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RE: [usa-tesla] Well Another One Down... How Many More to Go?

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  • David Thomson
    Hi Jim 4. These are difficult times. I think we NEED a little of this. 5. Perhaps quiet ones on the list will find these topics and viewpoints useful. 6.
    Message 1 of 10 , May 31, 2002
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      Hi Jim

      4. These are difficult times. I think we NEED a little of this.
      5. Perhaps 'quiet ones' on the list will find these topics and viewpoints
      useful.
      6. I view this following material as of National Interest, not politics.

      Tonight I spent a couple hours chanting the Vajraguru Mantra for world
      peace. If I'm going to participate along these lines I would post something
      like...

      http://www.bodydharma.org/choices/violence/epstein.html
      C H O I C E S
      Living Consciously

      Buddhist Ideas for Attaining World Peace

      (Lectures for the Global Peace Studies Program, San Francisco State
      University, November 7 & 9, 1988)

      INTRODUCTION

      Buddhism teaches that whether we have global peace or global war is up to us
      at every moment. The situation is not hopeless and out of our hands. If we
      don't do anything, who will? Peace or war is our decision. The fundamental
      goal of Buddhism is peace, not only peace in this world but peace in all
      worlds. The Buddha taught that the first step on the path to peace is
      understanding the causality of peace. When we understand what causes peace,
      we know where to direct our efforts. No matter how vigorously we stir a
      boiling pot of soup on a fire, the soup will not cool. When we remove the
      pot from the fire, it will cool on its own, and our stirring will hasten the
      process. Stirring causes the soup to cool, but only if we first remove the
      soup from the fire. In other words, we can take many actions in our quest
      for peace that may be helpful. But if we do not first address the
      fundamental issues, all other actions will come to naught.

      The Buddha taught that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speech and peaceful
      actions. If the minds of living beings are at peace, the world will be at
      peace. Who has a mind at peace, you say? The overwhelming majority of us
      live in the midst of mental maelstroms that subside only for brief and
      treasured moments. We could probably count on the fingers of both hands the
      number of those rare, holy persons whose minds are truly, permanently at
      peace. If we wait for all beings in the world to become sages, what chance
      is there of a peaceful world for us? Even if our minds are not completely
      peaceful, is there any possibility of reducing the levels of violence in the
      world and of successfully abating the winds of war?

      To answer these questions, let us look first at the Buddha's vision of the
      world, including the causality of its operations. Then, in that context, we
      can trace the causes of war. When the causes are identified, the Buddha's
      suggestions for dealing with them and eliminating them can be discussed.
      Finally, having developed a Buddhist theoretical framework for understanding
      the nature of the problem and its solution, we can try to apply the basic
      principles in searching for concrete applications that we can actually put
      into practice in our own daily lives.

      SOME ASPECTS OF THE BUDDHIST WORLD-VIEW

      The Buddha taught that all forms of life partake of the same fundamental
      spiritual source, which he called the enlightened nature or the
      Buddha-nature. He did not admit to any essential division in the spiritual
      condition of human beings and other forms of life. In fact, according to
      Buddhist teachings, after death a human being is reborn, perhaps again as a
      human being or possibly in the animal realms or in other realms. Likewise,
      animals can, in certain circumstances, be reborn as human beings. All
      sentient beings are seen as passing through the unending cycle of the wheel
      of rebirth. They are born, they grow old, become sick, and die. They are
      reborn, grow old, get sick and die, over and over and over again.

      KARMA: THE NETWORK OF CAUSE AND EFFECT

      What determines how you are reborn is karma. Whether you obtain a human
      body, whether male or female, or that of an animal or some other life-form
      is karma. Whether you have a body that is healthy or sickly, whether you are
      intelligent or stupid, whether your family is rich or poor, whether your
      parents are compassionate or hard-hearted — all that is karma. Karma is a
      Sanskrit word that is derived from the semantic root meaning 'to do'. It
      refers to activity — mental, verbal, and physical — as governed by complex
      patterns of cause and effect. There are two basic kinds of karma —
      individual and shared. Individual karma is not limited to a single lifetime.
      What you did in your past lives determines your situation in your present
      life. If you did good deeds in past lives, the result will be an auspicious
      rebirth. If your actions in past lives were predominantly bad, your
      situation in the present will be inauspicious. If in this life you act more
      like an animal than a human being, your next rebirth will be as an animal.

      Shared karma refers to our net of inter-relationship with other people,
      non-human beings, and our environment. A certain category of beings live in
      a certain location and tend to perceive their environment in much the same
      way, because that particular shared situation is the fruition of their
      former actions.

      The doctrine of karma is not deterministic. Rather it is a doctrine of
      radical personal responsibility. Although your present situation in every
      moment is determined by your past actions, your action in the present
      moment, in the present circumstances, can be totally unconditioned and,
      therefore, totally free. It is true that you may mindlessly react according
      to the strengths of your various habit-patterns, but that need not be the
      case. The potential for you to act mindfully and freely is always there. It
      is up to you to realize that you have the choice and to make it. This
      realization is the beginning of true spiritual growth.

      The Buddha taught that the fundamental cause of all suffering is ignorance.
      The basic ignorance is our failure to understand that the self, which is at
      the center of all of our lives, which determines the way in which we see the
      world, which directs our actions for our own ease and benefit, is an
      illusion. The illusion of the self is the cause of all our suffering. We
      want to protect our self from the dangers of the constant flux of life. We
      want to exempt our self from change, when nothing in the world is exempt
      from change.

      Life centered on self naturally tends toward the selfish. Selfishness
      poisons us with desire and greed. When they are not fulfilled, we tend to
      become angry and hateful. These basic emotional conditions cover the
      luminous depths of our minds and cut us off from our own intuitive wisdom
      and compassion; our thoughts and actions then emanate from deluded and
      superficial views.

      THE CAUSES OF WAR

      The causes of war are too numerous even to list, let alone discuss
      intelligently. What we discuss here are what the Buddha considered the most
      fundamental, the fire under the
      boiling pot of soup.

      War is not something abstract. War is waged between one group of individuals
      and another. The reasons for war are also not abstract. [We have not yet had
      a war started and directed according to logical paradigms programmed into a
      computer.] It is individuals who decide to wage war. Even if the war is
      global, its beginning can be traced back to the decisions of individuals.
      And so before we talk about global war, let us first talk about war on the
      level of the individual.

      Wars begin because the people of one country, or at least their rulers, have
      unfulfilled desires — they are greedy for benefits or wealth (i.e., economic
      greed) or power, or they are angry or hateful. Either their desires have
      been thwarted or their pride, their sense of self, has been offended. This
      can also manifest as racial or national arrogance. They wrongly feel that
      the answer to problems, which are essentially within their own minds, a
      matter of attitudes, can be sought externally, through the use of force.

      THE STORY OF THE WATER WAR

      Four years after his [the Buddha's] attainment of enlightenment, a war took
      place between the city-state of Kapilavastu and that of Kilivastu over the
      use of water. Being told of this, [the Buddha] Sakyamuni hastened back to
      Kapilavastu and stood between the two great armies about to start fighting.
      At the sight of Sakyamuni, there was a great commotion among the warriors,
      who said, "Now that we see the World-Honored One, we cannot shoot the arrows
      at our enemies," and they threw down their weapons. Summoning the chiefs of
      the two armies, he asked them, "Why are you gathered here like this?" "To
      fight," was their reply. "For what cause do you fight?" he queried. "To get
      water for irrigation." Then, asked Sakyamuni again, "How much value do you
      think water has in comparison with the lives of men?" "The value of water is
      very slight" was the reply. "Why do you destroy lives which are valuable for
      valueless water?" he asked. Then, giving some allegories, Sakyamuni taught
      them as follows: "Since people cause war through misunderstanding, thereby
      harming and killing each other, they should try to understand each other in
      the right manner." In other words, misunderstanding will lead all people to
      a tragic end, and Sakyamuni exhorted them to pay attention to this. Thus the
      armies of the two city-states were dissuaded from fighting each other.

      The doctrine of karma teaches that force and violence, even to the level of
      killing, never solves anything. Killing generates fear and anger, which
      generates more killing, more fear, and more anger, in a vicious cycle
      without end. If you kill your enemy in this life, he is reborn, seeks
      revenge, and kills you in the next life. When the people of one nation
      invade and kill or subjugate the people of another nation, sooner or later
      the opportunity will present itself for the people of the conquered nation
      to wreak their revenge upon the conquerors. Has there ever been a war that
      has, in the long run, really resolved any problem in a positive manner? In
      modern times the so-called 'war to end all wars' has only led to
      progressively larger and more destructive wars.

      The emotions of killing translate into more and more deaths as the weapons
      of killing become more and more sophisticated. In prehistoric times, a
      caveman could explode with anger, take up his club, and bludgeon a few
      people to death. Nowadays, if, for example, the President of the United
      States loses his temper, who can tell how many will lose their lives as the
      result of the employment of our modern weaponry. And in the present we are
      on the brink of a global war that threatens to extinguish permanently all
      life on the planet. When will that happen? Perhaps when the collective
      selfishness of individuals to pursue their own desires — greed for sex,
      wealth and power; the venting of frustrations through anger, hatred and
      brutal self-assertion — overcomes the collective compassion of individuals
      for others, overcomes their respect for the lives and aspirations of others.
      Then the unseen collective pressure of mind on mind will tip the precarious
      balance, causing the finger, controlled ostensibly by an individual mind, to
      press the button that will bring about nuclear Armageddon. When the
      individual minds of all living beings are weighted, if peaceful minds are
      more predominant, the world will tend to be at peace; if violent minds are
      more predominant, the world will tend to be at war.

