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Re: [SGI] Re: Signing A Pledge to Sensei

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  • Claude Davis
    To Byrd: Nowhere in my post did I say this should not be discussed online, so please don t take it upon yourself to interpret my words. Your post got into
    Message 1 of 43 , Mar 31, 2008
      To Byrd:
      Nowhere in my post did I say this should not be discussed online, so please don't take it upon yourself to interpret my words. Your post got into analizng the intentions behind the people who took this pledge and the meaning of the pledge itself, not just polling if other areas were doing a pledge, so I was confused as to what discussion you were trying to begin as you didn't include any explanation from the folks who created this pledge. In Amerca, we tend to ask people what they mean if we're not clear. And surely, chanting NMHRK makes us look weird by "western standards" regardless of how that chanting is presented.

      For Robin;
      Thanks for correcting my grammar, but I thought this was a discussion about buddhism. Good to know you offer such services. Perhaps you can let us know what other talents you possess so we may all benefit from your immense wisdom



      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Byrd Ehlmann <wahzoh@...>
      To: SokaGakkaiUnofficial@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 6:45:54 PM
      Subject: [SGI] Re: Signing A Pledge to Sensei

      Hi, Claude - I was contacted by a MD leader in that area who had been
      asked to participate in the pledge. He wanted to see if I had any
      reaction to it. As far as I know, he is discussing it with the
      leadership in his area. One of the questions he had of me (as I am
      quite active online) was whether this pledging to Sensei thing was
      only his local area or was more widespread. That was the purpose in
      posting it here - to discover if it is an isolated situation, or if,
      like the "close the temples" daimoku campaigns of last year, are more
      widespread. Since people post here from all over the globe (and
      certainly all over the US), it seemed a good place to raise the issue.

      I don't personally think it's sick propaganda from a disturbed mind,
      either. I do think it is a bit too "japanny" for my taste, but then
      again I'm not testosterone- heavy, as I stated in my initial post. I
      personally look forward to a time when we cease trying to prove our
      sincerity by sounding like the Japanese. I honestly don't think it
      works here. I think it makes us look really weird by Western
      standards. But you are right, Claude, it's not my area.

      Your response kind of reminds me of a fellow named Patrick who
      sometimes responds to entries at my blogpage. He, too, feels
      strongly that policy issues (such as the "close the temples"
      campaigns) should be discussed privately rather than openly online.
      Since part of the purpose of the post was to discover if this kind of
      campaign (the pledge campaign) was going on in other parts of the
      country, the purpose would not have been served by discussing it with
      the loca membership. It was intended as a sort of "poll" of the
      other areas.

      You're rght - it's not my area, and I'm not a men's division member.
      I am an SGI-USA member, however, and I have an interest in how we
      present ourselves to the rest of the world. Like I say, i do believe
      that the whole "hai!" culture looks way weird by western standards.

