- THE ENQUIRER SUPPLEMENT BUDDHISM: HYPOCRISY INCARNATE _____ ALL RELIGIONS TODAY cloak themselves in a wishy-washy garb of love ~ whatever that is supposed toMessage 1 of 1 , Jan 9, 1980View Source
ALL RELIGIONS TODAY cloak themselves in a wishy-washy garb of love ~ whatever that is supposed to mean. Capitalism has in fact robbed the clergy of the power it had in feudal times & has retained religion simply as a soporific for lulling the workers of the world away from real political & social action. Instead, religious leaders, like pop stars, lead millions in chants for peace & love, as though these values had an independent existence from the way world society is organised. Millions of the exploited are thus doped by the clergy of the various cults into the big sing-along (like a Coca-Cola advert) with their exploiters, hoping that some power beyond will somehow fantastically solve the world`s ills ~ either this side of the grave or, more usually, on the other. (No worries, followers of religious leaders: you will certainly have peace on the other side of the grave, I assure you! This side is less certain, though: while you continue to put your faith in so-called wise men ~ or, in the case of Buddhism, wise men from the East!) Hence, whilst the religious representatives of this or that gang of capitalists, from flaming-eyed Islamic fanatics to smug Zen priests, reap the rewards of exploitation and confusion-mongering, we are told, whatever happens (bombs killing people in the Middle East; Thai students accused of reading Marx being summarily executed at the behest of a saffron-robed Prime Minister oozing peace and love from every pore), we are told not to blame it on the religion. Religion, like Royalty, we are told, stands above politics and trouble. Religion is about love and peace. So the starry-eyed grovel before this or that robed one with his eyes cast to Heaven, in the same way the teeny-bopper queues in the rain for the latest Britney Spears release.
BUDDHISM IS NO EXCEPTION
I WAS ONCE FOOLISH ENOUGH to believe Buddhism was an exception to this. For one thing, I saw it as a form of moral philosophy rather than as a religion, & for that reason it was popular among Western youth in the 1970s, many of whom still, as adults today, champion what was for centuries a means of keeping the Asian peasantry in its place from
Tibet to Japan & from Mongolia to Cochin China as some kind of great movement for peace & compassion & a counter-weight to the notorious monstrosity (with regard to human rights) that is capitalist (they think it communist) Red China, the rapist of Old Tibet. Indeed, prior to the Council of Lhasa in the early Middle Ages, they would have a point. Ancient Indian Buddhism, as passed down from Prince Gautama Siddhartha (the Buddha), was a philosophy centred on compassion (which Buddhism still pretends to be) for all living things. It was in fact an anti-religious, materialist (in philosophical terms, that is) natural & moral philosophy, & Prince Siddhartha`s concept of love was concrete, & somewhat more real than that of today`s sing-along mantra-mongers.
To he who follows the path of the Buddha, all life is precious.
All beings feel pain and fear. When one realises this, one does not kill or cause to kill.
~ The Dhammapada (Pali).
How would Siddhartha have taken, then, to his clerics` silent complicity in the horrors now perpetrated every day in the Buddhist world against innocent animals in the name of la cuisine éxotique ? Not too kindly, I should say. How does the Buddhist clergy of today take it? By ignoring it and telling us that a religion such as Buddhism is not to be held responsible for the sins of individual people or nations. Straight out of the mouth of one of today`s Vatican apologists for the crimes of the Pope`s muscle-wrenchers & terrorists of yore. (Only, unlike Catholicism, which has never cared bugger-all for humans or animals, Buddhism has at least proclaimed itself a carer since the the days of yore for all life!) A Pope or a Mullah could not have put it better, while justifying their own laity against their accusers.
BUT WE ARE NOT FOOLED
WE ARE NOT FOOLED because we, unlike most, are well-read in social history & in reality, & we owe no allegiance to any body of bloody hypocrites garbed in fancy dress, neither from the West nor from the East, cynically mouthing on about love & peace whilst justifying the continuance of every type of savagery in the modern world by claiming exemption from responsibility.