      BUDDHIST PRESCRIPTIONS

      Providing people with physical well-being and wealth does not necessarily
      lead to peace. Lewis Lapham recently wrote:

      Apparently it is not poverty that causes crime, but rather the resentment of
      poverty. This latter condition is as likely to embitter the 'subjectively
      deprived' in a rich society as the 'objectively deprived' in a poor society.

      Mental attitudes and the actions to which they lead are the key.

      Buddhists believe that the minds of all living beings are totally
      interconnected and interrelated, whether they are consciously aware of it or
      not. To use a simple analogy for the interconnection, each being has his or
      her own transmitting and receiving station and is constantly broadcasting to
      all others his or her state of mind and is constantly receiving broadcasts
      from all others. Even the most insignificant thoughts in our minds have some
      effect on all other beings. How much the more so do our strong negative
      emotions and our acting out of them in direct or indirect forms of physical
      violence! In other words, each thought in the mind of each and every one of
      us brings the world either a little closer to the brink of global disaster
      or helps to move the world a little farther away from the brink. If each
      time we feel irritated, annoyed, thwarted, outraged, or just plain
      frustrated, we reflect on the consequences of our thoughts, words and
      actions, perhaps that reflection in itself will help to lead us to behave in
      a way that will contribute to global peace. If every time we get angry at
      our wife or husband, girl friend or boy friend, parents or children, we are
      aware that we are driving the entire world toward the brink of war, maybe we
      will think twice and wonder whether our anger is worth the consequences.
      Even if we feel our cause is just, if we in thought, word, and deed make war
      against injustice, we are still part of the problem and not contributing to
      the solution. On the other hand, if we concentrate on putting our own minds
      at peace, then we can broadcast peace mentally and generate peace through
      our actions. We should use a peaceful mind to act for peace in the world.

      As to the interrelations between the minds of beings, the being we may be
      about to harm or even kill, from a Buddhist point of view, may well be our
      own parents, children, wives or husbands, or dearest friends from former
      lives. Because Buddhists see the problem of war as a karmic one, the
      solution is seen as the practicing and teaching of correct ethical
      behavior. Good deeds lead to good consequences, bad deeds to bad. If you
      plant bean seeds, you get beans; if you plant melon seeds, you get melons.
      If you plant the seeds of war, you get war; if you plant the seeds of peace,
      you get peace. The most fundamental moral precept in Buddhist teaching is
      respect for life and the prohibition against taking life. Generally
      speaking, all living beings want to live and are afraid of death. The
      strongest desire is for life, and when that desire is thwarted, the response
      is unbelievably powerful anger. Unlike almost all other religions, Buddhism
      teaches that there are no exceptions to this prohibition and no expedient
      arguments are admitted. The taking of life not only covers human life but
      all sentient beings. Reducing the karma of killing is equivalent to putting
      out the fire under the pot of boiling soup. If we end killing, the world
      will be at peace.

      The prohibition against stealing says, more literally, that one must not
      take what is not given. Stealing, whether it is by individuals,
      corporations, or nations, occurs because of selfish greed. From the time of
      the Trojan War, sexual misconduct has also been a cause of war, as has been
      lying. National leaders whose minds have been clouded by drugs are not rare
      in history either--their conduct is rarely just and peaceful. The
      international drug trade in itself has become a major impediment to peace in
      most parts of the world. The taking of intoxicating substances is also
      prohibited by fundamental Buddhist teachings.

      The Buddhist vision is a world in which all life is sacred, in which
      selfishness, in the guise of greed, anger and foolishness, does not
      interfere with the basic interconnectedness of all living beings. That
      interconnectedness, when freed from the distortion of selfishness, is based
      upon the potential for enlightenment that every being shares.

      PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

      A beautiful vision, some might say. But how can such a peace be realized in
      a world such as ours? Isn't it mere impractical fantasy? No, it is not. Now
      the time has come to outline some concrete and practical steps that can be
      taken towards making it a reality. As a beginning, here are three steps.

      Step One

      If the karma of killing is the flame beneath the soup pot, by reducing it,
      we directly affect the boiling turmoil of violence and war. We need to
      reduce the atmosphere of killing and violence, both in our society and in
      our own lives. Each one of us can reduce the level of killing in our own
      lives by the very simple act of becoming vegetarian. An ancient sage once
      said:

      For hundreds of thousands of years
      The stew in the pot
      Has brewed hatred and resentment
      That is difficult to stop.
      If you wish to know why there are disasters
      Of armies and weapons in the world,
      Listen to the piteous cries
      From the slaughterhouse at midnight.

      In a more contemporary vein George Bernard Shaw wrote a "Song of Peace:"

      We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
      Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
      We never pause to wonder at our feasts
      If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
      We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
      To guide our footsteps on the paths we tread.
      We're sick of war, we do not want to fight,
      The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread
      And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
      Like carrion crows, we live and feed on meat,
      Regardless of the suffering and pain
      We cause by doing so. If thus we treat
      Defenseless animals for sport or gain,
      How can we hope in this world to attain
      The Peace we say we are so anxious for?
      We pray for it, o'r hecatombs of slain,
      To God, while outraging the moral law,
      Thus cruelty begets its offspring--War.

      For those who still do not see the logical relationships, I shall try to
      spell them out more clearly. Non-human life is not qualitatively different
      than human life, according to Buddhist teachings. Just as when a human is
      killed, an animal too most often responds to its death with thoughts of
      resentment, hatred and revenge. While it is dying, these thoughts or
      emotions poison its flesh. After it is dead, its disembodied consciousness
      continues to broadcast thoughts of resentment, hatred and revenge to the
      minds of its killers and those for whom it was killed. Think of the billions
      of cows, pigs, chickens and sheep that are killed for consumption each year
      in the United States alone. Those of you who have passed the slaughter yards
      on the interstate highway near Coalinga, California, have probably noticed
      not only the stench but also the dark cloud of fear and violence that hangs
      over the place. The general mental atmosphere of that entire county is thick
      with thoughts of violence with which such thoughts within our own minds can
      all too easily resonate.

      One of the problems of modern society is that the karma we generate is often
      indirect and not immediately obvious to us, even though it can be quite
      powerful. We are no less responsible for the death of the animals when we
      buy meat wrapped in plastic in the supermarket than if we had killed them
      ourselves. We are no less responsible for the environmental poisoning of
      people by chemicals that we pour down our drains or by industries we work
      for or whose products we buy, than if we had personally added the poison to
      their food. So too we may not be directly aware of the ways in which we may
      be providing support for many conflicts and wars around the world. Of
      course, it is much worse to do something wrong, clearly knowing that it is
      wrong than to do it in ignorance. Yet ignorance does not absolve us of
      blame.

      Step Two

      Since war can come about when the general level of violence in the
      population reaches the boiling point and can either manifest in civil war or
      be channeled into foreign wars, anything we can do to reduce the general
      level of violence in the population will certainly be most helpful. One of
      the major teachers of violence in our society is television. Turn off your
      TV — permanently. Michael Nagler has written:

      * 96 percent of American homes have at least one television set. The average
      home has a set going six hours a day.
      * In 'ordinary' viewing, there are 8 violent episodes an hour.
      * Between the ages of five and fifteen the average American child has
      watched the killing of 13,000 people. By age eighteen he or she will have
      logged more than 15,000 hours of this kind of exposure and taken in more
      than 20,000 acts of violence. . . .
      * 97 percent of cartoons intended for children include acts of violence. By
      the criteria of the Media Action Research Center, an act of aggression
      occurs every three and a half minutes during children's Saturday morning
      programs. Dr. George Gerbner counts one every two minutes by similar
      criteria.
      * In a typical recent year "children . . . witness, on prime time
      television, 5,000 murders, rapes, beatings and stabbings, 1,300 acts of
      adultery, and 2,700 sexually aggressive comments," according to a group of
      concerned mothers.

      How can all this be helping the cause of world peace? From an early age our
      citizens are learning that violence the best solution to their problems,
      that violence is a socially acceptable and socially approved way of dealing
      with problems both personal and interpersonal. Turn off the TV!

      Step Three

      By constantly being mindful of your own thoughts, words and actions and by
      constantly trying to purify them, we can become part of the force for peace
      rather than part of the force for war. Teachings about karma indicate to us
      that no matter how just our cause, no matter how right our ideas, if they
      are accompanied by anger and hate, they will merely generate more anger and
      hate. If our minds are inundated with the emotions of war, we aid the cause
      of war, no matter how noble our cause. Buddhist teachings about karma
      indicate unequivocally that a fundamentally moral life is a necessary
      prerequisite for ridding our minds of negative emotions, for transforming
      them into selfless compassion for all. There are many selfless endeavors
      that we can take upon ourselves to stir the soup and help cool the pot. But
      we should remember to be constantly mindful of our own mental attitudes. If
      we are not, no matter how hard we stir, we may also be unconsciously helping
      to turn up the flames.

      How do we change our own mental attitudes; how do we rid our minds of those
      strong negative emotions that cause turbidity in our minds? Part of the
      Bodhisattva Path consists of the practice of giving as an antidote to
      desire, greed, stinginess, and craving; the practice of patience as an
      antidote for anger; and the practice of wisdom as an antidote for
      foolishness.