      Bye for now, Byrd in LA

      --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficia l@yahoogroups. com, Claude Davis
      <claudedavis13@ ...> wrote:
      >
      > I beg to differ, for this MD pledge is hardly sick propaganda or
      created by a disturbed mind. First off ,to the person who initially
      posted this, why did you post it here? What was your intention in
      doing that? I don't know what div you are in but since you say you
      are not a MD, what is your concern? You are not being asked to take
      this pledge. Did you ask the leaders or members in the area that did
      this pledge why they were doing it? Did you bring your "concerns" to
      them? I'm sure they would be happy to answer any questions you have.
      The pledge is very simple. These men are simply making a
      detefmination to challenge their limitations and create the same kind
      of proof in their lives that PI has created in his, though the use of
      this practice as laid out by the SGI. Not too hard to figure out. Of
      course, one would have to believe and support the aims of the SGI and
      for those who don't do that, I could see this pledge being a problem.
      There are threats to
      > the SGI both internally and externally - as is experienced by any
      group or individual that tries to create value in this day and age.
      One could even argue that your intent in posting this excerpt from
      this pledge in this manner is not to answer questions as you state,
      but simply to find yet another way to create confusion around the
      practice of the SGI. For truly, anyone with honest concerns about a
      pledge like this would, first off, take their questions to the source
      and see what their intention was in doing it. And since no mention of
      that conversation is reported, one can only assume it didn't happen.
      Perhaps that construction worker who recently hung himslf in Malibu,
      reported facing fianancial ruin due to a tough divorce, with this
      kind of determination in his life, maybe he would have found the
      strength within himself to keep going until things turned around. But
      again, to see that kindof encouragement in a pledge like this, one
      would have to be
      > okay with the idea of mentor/disciple and the SGI practice. People
      have mentors in all areas of society and their successes reflect
      positively on their mentor. Just watch an awards show or work for the
      Disney Co, a corporation basically completely set up on
      mentor/disicple as eveything is done with the caveat that it is
      something Walt would want or do. The SGI is set-up to help people
      become happy and overcome their suffering by transforming their own
      lives. It's not the only way to do it and the SGI has never said it
      was. But this practice of human revolution is what the SGI teaches
      for anyone who wants to learn it. As Herbie Hancock recently said
      regarding his Grammy win for Best Album, "it's for you (the members),
      not me. We won this together". All of President Ikeda's work has been
      to prove the validity of what he's learned from his mentor, Mr. Toda.
      We win in our lives and overcome our sufferings as actual proof to
      others that they can do the same,
      > we all have the same inhernet potential to really blossom. And
      sometimes it takes the kind of determination to do something
      with "one's life" (hardly empty rhetoric) to turn the tide. It also
      speaks to the idea of being engaged 100% in any given moment with
      whatever one is doing, another great trait to develop. Those 3000
      realms in a single moment of life...
      >
      > ----- Original Message ----
      > From: garuda king <garudaking1@ ...>
      > To: SokaGakkaiUnofficia l@yahoogroups. com
      > Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 8:14:52 AM
      > Subject: Re: [SGI] Re: Signing A Pledge to Sensei
      >
      > Sounds like this pledge could be taken as a potential act of
      terrorism, thanks to the new kill Buddha,Jesus bill (HR 1955 titled
      the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of
      2007.
      > There will come a time when we will have to place our lives on the
      line to protect our beliefs and life. History has proved this.
      However this pledge seems to be more brainwashing propaganda that is
      being vomited onto the minds of free thinking beings by all of those
      in positions of power in all aspects of life. Power corrupts and
      absolute power corrupts absolutely! We see this in politics,jobs, and
      yes religion!
      > As to your question, Is there any reason to believe that the
      organization here in the US is in such danger that people are going
      to need to place their lives on the line, or is this the same kind of
      rhetoric we use when we talk about "understanding with our lives"? If
      the kill Buddha, Jesus Bill takes effect then anyone who practices
      any form of free spirituality against the social norm will be in
      danger of persecution. Fascism is becoming a real threat in America.
      After muslims it will be buddhists if that is our collective karma.
      So the threat is very real. However this pledge to the sensei, and to
      the org. is nothing but sick propaganda created by a disturbed mind.
      > camoonchild <camoonchild@ yahoo.com> wrote: --- In
      SokaGakkaiUnofficia l@yahoogroups. com, "Brian Holly"
      > <bholly72@ .> wrote:
      > >
      > > Reading this made me physically ill. - Brian
