    actual "shakubuku" which always starts with "breaking and subduing"
                    our own minds of convenient interpretations, attachments, and lies.

                    > This viewpoint is expressed widely on the internet so I try in
                    > my own small way to fight that attitude.

                    You fight an attitude by dealing with the causes. There are always
                    causes within as well as causes without. I've found out from my own
                    battles with life and sometimes with others, that sometimes my worst
                    enemies are sometimes the ones who claim to be on my side. Expecially
                    the people who make me chose on issues based on personal loyalty
                    rather than "do the right thing!"

                    However, that need not be true. Even worse is when we find out we are
                    our own worst enemy. I like to imagine myself as Clint Eastwood, but
                    when I get to flying my aim is like that of Barny Fife.

                    The Nirvana Sutra enjoins us to (modernized paraphrase) "do the right
                    thing" and not let personal loyalty stop us from doing that! At the
                    same time we need to try to do it as "gently" as possible, so that
                    our "harsh words" can have enough effect so that the person can
                    someday actually see them as "the gentlest words of all."

                    If Nichiren could admonish his own mentor, then that demolishes the
                    entire framework of insisting on blind following in any organization
                    that takes Nichiren as it's master.


                    Chris


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