      Step Four

      We should work on the systematic extension of compassion towards others.
      From the level of our own minds, to our speech and then our actions, we can
      work on generating compassion to those who are closest to us, the members of
      our own familes, and then progressively extend our compassion to our
      communities, countries, and the entire world. Many of you may be
      disappointed in these suggestions. Perhaps you are looking for something
      more exciting or stimulating. However, I hope that you will realize that
      there is some indication that these Buddhist ideas do really work. King
      Asoka, the Mauryan emperor of India who was coronated in 268 BCE, was
      converted to Buddhism after experiencing personal revulsion in the aftermath
      of his bloody conquest of Kalinga. Thereafter he prohibited any form of
      killing and encouraged humane treatment of all peoples and also animals. The
      Tibetans were bloodthirsty and warlike before conversion to Buddhism.
      Likewise, their neighbors the Mongols, particularly the armies of Ghengis
      Khan, terrorized many peoples, from China to the gates of Vienna. It would
      be hard to find people more fierce and bloodthirsty. Buddhist missionaries
      subsequently transformed the Mongols into one of the most peaceful peoples
      of Asia. Buddhists have never advocated war and have never sanctioned the
      idea of religious war. The ideal of the Bodhisattva (an enlightened being
      who devotes himself or herself to the enlightenment of all beings) is to
      voluntarily return, life after life, to our world of suffering to teach the
      Way to permanent inner peace, which is the only way to true peace in the
      world. Whether for us or for the great sages of the world, peace can only be
      brought to the world one thought at a time in the minds of each one of us.
      Only on that basis, can our actions for peace, also performed one at a time,
      be truly effective.

      [ Reprinted here with permission of the author. Copyright © 1988 by Ron
      Epstein. All rights reserved. ]
      Copyright © 1977-2002, Barry Kapke.
      All rights reserved.
    • Jim Farrer
      Dave, I haven t laughed so hard in weeks. Thankz. But I shall read it. Every word. Looks interesting, and out of my normal line of thinking. Gawd, I hope I
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 1, 2002
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        Dave, I haven't laughed so hard in weeks. Thankz. But I shall read it. Every word.
        Looks interesting, and out of my normal line of thinking. Gawd, I hope I don't get
        hooked on it.

