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Petty Semantics: (was Re: The True Object of Worship...

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  • steve_is_a_buddha
    Michael writes ... Sorry - I was just trying to be polemically provocative in order to bring the point to light. Your response is a very good one: in the
    Message 1 of 61 , Dec 1, 2005
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      Michael writes

      > Feel free to mock Nichiren all you like. His understanding of Esho
      > Funi was sufficient for him to overcome the executioners at
      > Tatsunokuchi beach.

      Sorry - I was just trying to be polemically provocative in order to
      bring the point to light. Your response is a very good one: in the
      modern world fighting against "institutional foolishness", is where
      we can truly stand alone and fight mistaken views.

      Your comparison between the two cities is very meaningful. However,
      where I think the Rissho Ankoku Ron is problematic is in its
      ascription of earthquakes themselves (not the quality of forward
      planning for them) as being a consequence of doing bad buddhism.

      I just don't think natural disasters can be seen like that, without
      courting the scorn of intelligent people everywhere. Think of the
      recent ones: New Orleans, Asian Tsunami, Southern Iran earthquake,
      Kashmir earthquake. We would have to conclude that the major poor
      practices were: Christianity in New Orleans, potentially
      homosexuality because of a gay pride thing there also- although the
      relative lack of damage of the French Quarter argues against this,
      for the Tsunami we have Theravada Buddhism and Hinduism being
      particularly offensive to the universe (but more so if you are on the
      east side of India and Sri Lanka - if you're on the western side, the
      universe was more forgiving) then of course there is Shia islam in
      the south of Iran, but Sunni islam in Pakistan. If of course we go
      back another 10 years or so we have the Kobe earthquake and the Tokyo
      sarin attack - all of which we all know were caused by Nikken.

      As you see, you just can't argue strict causality for natural
      disasters because even a cursory synopsis makes everything totally
      untenable. That was my point. And I think if we are to make real
      useful meaning of the RAR, then we have to elide its more voodooish
      propositions.

      Steve





      >
      > For many of us, Esho Funi means more than just choosing to see the
      > glass as 1/2 full. Our life itself influences the pouring of the
      > water. But even if you don't see it that way or think the ideas in
      > "What the Bleep do we Know?" are bunk, there are reasons to look a
      > little deeper at what the Daishonin is saying.
      >
      > A good place to begin would be at 2 crescent citys, New Orleans and
      > Crescent City California.
      >
      > Crescent City, CA was devestated by a tsunami in 1964 but Crescent
      > City CA today is as prepared for a disaster as any community can be.
      >
      > http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5007869
      >
      > On the other hand, the vulnerability of New Orleans and its levees
      to
      > hurricane damage was both well known and documented,
      >
      > en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictions_of_hurricane_risk_for_New_Orleans
      >
      > yet no one seemed to be ready for a storm that took a while to
      arrive.
      >
      > My next door neighbor's mother lives in New Orleans and according to
      > him, she is wealthy enough to have stayed in any hotel in New York
      or
      > Paris but like thousands of others, chose to ride out the storm at
      > home. Many folks had little ability to evacuate on their own and no
      > one made any provision for them. The Peter principle was in full
      > display as many leaders from the city to the national level were in
      > way over their heads.
      >
      > I told my neighbor that maybe people would now understand that there
      > was a cost to putting incompetent folks in postions of
      responsibility
      > just because they were family or friends or financial contributors.
      > He told me that would never happen. That was just the way business
      > and politics was done throughout the south.
      >
      > Nichiren railed against a religion that told people enlightenment
      was
      > impossible in Mappo. This was institutionalized foolishness that
      > robbed people of their hope and expectation for a better life. What
      > caused the disaster in New Orleans was not only a hurricane but a
      kind
      > of institutionalized foolishness that reached all the way to the top
      > of the government in Washington.
      >
      > The Rissho Ankoku Ron is as relevant today as it ever was. I look
      > forward to reading Ryuei's essay when I have time.
      >
      > Michael
      >
    • piluouf
      After reading this great research, Ryuei wrote below that the schools were secularized and divided in differnt ways until 1945,that is why, Japan was the first
      Message 61 of 61 , Dec 12, 2005
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        After reading this great research, Ryuei wrote below that the schools
        were secularized and divided in differnt ways until 1945,that is why,
        Japan was the first country attacked in a nuclear war onwards...
        No matter how they suppress the truth, it cannot escape retribution..

