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316Re: [U-Zendo] anger(CHAT)

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  • Weasel Tracks
    Aug 14, 2006
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      >I missed Richard's original post. (thanks for quoting Walt!)
      >
      > We all have our "Gods." Many modern people simply don't name
      >them. You can trace the problems that the Islamic people have with us
      >(actually, the entire 3rd world), back to colonialism and our unspoken
      >God: Capitalism/materialism. We simply can't see our paradigm as
      >being the same as everybody elses, and we rely on them though they are real.

      Hi, Lee! Hope life is good for you.

      I have a problem with your last sentence. Perhaps you wrote it
      quickly and it doesn't say quite what you mean.

      We share the same human nature. Given the same circumstances, people
      tend to act in many of the same ways.

      But our paradigms, parts of our culture, vary greatly and cause a
      large deviation in attitude among the various populations on earth. A
      Tibetan nomad and one from Afghanistan may react quite differently in
      the same social situation.

      However, I quite agree with you about much of the anger of the Muslim
      world against the West being due to colonial and neocolonial
      policies. These are seen within the background of the Crusades and
      the especially nasty and merciless warfare perpetrated by the knights
      of Christian Europe, of which the West is the cultural descendant.

      That's overly simple, though. Muslim history is complex, as is that
      of our own religious history. Muslims perceive (correctly, I believe)
      that American foreign policy is largely in the hands of Christian
      fundamentalists. We have, among other currents of influence, a
      three-way interaction between the fundamentalists of Islam, Judaism,
      and Christianity.

      I would suggest that anyone interested in the roots of this
      interaction -- vitally important to our current situation -- to read
      Karen Armstrong's excellent book, *The Battle for God*. The subject
      is too complicated to do much more than recommend the book, though
      fascinating enough to keep one reading through a lot of history.

      Two points I will mention:
      Fundamentalism is not the same as religious conservatism, the
      tendency of religions to keep old forms, attitudes, and beliefs. It's
      actually a relatively modern reaction to Modernism (and Armstrong
      does a great job of tracing the formation of that).
      Before the actual formation of the state of Israel, orthodox Jews
      were very much against the idea of a Jewish state in the Holy Land;
      the Zionists were mostly secular Jews. I certainly didn't know that
      before. This fact is typical of the many surprises I got counter to
      the assumptions I have absorbed from the common sulture here in
      America.

      I think Richard raised a good point. Although all the major relgions
      praise mercy and forbearance, I can't think of any but Buddhism that
      consider anger to be a fundamental problem to address. The three
      kleshas that obscure the clarity of original mind are greed, anger,
      and ignorance. It is understood by Buddhists that dealing with their
      own anger is of vital importance. In Judaism and Islam, unjust anger
      towards others is considered sinful, but anger on behalf of God is
      encouraged. Christianity is supposed to be based on mercy, but it has
      its share of righteous anger as well. It appears to be a fundamental
      tendency of monotheism to believe that, just as there is only one
      God, there is only one correct way to do his service. This correct
      way, of course, is one's own; all others are at best deluded, at
      worst, in the service of the devil.

      Buddhism does not have a monopoly on valid spiritual development.
      What I know of that in the monotheisms does address anger, but the
      only people that it seems to affect are the professionals and the
      very devout. Buddhists, also, are not free from anger and greed, and
      the violence they spawn, but I do think I detect a distinct
      difference in general attitude between Buddhists and monotheists in
      situations that tend toward the stimulation of anger.

      ---Weasel Tracks
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