        Jim

        David Thomson wrote:
        >
        > Hi Jim
        >
        > 4. These are difficult times. I think we NEED a little of this.
        > 5. Perhaps 'quiet ones' on the list will find these topics and viewpoints
        > useful.
        > 6. I view this following material as of National Interest, not politics.
        >
        > Tonight I spent a couple hours chanting the Vajraguru Mantra for world
        > peace. If I'm going to participate along these lines I would post something
        > like...
        >
        > http://www.bodydharma.org/choices/violence/epstein.html
        > C H O I C E S
        > Living Consciously
        >
        > Buddhist Ideas for Attaining World Peace
        >
        > (Lectures for the Global Peace Studies Program, San Francisco State
        > University, November 7 & 9, 1988)
        >
        > INTRODUCTION
        >
        > Buddhism teaches that whether we have global peace or global war is up to us
        > at every moment. The situation is not hopeless and out of our hands. If we
        > don't do anything, who will? Peace or war is our decision. The fundamental
        > goal of Buddhism is peace, not only peace in this world but peace in all
        > worlds. The Buddha taught that the first step on the path to peace is
        > understanding the causality of peace. When we understand what causes peace,
        > we know where to direct our efforts. No matter how vigorously we stir a
        > boiling pot of soup on a fire, the soup will not cool. When we remove the
        > pot from the fire, it will cool on its own, and our stirring will hasten the
        > process. Stirring causes the soup to cool, but only if we first remove the
        > soup from the fire. In other words, we can take many actions in our quest
        > for peace that may be helpful. But if we do not first address the
        > fundamental issues, all other actions will come to naught.
        >
        > The Buddha taught that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speech and peaceful
        > actions. If the minds of living beings are at peace, the world will be at
        > peace. Who has a mind at peace, you say? The overwhelming majority of us
        > live in the midst of mental maelstroms that subside only for brief and
        > treasured moments. We could probably count on the fingers of both hands the
        > number of those rare, holy persons whose minds are truly, permanently at
        > peace. If we wait for all beings in the world to become sages, what chance
        > is there of a peaceful world for us? Even if our minds are not completely
        > peaceful, is there any possibility of reducing the levels of violence in the
        > world and of successfully abating the winds of war?
        >
        > To answer these questions, let us look first at the Buddha's vision of the
        > world, including the causality of its operations. Then, in that context, we
        > can trace the causes of war. When the causes are identified, the Buddha's
        > suggestions for dealing with them and eliminating them can be discussed.
        > Finally, having developed a Buddhist theoretical framework for understanding
        > the nature of the problem and its solution, we can try to apply the basic
        > principles in searching for concrete applications that we can actually put
        > into practice in our own daily lives.
        >
        > SOME ASPECTS OF THE BUDDHIST WORLD-VIEW
        >
        > The Buddha taught that all forms of life partake of the same fundamental
        > spiritual source, which he called the enlightened nature or the
        > Buddha-nature. He did not admit to any essential division in the spiritual
        > condition of human beings and other forms of life. In fact, according to
        > Buddhist teachings, after death a human being is reborn, perhaps again as a
        > human being or possibly in the animal realms or in other realms. Likewise,
        > animals can, in certain circumstances, be reborn as human beings. All
        > sentient beings are seen as passing through the unending cycle of the wheel
        > of rebirth. They are born, they grow old, become sick, and die. They are
        > reborn, grow old, get sick and die, over and over and over again.
        >
        > KARMA: THE NETWORK OF CAUSE AND EFFECT
        >
        > What determines how you are reborn is karma. Whether you obtain a human
        > body, whether male or female, or that of an animal or some other life-form
        > is karma. Whether you have a body that is healthy or sickly, whether you are
        > intelligent or stupid, whether your family is rich or poor, whether your
        > parents are compassionate or hard-hearted — all that is karma. Karma is a
        > Sanskrit word that is derived from the semantic root meaning 'to do'. It
        > refers to activity — mental, verbal, and physical — as governed by complex
        > patterns of cause and effect. There are two basic kinds of karma —
        > individual and shared. Individual karma is not limited to a single lifetime.
        > What you did in your past lives determines your situation in your present
        > life. If you did good deeds in past lives, the result will be an auspicious
        > rebirth. If your actions in past lives were predominantly bad, your
        > situation in the present will be inauspicious. If in this life you act more
        > like an animal than a human being, your next rebirth will be as an animal.
        >
        > Shared karma refers to our net of inter-relationship with other people,
        > non-human beings, and our environment. A certain category of beings live in
        > a certain location and tend to perceive their environment in much the same
        > way, because that particular shared situation is the fruition of their
        > former actions.
        >
        > The doctrine of karma is not deterministic. Rather it is a doctrine of
        > radical personal responsibility. Although your present situation in every
        > moment is determined by your past actions, your action in the present
        > moment, in the present circumstances, can be totally unconditioned and,
        > therefore, totally free. It is true that you may mindlessly react according
        > to the strengths of your various habit-patterns, but that need not be the
        > case. The potential for you to act mindfully and freely is always there. It
        > is up to you to realize that you have the choice and to make it. This
        > realization is the beginning of true spiritual growth.
        >
        > The Buddha taught that the fundamental cause of all suffering is ignorance.
        > The basic ignorance is our failure to understand that the self, which is at
        > the center of all of our lives, which determines the way in which we see the
        > world, which directs our actions for our own ease and benefit, is an
        > illusion. The illusion of the self is the cause of all our suffering. We
        > want to protect our self from the dangers of the constant flux of life. We
        > want to exempt our self from change, when nothing in the world is exempt
        > from change.
        >
        > Life centered on self naturally tends toward the selfish. Selfishness
        > poisons us with desire and greed. When they are not fulfilled, we tend to
        > become angry and hateful. These basic emotional conditions cover the
        > luminous depths of our minds and cut us off from our own intuitive wisdom
        > and compassion; our thoughts and actions then emanate from deluded and
        > superficial views.
        >
        > THE CAUSES OF WAR
        >
        > The causes of war are too numerous even to list, let alone discuss
        > intelligently. What we discuss here are what the Buddha considered the most
        > fundamental, the fire under the
        > boiling pot of soup.
        >
        > War is not something abstract. War is waged between one group of individuals
        > and another. The reasons for war are also not abstract. [We have not yet had
        > a war started and directed according to logical paradigms programmed into a
        > computer.] It is individuals who decide to wage war. Even if the war is
        > global, its beginning can be traced back to the decisions of individuals.
        > And so before we talk about global war, let us first talk about war on the
        > level of the individual.
        >
        > Wars begin because the people of one country, or at least their rulers, have
        > unfulfilled desires — they are greedy for benefits or wealth (i.e., economic
        > greed) or power, or they are angry or hateful. Either their desires have
        > been thwarted or their pride, their sense of self, has been offended. This
        > can also manifest as racial or national arrogance. They wrongly feel that
        > the answer to problems, which are essentially within their own minds, a
        > matter of attitudes, can be sought externally, through the use of force.
        >
        > THE STORY OF THE WATER WAR
        >
        > Four years after his [the Buddha's] attainment of enlightenment, a war took
        > place between the city-state of Kapilavastu and that of Kilivastu over the
        > use of water. Being told of this, [the Buddha] Sakyamuni hastened back to
        > Kapilavastu and stood between the two great armies about to start fighting.
        > At the sight of Sakyamuni, there was a great commotion among the warriors,
        > who said, "Now that we see the World-Honored One, we cannot shoot the arrows
        > at our enemies," and they threw down their weapons. Summoning the chiefs of
        > the two armies, he asked them, "Why are you gathered here like this?" "To
        > fight," was their reply. "For what cause do you fight?" he queried. "To get
        > water for irrigation." Then, asked Sakyamuni again, "How much value do you
        > think water has in comparison with the lives of men?" "The value of water is
        > very slight" was the reply. "Why do you destroy lives which are valuable for
        > valueless water?" he asked. Then, giving some allegories, Sakyamuni taught
        > them as follows: "Since people cause war through misunderstanding, thereby
        > harming and killing each other, they should try to understand each other in
        > the right manner." In other words, misunderstanding will lead all people to
        > a tragic end, and Sakyamuni exhorted them to pay attention to this. Thus the
        > armies of the two city-states were dissuaded from fighting each other.
        >
        > The doctrine of karma teaches that force and violence, even to the level of
        > killing, never solves anything. Killing generates fear and anger, which
        > generates more killing, more fear, and more anger, in a vicious cycle
        > without end. If you kill your enemy in this life, he is reborn, seeks
        > revenge, and kills you in the next life. When the people of one nation
        > invade and kill or subjugate the people of another nation, sooner or later
        > the opportunity will present itself for the people of the conquered nation
        > to wreak their revenge upon the conquerors. Has there ever been a war that
        > has, in the long run, really resolved any problem in a positive manner? In
        > modern times the so-called 'war to end all wars' has only led to
        > progressively larger and more destructive wars.
        >
        > The emotions of killing translate into more and more deaths as the weapons
        > of killing become more and more sophisticated. In prehistoric times, a
        > caveman could explode with anger, take up his club, and bludgeon a few
        > people to death. Nowadays, if, for example, the President of the United
        > States loses his temper, who can tell how many will lose their lives as the
        > result of the employment of our modern weaponry. And in the present we are
        > on the brink of a global war that threatens to extinguish permanently all
        > life on the planet. When will that happen? Perhaps when the collective
        > selfishness of individuals to pursue their own desires — greed for sex,
        > wealth and power; the venting of frustrations through anger, hatred and
        > brutal self-assertion — overcomes the collective compassion of individuals
        > for others, overcomes their respect for the lives and aspirations of others.
        > Then the unseen collective pressure of mind on mind will tip the precarious
        > balance, causing the finger, controlled ostensibly by an individual mind, to
        > press the button that will bring about nuclear Armageddon. When the
        > individual minds of all living beings are weighted, if peaceful minds are
        > more predominant, the world will tend to be at peace; if violent minds are
        > more predominant, the world will tend to be at war.
        >
        > BUDDHIST PRESCRIPTIONS
        >
        > Providing people with physical well-being and wealth does not necessarily
        > lead to peace. Lewis Lapham recently wrote:
        >
        > Apparently it is not poverty that causes crime, but rather the resentment of
        > poverty. This latter condition is as likely to embitter the 'subjectively
        > deprived' in a rich society as the 'objectively deprived' in a poor society.
        >
        > Mental attitudes and the actions to which they lead are the key.
        >
        > Buddhists believe that the minds of all living beings are totally
        > interconnected and interrelated, whether they are consciously aware of it or
        > not. To use a simple analogy for the interconnection, each being has his or
        > her own transmitting and receiving station and is constantly broadcasting to
        > all others his or her state of mind and is constantly receiving broadcasts
        > from all others. Even the most insignificant thoughts in our minds have some
        > effect on all other beings. How much the more so do our strong negative
        > emotions and our acting out of them in direct or indirect forms of physical
        > violence! In other words, each thought in the mind of each and every one of
        > us brings the world either a little closer to the brink of global disaster