        Until 1945....so that means, such madness stopped in that period?? I
        heard this was the time Makiguchi and Toda were vigilant teachers of
        the law..(correct me if wrong)
        As soka progresses,with millions of Nichiren Budhists emerging, Japan
        has renewed its good fortune as the 3rd most powerful country despite
        the fact that its so small compared to america and china..It is also
        the cleanest by far,in terms of graft and corruption in asia.

        Indonesia, a muslim country is most corrupt..the philippines, the
        first christian in asia is second most corrupt..

        With all slanders to the law, and those who follow Nichiren, one can
        tell Risho Ankoku was not in vain.

        Jodine

        --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, ryuei2000
        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In SokaGakkaiInternational@yahoogroups.com, "clownhidden"
        > <clownhidden@y...> wrote:
        > >
        > > This is really a different question than what you've been
        > discussing
        > > but I'm thinking it must have come up in your examination of this
        > > gosho. What do you think the relationship has been between
        budddhism
        > > and the military throughout these ages? Not so much the actual
        > history
        > > but what would have been the ideal?
        > >
        >
        >
        > Actually I've been exploring that a bit in my reading of the
        ancient
        > Japanese warrior tales - the Heike Monogatari and the Taiheki
        (which
        > successively tell the story of the rise and fall of the Kamakuran
        > Shogunate). It seems to me as though the warriors based their
        > government in Kamakura in order to get away from the intrigues and
        > also monk-armies of the Nara schools and the main centers of Tendai
        > and Shingon. They wanted to keep them literally at a distance. As
        part
        > of this strategy they began patronizing the new movements
        represented
        > by Honen's followers and also the Shingon-Ritsu reformers like
        Ryokan.
        > They also became the patrons of the Sung Dynasty Zen Masters who
        were
        > coming to Japan to flee the Mongols and the collapse of the Sung
        > Dynasty. The successors of the Kamakurans: the Ashikagas and later
        the
        > Tokugawas, continued this patronage. They patronized Zen for
        several
        > reasons:
        >
        > Number one, it had little ceremony or doctrine, and its discipline
        > could be used (some would say perverted) to create disciplined
        > warriors who could cast away their lives without regret.
        >
        > Number two, the Zen Masters from China acted as ambassadors and
        > intermediaries who were able to support unofficial diplomatic
        > relations and the facilitation of trade with China.
        >
        > Number three, the Chinese Zen Masters were not just teaching Zen
        but
        > they and their Japanese successors also brought in Neo-
        Confucianism, a
        > form of which became the ideology of the Tokugawa totalitarian
        state.
        >
        > Number four, Zen did not establish monk armies as had the older
        Nara
        > schools and Mt. Hiei, so they were easier to control as well as
        useful
        > for the reasons listed above.
        >
        > Number five, Zen inspired many of the arts that Japanese culture is
        > today know for: tea ceremony, rock gardens, poetry and the like.
        > Though I want to point out that this is often overstated - both
        > Nichiren Buddhism and the Ji school of Pure Land Buddhism also
        > inspired many art forms and artists as well. In particular, I think
        > Noh was developed by Ji Shu Buddhists. So Zen was responsible for a
        > lot, but not for everything and the contributions of the other
        schools
        > are often neglected.
        >
        > Now getting back to the other schools, in the 16th century, the
        > dictator Oda Nobunaga razed Mt. Hiei and also rid Japan of the
        other
        > nests of monk-warriors. He and Ieayasu Tokugawa (the first Tokugawa
        > Shogun) did all they could to render Buddhism powerless and
        > subservient to the state. In Tokugawa times, the temples were
        > artifically divided up into sects and no longer were they allowed
        to
        > proselytize or debate with one another. Also, everyone had to
        register
        > at their local temples as part of the Tokugawa strategy to rid
        Japan
        > of Christianity. So all the temples became census bureaus and the