      >
      > I have read it a few times now, and no matter how hard I try, I
      > can't make it come out to sound normal in any sense. It really
      > doesn't sound so good. I can't think of any way to explain it in
      > more fluffy terms to have it mean anything other than what it says.
      > It doesn't make me ill, but it is a reflection of a disapponting
      > current trend, IMO. CMC
      > >
      > >
      > > --- In SokaGakkaiUnofficia l@yahoogroups. com, "Byrd Ehlmann"
      > > <wahzoh@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hi, guys -- I didn't know whether to blog about this, or to
      > raise
      > > it
      > > > for discussion here. I guess I will do the latter first.
      > > >
      > > > An online friend wrote to me about his area's MD signing a
      > pledge
      > > to
      > > > Sensei which includes some of the following content:
      > > >
      > > > "Sensei, now that the second act of kosen-rufu has begun, we
      the
      > > > men's division of (Area) have deepened our commitment to living
      > > our
      > > > lives as presidents of the Soka Gakkai, Taking the spirit of
      the
      > > > waterfall as our own, we are determined to live as true
      > disciples.
      > > > We will overcome every obstacle and to what we need to do in
      > order
      > > > to create victory for the sake of the people.
      > > >
      > > > Sensei, you have created the foundation, now we will make sure
      > > that
      > > > foundation lasts eternity.
      > > >
      > > > We the men's division of (Area) hereby pledge that:
      > > >
      > > > 1. We will be disciples who fight for justice based on the
      > spirit
      > > > of the oneness of mentor and disciple as shown in the lives of
      > the
      > > > first three SGI presidents.
      > > > 2. We will protect our mentor and the organization with our
      > lives
      > > > to insure the members' happiness and the fulfillment of the
      > > mission
      > > > of the SGI into the eternal future.
      > > > 3. We will show the greatness of our mentor by creating a
      > victory
      > > > in every endeavor.
      > > > 4. We will never betray our mentor or our comrades in faith.
      > > > 5. We will show the utmost respect for and create unshakable
      > > unity
      > > > with the women's division and together raise the next
      generation
      > > of
      > > > successors who will carry the legacy of the SGI into the future.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > The individual in question said it would be OK for me to post
      > this
      > > > for discussion, so I'm doing so.
      > > >
      > > > I'm kind of curious to know if the MD of other areas are also
      in
      > a
      > > > pledge-signing mode, or if this is unique.
      > > >
      > > > As you all know, I'm not a MD member, but I am kind of baffled
      > by
      > > > this language. I know this is intended to go back to PI in
      > Japan,
      > > > and so it is framed in a way that makes sense to leaders in
      that
      > > > country, but I'm wondering:
      > > >
      > > > What do we, as Americans, mean when we talk about "protecting
      > the
      > > > organization with our lives"? Is there any reason to believe
      > that
      > > > the organization here in the US is in such danger that people
      > are
      > > > going to need to place their lives on the line, or is this the
      > > same
      > > > kind of rhetoric we use when we talk about "understanding with
      > our
      > > > lives", or "reading the Gosho (or PI's guidance) with our
      lives"?
      > > >
      > > > What does it mean to "show the greatness of our mentor by
      > creating
      > > > victory in every endeavor"? Does the mentor have some kind of
      > > > special power that makes victory possible? Does anyone here
      > > > understand how that works?
      > > >
      > > > What does it mean to "betray our mentor or our comrades in
      > > faith"?
      > > > Does participating in online discussion count? ;)
      > > >
      > > > Anyway, I wonder how much this sort of thing scares people
      away,
      > > > even if it is primarily directed toward reassuring Sensei that
      > the
      > > > American membership is "with him".
      > > >
      > > > The language is so foreign to me, somehow. I just am not
      > > > comfortable with this kind of "hai!" talk. This whole focus
      > > > on "fighting" just is not working for me, but then again, I
      > don't
      > > > have a lot of testosterone.
      > > >
      > > > Does anyone here know about signing pledges like this elsewhere
      > in
      > > > the US? I'm curious.
      > > >
      > > > Thanks for your input, Byrd in LA
      > > >
      > >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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    • Don Gropp
      Sensei, now that the second act of kosen-rufu has begun, we the men s division of (Area) have deepened our commitment to living our lives as presidents of the
      Message 43 of 43 , Apr 3, 2008
        "Sensei, now that the second act of kosen-rufu has begun, we the
        men's division of (Area) have deepened our commitment to living our
        lives as presidents of the Soka Gakkai, Taking the spirit of the
        waterfall as our own, we are determined to live as true disciples."

        From The Embankments of Faith:
        "Now you should make a great vow and pray for your next life."
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