        > or helps to move the world a little farther away from the brink. If each
        > time we feel irritated, annoyed, thwarted, outraged, or just plain
        > frustrated, we reflect on the consequences of our thoughts, words and
        > actions, perhaps that reflection in itself will help to lead us to behave in
        > a way that will contribute to global peace. If every time we get angry at
        > our wife or husband, girl friend or boy friend, parents or children, we are
        > aware that we are driving the entire world toward the brink of war, maybe we
        > will think twice and wonder whether our anger is worth the consequences.
        > Even if we feel our cause is just, if we in thought, word, and deed make war
        > against injustice, we are still part of the problem and not contributing to
        > the solution. On the other hand, if we concentrate on putting our own minds
        > at peace, then we can broadcast peace mentally and generate peace through
        > our actions. We should use a peaceful mind to act for peace in the world.
        >
        > As to the interrelations between the minds of beings, the being we may be
        > about to harm or even kill, from a Buddhist point of view, may well be our
        > own parents, children, wives or husbands, or dearest friends from former
        > lives. Because Buddhists see the problem of war as a karmic one, the
        > solution is seen as the practicing and teaching of correct ethical
        > behavior. Good deeds lead to good consequences, bad deeds to bad. If you
        > plant bean seeds, you get beans; if you plant melon seeds, you get melons.
        > If you plant the seeds of war, you get war; if you plant the seeds of peace,
        > you get peace. The most fundamental moral precept in Buddhist teaching is
        > respect for life and the prohibition against taking life. Generally
        > speaking, all living beings want to live and are afraid of death. The
        > strongest desire is for life, and when that desire is thwarted, the response
        > is unbelievably powerful anger. Unlike almost all other religions, Buddhism
        > teaches that there are no exceptions to this prohibition and no expedient
        > arguments are admitted. The taking of life not only covers human life but
        > all sentient beings. Reducing the karma of killing is equivalent to putting
        > out the fire under the pot of boiling soup. If we end killing, the world
        > will be at peace.
        >
        > The prohibition against stealing says, more literally, that one must not
        > take what is not given. Stealing, whether it is by individuals,
        > corporations, or nations, occurs because of selfish greed. From the time of
        > the Trojan War, sexual misconduct has also been a cause of war, as has been
        > lying. National leaders whose minds have been clouded by drugs are not rare
        > in history either--their conduct is rarely just and peaceful. The
        > international drug trade in itself has become a major impediment to peace in
        > most parts of the world. The taking of intoxicating substances is also
        > prohibited by fundamental Buddhist teachings.
        >
        > The Buddhist vision is a world in which all life is sacred, in which
        > selfishness, in the guise of greed, anger and foolishness, does not
        > interfere with the basic interconnectedness of all living beings. That
        > interconnectedness, when freed from the distortion of selfishness, is based
        > upon the potential for enlightenment that every being shares.
        >
        > PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
        >
        > A beautiful vision, some might say. But how can such a peace be realized in
        > a world such as ours? Isn't it mere impractical fantasy? No, it is not. Now
        > the time has come to outline some concrete and practical steps that can be
        > taken towards making it a reality. As a beginning, here are three steps.
        >
        > Step One
        >
        > If the karma of killing is the flame beneath the soup pot, by reducing it,
        > we directly affect the boiling turmoil of violence and war. We need to
        > reduce the atmosphere of killing and violence, both in our society and in
        > our own lives. Each one of us can reduce the level of killing in our own
        > lives by the very simple act of becoming vegetarian. An ancient sage once
        > said:
        >
        > For hundreds of thousands of years
        > The stew in the pot
        > Has brewed hatred and resentment
        > That is difficult to stop.
        > If you wish to know why there are disasters
        > Of armies and weapons in the world,
        > Listen to the piteous cries
        > >From the slaughterhouse at midnight.
        >
        > In a more contemporary vein George Bernard Shaw wrote a "Song of Peace:"
        >
        > We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
        > Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
        > We never pause to wonder at our feasts
        > If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
        > We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
        > To guide our footsteps on the paths we tread.
        > We're sick of war, we do not want to fight,
        > The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread
        > And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
        > Like carrion crows, we live and feed on meat,
        > Regardless of the suffering and pain
        > We cause by doing so. If thus we treat
        > Defenseless animals for sport or gain,
        > How can we hope in this world to attain
        > The Peace we say we are so anxious for?
        > We pray for it, o'r hecatombs of slain,
        > To God, while outraging the moral law,
        > Thus cruelty begets its offspring--War.
        >
        > For those who still do not see the logical relationships, I shall try to
        > spell them out more clearly. Non-human life is not qualitatively different
        > than human life, according to Buddhist teachings. Just as when a human is
        > killed, an animal too most often responds to its death with thoughts of
        > resentment, hatred and revenge. While it is dying, these thoughts or
        > emotions poison its flesh. After it is dead, its disembodied consciousness
        > continues to broadcast thoughts of resentment, hatred and revenge to the
        > minds of its killers and those for whom it was killed. Think of the billions
        > of cows, pigs, chickens and sheep that are killed for consumption each year
        > in the United States alone. Those of you who have passed the slaughter yards
        > on the interstate highway near Coalinga, California, have probably noticed
        > not only the stench but also the dark cloud of fear and violence that hangs
        > over the place. The general mental atmosphere of that entire county is thick
        > with thoughts of violence with which such thoughts within our own minds can
        > all too easily resonate.
        >
        > One of the problems of modern society is that the karma we generate is often
        > indirect and not immediately obvious to us, even though it can be quite
        > powerful. We are no less responsible for the death of the animals when we
        > buy meat wrapped in plastic in the supermarket than if we had killed them
        > ourselves. We are no less responsible for the environmental poisoning of
        > people by chemicals that we pour down our drains or by industries we work
        > for or whose products we buy, than if we had personally added the poison to
        > their food. So too we may not be directly aware of the ways in which we may
        > be providing support for many conflicts and wars around the world. Of
        > course, it is much worse to do something wrong, clearly knowing that it is
        > wrong than to do it in ignorance. Yet ignorance does not absolve us of
        > blame.
        >
        > Step Two
        >
        > Since war can come about when the general level of violence in the
        > population reaches the boiling point and can either manifest in civil war or
        > be channeled into foreign wars, anything we can do to reduce the general
        > level of violence in the population will certainly be most helpful. One of
        > the major teachers of violence in our society is television. Turn off your
        > TV — permanently. Michael Nagler has written:
        >
        > * 96 percent of American homes have at least one television set. The average
        > home has a set going six hours a day.
        > * In 'ordinary' viewing, there are 8 violent episodes an hour.
        > * Between the ages of five and fifteen the average American child has
        > watched the killing of 13,000 people. By age eighteen he or she will have
        > logged more than 15,000 hours of this kind of exposure and taken in more
        > than 20,000 acts of violence. . . .
        > * 97 percent of cartoons intended for children include acts of violence. By
        > the criteria of the Media Action Research Center, an act of aggression
        > occurs every three and a half minutes during children's Saturday morning
        > programs. Dr. George Gerbner counts one every two minutes by similar
        > criteria.
        > * In a typical recent year "children . . . witness, on prime time
        > television, 5,000 murders, rapes, beatings and stabbings, 1,300 acts of
        > adultery, and 2,700 sexually aggressive comments," according to a group of
        > concerned mothers.
        >
        > How can all this be helping the cause of world peace? From an early age our
        > citizens are learning that violence the best solution to their problems,
        > that violence is a socially acceptable and socially approved way of dealing
        > with problems both personal and interpersonal. Turn off the TV!
        >
        > Step Three
        >
        > By constantly being mindful of your own thoughts, words and actions and by
        > constantly trying to purify them, we can become part of the force for peace
        > rather than part of the force for war. Teachings about karma indicate to us
        > that no matter how just our cause, no matter how right our ideas, if they
        > are accompanied by anger and hate, they will merely generate more anger and
        > hate. If our minds are inundated with the emotions of war, we aid the cause
        > of war, no matter how noble our cause. Buddhist teachings about karma
        > indicate unequivocally that a fundamentally moral life is a necessary
        > prerequisite for ridding our minds of negative emotions, for transforming
        > them into selfless compassion for all. There are many selfless endeavors
        > that we can take upon ourselves to stir the soup and help cool the pot. But
        > we should remember to be constantly mindful of our own mental attitudes. If
        > we are not, no matter how hard we stir, we may also be unconsciously helping
        > to turn up the flames.
        >
        > How do we change our own mental attitudes; how do we rid our minds of those
        > strong negative emotions that cause turbidity in our minds? Part of the
        > Bodhisattva Path consists of the practice of giving as an antidote to
        > desire, greed, stinginess, and craving; the practice of patience as an
        > antidote for anger; and the practice of wisdom as an antidote for
        > foolishness.
        >
        > Step Four
        >
        > We should work on the systematic extension of compassion towards others.
        > >From the level of our own minds, to our speech and then our actions, we can
        > work on generating compassion to those who are closest to us, the members of
        > our own familes, and then progressively extend our compassion to our
        > communities, countries, and the entire world. Many of you may be
        > disappointed in these suggestions. Perhaps you are looking for something
        > more exciting or stimulating. However, I hope that you will realize that
        > there is some indication that these Buddhist ideas do really work. King
        > Asoka, the Mauryan emperor of India who was coronated in 268 BCE, was
        > converted to Buddhism after experiencing personal revulsion in the aftermath
        > of his bloody conquest of Kalinga. Thereafter he prohibited any form of
        > killing and encouraged humane treatment of all peoples and also animals. The
        > Tibetans were bloodthirsty and warlike before conversion to Buddhism.
        > Likewise, their neighbors the Mongols, particularly the armies of Ghengis
        > Khan, terrorized many peoples, from China to the gates of Vienna. It would
        > be hard to find people more fierce and bloodthirsty. Buddhist missionaries
        > subsequently transformed the Mongols into one of the most peaceful peoples
        > of Asia. Buddhists have never advocated war and have never sanctioned the
        > idea of religious war. The ideal of the Bodhisattva (an enlightened being
        > who devotes himself or herself to the enlightenment of all beings) is to
        > voluntarily return, life after life, to our world of suffering to teach the
        > Way to permanent inner peace, which is the only way to true peace in the
        > world. Whether for us or for the great sages of the world, peace can only be
        > brought to the world one thought at a time in the minds of each one of us.
        > Only on that basis, can our actions for peace, also performed one at a time,
        > be truly effective.
        >
        > [ Reprinted here with permission of the author. Copyright © 1988 by Ron
        > Epstein. All rights reserved. ]
        > Copyright © 1977-2002, Barry Kapke.
        > All rights reserved.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • David Thomson
        Hi Jim, I m glad you got a good laugh out of it. Laughing is good in troubled times. ... don t get hooked on it. Then again, considering the common sense
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 1, 2002
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          Hi Jim,