        > monks little more than bureaucrats and funeral directors for their
        > parishes (called dankas). And as I mentioned, Zen was patronized by
        > the Tokugawa, but largely because they taught Neo-Confucianism and
        > kept the samurai out of trouble (now that they had no wars to
        fight)
        > by teaching them to sit still or ponder koans, or brush up on their
        > calligraphy or pass the time having tea ceremonies and so on. And
        if
        > necessary, Zen taught them how to selflessly die for their lords.
        >
        > When the Tokugawas were overthrown the new Imperial regime tried to
        > get rid of Buddhism, but it was too deeply rooted in the culture
        and
        > people's lives. So they secularized it by encouraging monks to
        marry
        > and eat meat and drink alcohol and dress in civilian clothing and
        even
        > hold outside jobs. Later they artificially divided all the temples
        up
        > into schools and this continued until 1945. They also made sure
        that
        > Buddhists put the emperor first. When they began colonizing
        Manchuria
        > and annexed Korea they also used Japanese Buddhism to try to change
        > and take over the indigenous forms of Buddhism so that they would
        be
        > as secularized and powerless as Japanese forms of Buddhism and also
        > further subordinate to Japanese power centers. The various forms of
        > Buddhism also taught that one could attain rebirth in the Pure Land
        or
        > enlightenment by dying in service to the emperor. Basically, with
        few
        > exceptions, the various schools outdid themselves in trying to
        pervert
        > their doctrines to serve the ideology of State Shinto.
        >
        > After the war, for the first time, Japanese Buddhism was free of
        state
        > control. But instead of reforming themselves, they squandered the
        next
        > several decades trying to cling to the danka system and continuing
        the
        > trend of turning the temples into a family funeral business. This
        is
        > totally falling apart now as the Japanese people are turning away
        from
        > the old funeral customs. From what little I have observed, Japanese
        > Buddhism is trying to reformulate itself. Some are pushing Buddhism
        as
        > a form of New Age magick - catering to the basist superstitions and
        > gullibility of the Japanese populace with channelings and
        excorcisms
        > and good luck charms. Others are trying to turn the temples into
        > community centers. Others are trying to promote Buddhism as a form
        of
        > therapy and the clergy as religious counselors. Others have been
        > promoting simplified forms of traditional practices as a way that
        > ordinary people can take up to attain enlightenment.
        >
        > The general populace however is so far not too impressed. When I
        was
        > in Japan, I was asked by several people why I "didn't go to a real
        > Buddhist country like Thailand." The instructors at Mt. Minobu
        > informed all of us in training that according to a survey the
        Japanese
        > people consider "Buddhist priest" to be the most useless profession
        of
        > all. NHK (Japanese broadcasting)did a special on Asian Buddhism
        which
        > was clearly biased towards SE Asian Buddhism as more authentic than
        > East Asian Buddhism). An American women who had spend a few years
        in
        > Kobe and was intrigued by Buddhism told me that she had never met
        any
        > Japanese who could tell her anything about it, even when she
        visited
        > the temples (probably a language barrier was involved here as well)
        > and that she found the Japanese to be incredibly materialistic and
        > name brand oriented, and that even the few who were interested in
        > spiritual matters would never dream of going to a temple but would
        > usually seek out Christianity. Compared to Americans, the Japanese
        are
        > profoundly indifferent to religion, an indifference which strangely
        is
        > balanced by an equally strong amount of superstition.
        >
        > That is my assesment of Japanese Buddhism (in general) from the
        time
        > of the Kamakuran Shogunate until today.
        >
        > Namu Myoho Renge Kyo,
        > Ryuei
        >
        >
        *********************************************************************
        >
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