We are fully aware of the power held by the clergy of any cult, let alone a worldwide & age-old established cult which has millions of adherents. We are fully aware that those millions are the superstitious who flock regularly to the Buddhist temples of the world ~ knowing in fact nothing of Siddhartha`s moral philosophy (the privilege of clergy, or, Higher Buddhism) ~ to ask, when the going gets tough for them & their families & the bank-balance runs short, the Buddha (as though he were some god, instead of an historical personage who was distinctly atheist!) to protect them and reverse their ailing fortunes. The power & influence of the Buddhist clergy, then, are not to be gainsaid.
SO, WHAT ARE WE TO EXPECT OF BUDDHISM faced with this (see: www.koreananimals.org) situation in the midst of the Buddha`s Asian paradise:
2.6 MILLION DOGS PER YEAR IN ONE BUDDHIST COUNTRY ALONE (SOUTH KOREA) TORTURED TO DEATH SLOWLY IN THE BELIEF IT TENDERISES THE MEAT. THOUSANDS PER DAY HUNG UP BY THE THROAT & BLOW-TORCHED; THEN BEATEN WITH CUDGELS; THEIR SCREAMS PROVIDING IMMENSE FUN FOR THE GOOD KOREAN BUDDHISTS WHOSE JOB IT IS TO PERFORM THIS DAILY FUNCTION OF UNTOLD SAVAGERY.
Koreans are not all Buddhists, we are told, many are Catholics. Well, that doesn`t surprise us then; but what about Cambodia? And if the same happens in Cambodia, a Buddhist Kingdom, surely it happens also in Vietnam (another Buddhist country) & Thailand- Siam, heaven forbid!? I doubt it not.
And, if Koreans are not all Buddhists, Englishmen are not all Anglicans; Irishmen not all Catholics; yet the weight of a public denunciation from the Christian clergy of these lands on any political issue is never to be underestimated ! But, do the good Buddhist clerics say anything about these horrors? Evidently, they are not that concerned, unlike their ignorant people, about the next reincarnation! A public denunciation would, however, get not a few among their superstitious flocks hand-wringing, would it not?
BUT THE CULT OF THE COMPASSIONATE ONE REMAINS SILENT !
AND, REMAINING SILENT, must accept & admit its complicity! Ratings, as they say in the world of television, are what matter to the clergy. Bums on seats or, joss-stick companies mustn`t be allowed to go bust. The screams of those in pain drove Siddhartha to distraction; so much so that he gave up a luxurious lifestyle to become an ascetic. Whatever the myth says, and whatever is true & whatever legend, we must confess ourselves moved when we think of Siddhartha as a human being who was so sensitive that he renounced his wealth & made his philosophy of compassion his entire life. It takes a lot of commitment to do that. We do not believe him to have been a man given to remaining silent in the face of cruelty, barbarity & suffering. Rather is a detached silence the cynical & smug attitude of the modern Buddhist cleric, who not only chooses not to involve himself in the suffering of others but then proclaims his cynical smugness some sort of higher wisdom ~ seeking nirvana. We have a phrase in the West for that too. It is called fiddling while Rome burns.
NEW MEDITATION TECHNIQUE
LET US SUGGEST a new meditation technique for the celestial Buddhist monk who is so in touch with Enlightenment that he thinks silence is golden & a sign of possessing the higher wisdom. Let him do his meditation in the midst of the dogs being blowtorched & cudgelled to death as slowly as possible; the cats being flung alive & screaming in vats of boiling water; the whimpering of these animals as they see what awaits them & hear the screams of agony of their predecessors in the butchers` torture yards; as they are lifted by the legs, muzzled & terrified & placed on the slabs or hung up on the gibbets for the cudgellers & burners.
ENLIGHTENMENT WAS NEVER SO SAINTLY!
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