          I'm glad you got a good laugh out of it. Laughing is good in troubled
          times.

          >Looks interesting, and out of my normal line of thinking. Gawd, I hope I
          don't get hooked on it.

          Then again, considering the common sense nature of the message, maybe you're
          real hope is that you will?

          Dave
        • James Moore
          Sorry Dave, and others... what follows may have no scientific merit. ******WARNING******* lengthy rant with links, so just hit the delete key if you are not in
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 1, 2002
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            Sorry Dave, and others... what follows may have no scientific merit.

            ******WARNING******* lengthy rant with links, so just hit the delete key if
            you are not in the mood to listen for a few blistering minutes. There may
            be no science here, but Tesla is mentioned, because he was a great
            humanitarian, IMO and did give us technology upon which we have
            relied for many years, and some of which has been kept secret.

            The classified Tesla discoveries may have been used and or abused
            by several different nations, including the US and it's allies... or will be
            in the near future?

            We need some great humanitarians of Tesla's caliber in high places
            of authority, to get us through these troubled times! Where do you find them
            and how do you install them into the system, and would such philosophies
            be allowed to prevail?
            ***************************************

            Hi Jim.... thanks for pointing out to me, something that I missed related
            to the bungled or thwarted intelligence that allowed 911 to occur. Don't
            know how I missed that article, because I try to keep up... but thanks to
            you, I didn't miss it. Thanks again... sometimes I wonder if anyone visits
            the links that are non-science, or maybe considered controversial. Thankfully,
            some do, and even get more from them at times, than I did. You are
            definitely an open minded, free thinking Patriot, IMO. Without alternative
            sources of information, such as provided via Internet news, what does
            the concerned citizenry get? Only what those in control wish them to have.

            Dave, I am thankful for Jim's good explanation for non-science posts!
            He definitely has a better way with words than I, and an admirably deep
            insight into our current troubles. We should all attempt to be learning on
            all fronts of comprehension, IMO. I would much rather read science than
            non-science myself, but we should all be concerned with what is going
            down on the non-science home front, at present.

            When I keep my head buried in science, it is easy to loose touch with what
            is also very important, and effects science and all other facets of our society,
            preservation of cultural heritage, and in general... all our ways of life, for the
            present and future generations.

            As Jim stated, and I agree... some filler may be needed to keep the list
            active. I apologize that one of my links to a Socialist oriented site yesterday,
            may have been out of line, but I like to get perspectives from many directions,
            and then digest them in an attempt to discern an accurate picture, on a given
            issue. Sometimes this takes a while. It does matter what the rest of the world
            thinks, and how they perceive the USA and it's citizenry, leaders, etc.... IMO.

            Some facts cannot be gathered via conventional US media, IMO. Thank God
            for Internet freedom, which may not last long, at the rate that things are
            progressing currently. As a small example of our spoon fed media, and what
            we don't hear... what did you hear on CNN or in major newspapers of an
            attack on the Mexican parliament by two Israeli military men, who were luckily
            subdued without bloodshed? They were reported to be armed with grenades and
            automatic weapons. This event took place a few weeks prior to the attacks on 911.
            What was this all about, and who could guess their motives? It is still a mystery
            without any answers.

            They were detained for about a month, if I remember right, and then mysteriously
            released without charges. Absolutely nothing was mentioned on mainstream media
            here in the US, to my knowledge. Could this have been considered terrorism? No,
            because Israel is our favorite son.There was an attack on another countries's
            parliament by Israeli soldiers in the past, prior to the time frame of 911, but I don't
            remember the details of that one.

            I will try to relocate that info. The main point is that covert Israeli activity has gone on,
            and continues to do so, and it could be considered terrorism, and or illegal spy activity,
            but not by the US, even when it is against us, IMO. I sent something to the list about it,
            but never got many related comments that I remember. Of course after our own horrors
            of 911, it was rather trivial, but to me it was rather significant at the time, because there
            were rumors early on that Israel might have had advance warnings, or been involved
            in the events of 911.

            It seems likely at this point, that Israel did had advance warning, via their extensive
            electronic surveillance network within the US, and abroad. Even after this spy activity
            was discovered... what do you hear of it on the news? Alternative Internet news is
            about the only place to get real news anymore, there are thinking, caring, folks out
            there, but you must look for them, because very few are within the main stream sector.

            The Feds are keeping a very low profile on the Israeli spy issue, and it takes a back
            seat to their own troubles of corruption and mismanagement. We are all in very serious
            trouble at present! Dave you are trying to get a federal grant for your research. Well good
            luck, is all I can say... and you should have a good chance, all things considered. There
            should be plenty of money available, if anyone within the federal system cares in your
            project. When 17.5 BILLION Tax dollars can just fall through the cracks any given year,
            without any accounting of it, or anyone held accountable for it... this nation can only
            crumble with time.

            All of the insider trading on the European stock markets, involving the airline stocks
            etc... Germans tried to warn... supposedly Russians warned... Sharon warned? Who
            listened? Who was connecting dots... if no cautions or warnings were issued to
            airlines, or any increased security put in place, who was at fault? Many of the hijackers
            were supposedly under FBI surveillance at the time, so what failed in the system.
            The ugly possibility of there being some type intentional or coordinated failure, exists.

            Now after the ghastly events "without any warning" that catapulted us into escalating
            tragedy for us all... the seemingly incompetent federal bureaus are issuing stupid
            frivolous warnings one after the other, about things that people or airlines can do
            nothing about. Is this a propaganda ploy to help bolster their image, or a scare
            tactic aimed at getting more funds or power, as if they needed such to operate
            effectively? Your guess is as good as mind. Rediculous...

            Can an airline pilot or passenger, do anything to prevent a surface to air shoulder
            launched missile attack? Give me a break! This is just another display of how
            incompetent and irresponsible that the people protecting us really are, IMO.

            They find an empty launch tube in the middle east, and automatically they jump all
            the dots, and assume that since one MAY have been fired at US military plane, that
            our homeland commercial jets are at risk, for such attacks here and abroad. Airlines
            and flight passengers should be cautious or afraid as a result of this important
            intelligence discovery.

            This is shear stupidity, IMO.... even if the threat exists, (and in all probability has for
            quite some time).... this is not something that airlines or passengers can do anything
            about, and they shouldn't be frightened excessively, or needlessly by such stupidity, IMO.
            There are still many unresolved questions associated with the peril of flight 800, in this
            regard... and many totally discounted eye witness reports of some type of surface to
            air missile being observed by many civilians on the ground, and pilots in the air, and boats
            in the water, before flight 800 exploded.

            Terrorism, bungled Navy operations... NO..... faulty wiring, was the official story, even
            though Naval personnel originally had a different story, but were intimidated into recanting.
            The skies are simply not safe, and anyone flying is taking a chance, end of story. What
            edgy passengers DON'T need to hear are stupid irresponsible warnings such as were
            recently issued, in regards to the possible threat of shoulder launched missile attacks.

            As long as US Taxpayers are able to live the credit bubble dream... pay the IRS with a
            plastic card, drive a spiffy vehicle, live in a nice mortgaged home, and have a cell phone
            for every pocket... they will remain contented, and unconcerned with what is present or
            future reality, until the next 911 bolts out of the blue, without warning? I am sorry, but I
            am not optimistic for the American Dream.

            Since Pan Am flight 103 has been in the new lately, here is another perspective.

            <snippet>
            "Only one newspaper in North America ran a series after the crash, outlining some
            of the secret arrangements of the units of the American CIA that were snuffed
            out by the crash. That was in Canada, the Toronto Star. Prior thereto, by phone
            hook-up, I did radio shows in Toronto with a relative of the publisher who went on
            the air under a pen-name. Some were puzzled how FBI agents showed up at the
            Lockerbie, Scotland crash site in some instances quicker than local authorities.
            As stated in an award-winning film documentary about Pan Am flight 103 "Very
            strange people were at work very early on. "

            Please read the whole article at this link. Sherman Skolnick is one BRAVE PATRIOT.

            http://www.skolnicksreport.com/spoliticalp.html

            http://www.skolnicksreport.com/shistory.html

            Moral to flight 103.... check the passenger list before you fly the friendly skys... wouldn't
            do any good in most cases, I suppose. So air travelers are vulnerable to tyranny. Nothing new.
            Enough... I am out of breath and fit to be tied. How can a person turn their brain off? Think
            I will take a pill and go back to sleep. Sorry folks... had to get it out. I feel so helpless, and
            depressed for the future of our once great nation. I want to believe that we are doing the right
            things, and that good will prevail in the end, and that God is on our side, but it is so much
            more difficult to wave the flag as the days, months, and years go by.

            Prayer may be our only salvation if there is a salvation for us as a nation? Bombs certainly
            aren't the true answer? Sorry Dave and others just hit the delete key if all this ranting has been
            offensive, but I think that Tesla's ashes are probably stirring in Belgrade, if he can see the sad
            state of affairs that not only us, but the rest of the world, has come to. He was so optimistic for
            the future of mankind, at one point in his life, and made so many glorious predictions of a
            magnificent age of technical achievements which would bring the world to peace and harmony.

            Sadly, Tesla seems to have been wrong on certain of his optimistic predictions, because
            the human greed factor was not factored in? Much of the highest level of technology is not
            used in peaceful application, but just the opposite it seems, which is very sad indeed.
            The end.

            JPM

            At 11:56 PM 05/31/2002 -0400, you wrote:
            >"BTW, there's nothing that turns me off quicker than to see people discussing
            >politics in a science forum. I have left more interesting lists than this
            >one (Nuenergy) due to prolonged political interjections.
            >
            >Dave"
            >
            >DAVE:
            >I certainly share your feelings, and wish we could be a pure Tesla list.
            >I've been as guilty as anyone for starting/replying to off-list topics.
            >OF LATE, it seems there has been a vast improvement, and a large part of this
            >is your inputs.
            >
            >But there are reasons:
            >
            >1. Scarcity of real Tesla articles.
            >2. Don't want the list to die, so a lot of these topics are 'filler'.
            >3. Many people we've known and respected for several years can help
            > us to become better informed.
            >4. These are difficult times. I think we NEED a little of this.
            >5. Perhaps 'quiet ones' on the list will find these topics and viewpoints
            > useful.
            >6. I view this following material as of National Interest, not politics.
            >
            >===>> QUIET ONES: (Those who just read, but don't write)
            > You don't have to be quiet. If you have ideas, feelings, or
            > major dislikes, let us know. NO U.S. POSTAGE STAMP NEEDED!
            >
            >
            >James & All,
            >I went to the newsletter site you suggested, and found this sub-article, which
            >may or may not shed light on the very subject you are worried about.
            >
            >http://www.newsmax.com/showinside.shtml?a=2002/5/28/120058
            >
            > "Reno Reprimand Prompted FBI's Caution on
            > Moussaoui"
            >
            > "... Attorney General Reno acknowledged to the judges that the
            > problem was "serious," the Times said.
            >
            > The problem affidavits had been prepared by Michael
            > Resnick, who is described by the paper as the FBI
            > supervisor in charge of coordinating the surveillance
            > operations related to Hamas.
            >
            > Resnick's track record with affidavits in terrorism cases
            > was so bad that the court told Reno it would no longer
            > accept applications for search warrants and other
            > surveillance requests that he prepared.
            >
            > The court's reprimand in the Hamas cases prompted then-FBI
            > Director Louis Freeh to review surveillance applications
            > for various al-Qaeda suspects, where he uncovered similar
            > problems.
            >
            > As a result of the affidavit problem, Reno turned
            > Resnick's case over to the Justice Department's Office of
            > Professional Responsibility, short-circuiting his career
            > at the FBI, where he had previously been described as a
            > "rising star."
            >
            >Being a dyed in the wool conspiracy believer, I wonder precisely why
            >Resnick's career "was cut short." S M E L L S.
            >
            >POINT: Couple years ago the Washingtion Post came out with an article on the
            > "Secret Police" dept. assigned to the president (this while Clinton was
            > still in office). This dept. had been instituted during the elder Bush's
            > administration. It had $12,000 million dollars a year to spend
            > 12 X 10**9 in fortran notation.... umm 12 billion$.
            > Main job: anti terrorism. It's head was on the National Security Board,
            > with full voting rights. Same voting strength as the Head of the
            > Joint Chiefs of Staff. So, after 911 occurred, why was it necessary to
            > appoint a new one for Homeland Security, with the Gov. of Pennsylvania
            > as head?
            >
            >Jim Farrer
            >
            >
            >
            >James Moore wrote:
            >>
            >> I don't know what happened to the text that was supposed to have been
            >> above the Madison quote. Hopefully, the FBE won't abuse it's newly gained
            >> surveillance powers, which cover just about everything including the Internet.
            >> It is ironic to me that by being incompetent, the federal systems just gain
            >> expanded power and resources, when in the private sector, the scenario
            >> is just the reverse.
            >>
            >> Hopefully, these expanded powers won't be abused, or
            >> turned against those who feed them, but I have my doubts. Citizens rights
            >> that have been hard won over time, can vanish over night in times of war.
            >> If the systems in place had not been thwarted by certain factions of the system,
            >> 911, in all probability would have been prevented, and these facts are slowly
            >> coming to light in the public view at present.
            >>
            >> Personally, I think that the dots were being connected just fine, by some... but
            >> others did not wish to look at them, for unknown reasons. All of this newly
            >> gained power, and money will help them connect the dots I suppose. At least
            >> this is what we a suppose to believe, I suppose. If there was any doubt that the
            >> US is rapidly becoming a police state, there shouldn't be now.
            >>
            >> What is freedom and justice for all. Good question, and I think that it needs to
            >> be redefined. Well I wish them success, and pray for us all. Checks and balances,
            >> I think not. What is a terrorist... maybe a heckler in a Texas crowd? What do you
            >> want terrorist to be? It's up to you... just make something up, it's ok?
            >>
            >> JPM
            ><snip>
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

            "Tesla has contributed more to electrical science
            than any man up to his time." -Lord Kelvin-
          • James Moore
            Very interesting post Dave! what the world needs is better Karma. Speaking of Sanskrit, are you familiar with Patrick Bernhardt s musical Matras? Check out
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 1, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              Very interesting post Dave! what the world needs is better Karma. Speaking
              of Sanskrit, are you familiar with Patrick Bernhardt's musical Matras? Check
              out Solaris Universalis if you get a chance. Even though I can't understand
              the lyrics (supposedly in Sanskrit), the musical composition is superb, and
              very relaxing, and a type of religious experience to listen to. He should put
              out an English translation of his works, IMO. I am very eager to understand
              the lyrics to his music, of which I have several albums. If you are not familiar
              with him, maybe I can share them with you, I you wish.

              "Tonight I spent a couple hours chanting the Vajraguru Mantra for world
              peace. If I'm going to participate along these lines I would post something
              like..."

              This is also very admirable! If everyone of every religion were concerned enough,
              and made an all out effort to concentrate for world peace, and harmony for mankind,
              who knows what might miraculously happen to the cumulative human psyche, to
              change the course of this world in a better direction. Thanks for your non-science
              contribution. I don't think that it hurt anyone, and those who might not approve can
              delete, right.

              JPM

              At 12:32 AM 06/01/2002 -0500, you wrote:
              >Hi Jim
              >
              >4. These are difficult times. I think we NEED a little of this.
              >5. Perhaps 'quiet ones' on the list will find these topics and viewpoints
              > useful.
              >6. I view this following material as of National Interest, not politics.
              >
              >Tonight I spent a couple hours chanting the Vajraguru Mantra for world
              >peace. If I'm going to participate along these lines I would post something
              >like...
              >
              >http://www.bodydharma.org/choices/violence/epstein.html
              >C H O I C E S
              >Living Consciously
              >
              >Buddhist Ideas for Attaining World Peace
              >
              >(Lectures for the Global Peace Studies Program, San Francisco State
              >University, November 7 & 9, 1988)
              >
              >INTRODUCTION
              >
              >Buddhism teaches that whether we have global peace or global war is up to us
              >at every moment. The situation is not hopeless and out of our hands. If we
              >don't do anything, who will? Peace or war is our decision. The fundamental
              >goal of Buddhism is peace, not only peace in this world but peace in all
              >worlds. The Buddha taught that the first step on the path to peace is
              >understanding the causality of peace. When we understand what causes peace,
              >we know where to direct our efforts. No matter how vigorously we stir a
              >boiling pot of soup on a fire, the soup will not cool. When we remove the
              >pot from the fire, it will cool on its own, and our stirring will hasten the
              >process. Stirring causes the soup to cool, but only if we first remove the
              >soup from the fire. In other words, we can take many actions in our quest
              >for peace that may be helpful. But if we do not first address the
              >fundamental issues, all other actions will come to naught.
              >
              >The Buddha taught that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speech and peaceful
              >actions. If the minds of living beings are at peace, the world will be at
              >peace. Who has a mind at peace, you say? The overwhelming majority of us
              >live in the midst of mental maelstroms that subside only for brief and
              >treasured moments. We could probably count on the fingers of both hands the
              >number of those rare, holy persons whose minds are truly, permanently at
              >peace. If we wait for all beings in the world to become sages, what chance
              >is there of a peaceful world for us? Even if our minds are not completely
              >peaceful, is there any possibility of reducing the levels of violence in the
              >world and of successfully abating the winds of war?
              >
              >To answer these questions, let us look first at the Buddha's vision of the
              >world, including the causality of its operations. Then, in that context, we
              >can trace the causes of war. When the causes are identified, the Buddha's
              >suggestions for dealing with them and eliminating them can be discussed.
              >Finally, having developed a Buddhist theoretical framework for understanding
              >the nature of the problem and its solution, we can try to apply the basic
              >principles in searching for concrete applications that we can actually put
              >into practice in our own daily lives.
              >
              >SOME ASPECTS OF THE BUDDHIST WORLD-VIEW
              >
              >The Buddha taught that all forms of life partake of the same fundamental
              >spiritual source, which he called the enlightened nature or the
              >Buddha-nature. He did not admit to any essential division in the spiritual
              >condition of human beings and other forms of life. In fact, according to
              >Buddhist teachings, after death a human being is reborn, perhaps again as a
              >human being or possibly in the animal realms or in other realms. Likewise,
              >animals can, in certain circumstances, be reborn as human beings. All
              >sentient beings are seen as passing through the unending cycle of the wheel
              >of rebirth. They are born, they grow old, become sick, and die. They are
              >reborn, grow old, get sick and die, over and over and over again.
              >
              >KARMA: THE NETWORK OF CAUSE AND EFFECT
              >
              >What determines how you are reborn is karma. Whether you obtain a human
              >body, whether male or female, or that of an animal or some other life-form
              >is karma. Whether you have a body that is healthy or sickly, whether you are
              >intelligent or stupid, whether your family is rich or poor, whether your
              >parents are compassionate or hard-hearted — all that is karma. Karma is a
              >Sanskrit word that is derived from the semantic root meaning 'to do'. It
              >refers to activity — mental, verbal, and physical — as governed by complex
              >patterns of cause and effect. There are two basic kinds of karma —
              >individual and shared. Individual karma is not limited to a single lifetime.
              >What you did in your past lives determines your situation in your present
              >life. If you did good deeds in past lives, the result will be an auspicious
              >rebirth. If your actions in past lives were predominantly bad, your
              >situation in the present will be inauspicious. If in this life you act more
              >like an animal than a human being, your next rebirth will be as an animal.
              >
              >Shared karma refers to our net of inter-relationship with other people,
              >non-human beings, and our environment. A certain category of beings live in
              >a certain location and tend to perceive their environment in much the same
              >way, because that particular shared situation is the fruition of their
              >former actions.
              >
              >The doctrine of karma is not deterministic. Rather it is a doctrine of
              >radical personal responsibility. Although your present situation in every
              >moment is determined by your past actions, your action in the present
              >moment, in the present circumstances, can be totally unconditioned and,
              >therefore, totally free. It is true that you may mindlessly react according
              >to the strengths of your various habit-patterns, but that need not be the
              >case. The potential for you to act mindfully and freely is always there. It
              >is up to you to realize that you have the choice and to make it. This
              >realization is the beginning of true spiritual growth.
              >
              >The Buddha taught that the fundamental cause of all suffering is ignorance.
              >The basic ignorance is our failure to understand that the self, which is at
              >the center of all of our lives, which determines the way in which we see the
              >world, which directs our actions for our own ease and benefit, is an
              >illusion. The illusion of the self is the cause of all our suffering. We
              >want to protect our self from the dangers of the constant flux of life. We
              >want to exempt our self from change, when nothing in the world is exempt
              >from change.
              >
              >Life centered on self naturally tends toward the selfish. Selfishness
              >poisons us with desire and greed. When they are not fulfilled, we tend to
              >become angry and hateful. These basic emotional conditions cover the
              >luminous depths of our minds and cut us off from our own intuitive wisdom
              >and compassion; our thoughts and actions then emanate from deluded and
              >superficial views.
              >
              >THE CAUSES OF WAR
              >
              >The causes of war are too numerous even to list, let alone discuss
              >intelligently. What we discuss here are what the Buddha considered the most
              >fundamental, the fire under the
              >boiling pot of soup.
              >
              >War is not something abstract. War is waged between one group of individuals
              >and another. The reasons for war are also not abstract. [We have not yet had
              >a war started and directed according to logical paradigms programmed into a
              >computer.] It is individuals who decide to wage war. Even if the war is
              >global, its beginning can be traced back to the decisions of individuals.
              >And so before we talk about global war, let us first talk about war on the
              >level of the individual.
              >
              >Wars begin because the people of one country, or at least their rulers, have
              >unfulfilled desires — they are greedy for benefits or wealth (i.e., economic
              >greed) or power, or they are angry or hateful. Either their desires have
              >been thwarted or their pride, their sense of self, has been offended. This
              >can also manifest as racial or national arrogance. They wrongly feel that
              >the answer to problems, which are essentially within their own minds, a
              >matter of attitudes, can be sought externally, through the use of force.
              >
              >THE STORY OF THE WATER WAR
              >
              >Four years after his [the Buddha's] attainment of enlightenment, a war took
              >place between the city-state of Kapilavastu and that of Kilivastu over the
              >use of water. Being told of this, [the Buddha] Sakyamuni hastened back to
              >Kapilavastu and stood between the two great armies about to start fighting.
              >At the sight of Sakyamuni, there was a great commotion among the warriors,
              >who said, "Now that we see the World-Honored One, we cannot shoot the arrows
              >at our enemies," and they threw down their weapons. Summoning the chiefs of
              >the two armies, he asked them, "Why are you gathered here like this?" "To
              >fight," was their reply. "For what cause do you fight?" he queried. "To get
              >water for irrigation." Then, asked Sakyamuni again, "How much value do you
              >think water has in comparison with the lives of men?" "The value of water is
              >very slight" was the reply. "Why do you destroy lives which are valuable for
              >valueless water?" he asked. Then, giving some allegories, Sakyamuni taught
              >them as follows: "Since people cause war through misunderstanding, thereby
              >harming and killing each other, they should try to understand each other in
              >the right manner." In other words, misunderstanding will lead all people to
              >a tragic end, and Sakyamuni exhorted them to pay attention to this. Thus the
              >armies of the two city-states were dissuaded from fighting each other.
              >
              >The doctrine of karma teaches that force and violence, even to the level of
              >killing, never solves anything. Killing generates fear and anger, which
              >generates more killing, more fear, and more anger, in a vicious cycle
              >without end. If you kill your enemy in this life, he is reborn, seeks
              >revenge, and kills you in the next life. When the people of one nation
              >invade and kill or subjugate the people of another nation, sooner or later
              >the opportunity will present itself for the people of the conquered nation
              >to wreak their revenge upon the conquerors. Has there ever been a war that
              >has, in the long run, really resolved any problem in a positive manner? In
              >modern times the so-called 'war to end all wars' has only led to
              >progressively larger and more destructive wars.
              >
              >The emotions of killing translate into more and more deaths as the weapons
              >of killing become more and more sophisticated. In prehistoric times, a
              >caveman could explode with anger, take up his club, and bludgeon a few
              >people to death. Nowadays, if, for example, the President of the United
              >States loses his temper, who can tell how many will lose their lives as the
              >result of the employment of our modern weaponry. And in the present we are
              >on the brink of a global war that threatens to extinguish permanently all
              >life on the planet. When will that happen? Perhaps when the collective
              >selfishness of individuals to pursue their own desires — greed for sex,
              >wealth and power; the venting of frustrations through anger, hatred and
              >brutal self-assertion — overcomes the collective compassion of individuals
              >for others, overcomes their respect for the lives and aspirations of others.
              >Then the unseen collective pressure of mind on mind will tip the precarious
              >balance, causing the finger, controlled ostensibly by an individual mind, to
              >press the button that will bring about nuclear Armageddon. When the
              >individual minds of all living beings are weighted, if peaceful minds are
              >more predominant, the world will tend to be at peace; if violent minds are
              >more predominant, the world will tend to be at war.
              >
              >BUDDHIST PRESCRIPTIONS
              >
              >Providing people with physical well-being and wealth does not necessarily
              >lead to peace. Lewis Lapham recently wrote:
              >
              >Apparently it is not poverty that causes crime, but rather the resentment of
              >poverty. This latter condition is as likely to embitter the 'subjectively
              >deprived' in a rich society as the 'objectively deprived' in a poor society.
              >
              >Mental attitudes and the actions to which they lead are the key.
              >
              >Buddhists believe that the minds of all living beings are totally
              >interconnected and interrelated, whether they are consciously aware of it or
              >not. To use a simple analogy for the interconnection, each being has his or
              >her own transmitting and receiving station and is constantly broadcasting to
              >all others his or her state of mind and is constantly receiving broadcasts
              >from all others. Even the most insignificant thoughts in our minds have some
              >effect on all other beings. How much the more so do our strong negative
              >emotions and our acting out of them in direct or indirect forms of physical
              >violence! In other words, each thought in the mind of each and every one of
              >us brings the world either a little closer to the brink of global disaster
              >or helps to move the world a little farther away from the brink. If each
              >time we feel irritated, annoyed, thwarted, outraged, or just plain
              >frustrated, we reflect on the consequences of our thoughts, words and
              >actions, perhaps that reflection in itself will help to lead us to behave in
              >a way that will contribute to global peace. If every time we get angry at
              >our wife or husband, girl friend or boy friend, parents or children, we are
              >aware that we are driving the entire world toward the brink of war, maybe we
              >will think twice and wonder whether our anger is worth the consequences.
              >Even if we feel our cause is just, if we in thought, word, and deed make war
              >against injustice, we are still part of the problem and not contributing to
              >the solution. On the other hand, if we concentrate on putting our own minds
              >at peace, then we can broadcast peace mentally and generate peace through
              >our actions. We should use a peaceful mind to act for peace in the world.
              >
              >As to the interrelations between the minds of beings, the being we may be
              >about to harm or even kill, from a Buddhist point of view, may well be our
              >own parents, children, wives or husbands, or dearest friends from former
              >lives. Because Buddhists see the problem of war as a karmic one, the
              >solution is seen as the practicing and teaching of correct ethical
              >behavior. Good deeds lead to good consequences, bad deeds to bad. If you
              >plant bean seeds, you get beans; if you plant melon seeds, you get melons.
              >If you plant the seeds of war, you get war; if you plant the seeds of peace,
              >you get peace. The most fundamental moral precept in Buddhist teaching is
              >respect for life and the prohibition against taking life. Generally
              >speaking, all living beings want to live and are afraid of death. The
              >strongest desire is for life, and when that desire is thwarted, the response
              >is unbelievably powerful anger. Unlike almost all other religions, Buddhism
              >teaches that there are no exceptions to this prohibition and no expedient
              >arguments are admitted. The taking of life not only covers human life but
              >all sentient beings. Reducing the karma of killing is equivalent to putting
              >out the fire under the pot of boiling soup. If we end killing, the world
              >will be at peace.
              >
              >The prohibition against stealing says, more literally, that one must not
              >take what is not given. Stealing, whether it is by individuals,
              >corporations, or nations, occurs because of selfish greed. From the time of
              >the Trojan War, sexual misconduct has also been a cause of war, as has been
              >lying. National leaders whose minds have been clouded by drugs are not rare
              >in history either--their conduct is rarely just and peaceful. The
              >international drug trade in itself has become a major impediment to peace in
              >most parts of the world. The taking of intoxicating substances is also
              >prohibited by fundamental Buddhist teachings.
              >
              >The Buddhist vision is a world in which all life is sacred, in which
              >selfishness, in the guise of greed, anger and foolishness, does not
              >interfere with the basic interconnectedness of all living beings. That
              >interconnectedness, when freed from the distortion of selfishness, is based
              >upon the potential for enlightenment that every being shares.
              >
              >PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
              >
              >A beautiful vision, some might say. But how can such a peace be realized in
              >a world such as ours? Isn't it mere impractical fantasy? No, it is not. Now
              >the time has come to outline some concrete and practical steps that can be
              >taken towards making it a reality. As a beginning, here are three steps.
              >
              >Step One
              >
              >If the karma of killing is the flame beneath the soup pot, by reducing it,
              >we directly affect the boiling turmoil of violence and war. We need to
              >reduce the atmosphere of killing and violence, both in our society and in
              >our own lives. Each one of us can reduce the level of killing in our own
              >lives by the very simple act of becoming vegetarian. An ancient sage once
              >said:
              >
              >For hundreds of thousands of years
              >The stew in the pot
              >Has brewed hatred and resentment
              >That is difficult to stop.
              >If you wish to know why there are disasters
              >Of armies and weapons in the world,
              >Listen to the piteous cries
              > From the slaughterhouse at midnight.
              >
              >In a more contemporary vein George Bernard Shaw wrote a "Song of Peace:"
              >
              >We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
              >Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
              >We never pause to wonder at our feasts
              >If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
              >We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
              >To guide our footsteps on the paths we tread.
              >We're sick of war, we do not want to fight,
              >The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread
              >And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
              >Like carrion crows, we live and feed on meat,
              >Regardless of the suffering and pain
              >We cause by doing so. If thus we treat
              >Defenseless animals for sport or gain,
              >How can we hope in this world to attain
              >The Peace we say we are so anxious for?
              >We pray for it, o'r hecatombs of slain,
              >To God, while outraging the moral law,
              >Thus cruelty begets its offspring--War.
              >
              >For those who still do not see the logical relationships, I shall try to
              >spell them out more clearly. Non-human life is not qualitatively different
              >than human life, according to Buddhist teachings. Just as when a human is
              >killed, an animal too most often responds to its death with thoughts of
              >resentment, hatred and revenge. While it is dying, these thoughts or
              >emotions poison its flesh. After it is dead, its disembodied consciousness
              >continues to broadcast thoughts of resentment, hatred and revenge to the
              >minds of its killers and those for whom it was killed. Think of the billions
              >of cows, pigs, chickens and sheep that are killed for consumption each year
              >in the United States alone. Those of you who have passed the slaughter yards
              >on the interstate highway near Coalinga, California, have probably noticed
              >not only the stench but also the dark cloud of fear and violence that hangs
              >over the place. The general mental atmosphere of that entire county is thick
              >with thoughts of violence with which such thoughts within our own minds can
              >all too easily resonate.
              >
              >One of the problems of modern society is that the karma we generate is often
              >indirect and not immediately obvious to us, even though it can be quite
              >powerful. We are no less responsible for the death of the animals when we
              >buy meat wrapped in plastic in the supermarket than if we had killed them
              >ourselves. We are no less responsible for the environmental poisoning of
              >people by chemicals that we pour down our drains or by industries we work
              >for or whose products we buy, than if we had personally added the poison to
              >their food. So too we may not be directly aware of the ways in which we may
              >be providing support for many conflicts and wars around the world. Of
              >course, it is much worse to do something wrong, clearly knowing that it is
              >wrong than to do it in ignorance. Yet ignorance does not absolve us of
              >blame.
              >
              >Step Two
              >
              >Since war can come about when the general level of violence in the
              >population reaches the boiling point and can either manifest in civil war or
              >be channeled into foreign wars, anything we can do to reduce the general
              >level of violence in the population will certainly be most helpful. One of
              >the major teachers of violence in our society is television. Turn off your
              >TV — permanently. Michael Nagler has written:
              >
              >* 96 percent of American homes have at least one television set. The average
              >home has a set going six hours a day.
              >* In 'ordinary' viewing, there are 8 violent episodes an hour.
              >* Between the ages of five and fifteen the average American child has
              >watched the killing of 13,000 people. By age eighteen he or she will have
              >logged more than 15,000 hours of this kind of exposure and taken in more
              >than 20,000 acts of violence. . . .
              >* 97 percent of cartoons intended for children include acts of violence. By
              >the criteria of the Media Action Research Center, an act of aggression
              >occurs every three and a half minutes during children's Saturday morning
              >programs. Dr. George Gerbner counts one every two minutes by similar
              >criteria.
              >* In a typical recent year "children . . . witness, on prime time
              >television, 5,000 murders, rapes, beatings and stabbings, 1,300 acts of
              >adultery, and 2,700 sexually aggressive comments," according to a group of
              >concerned mothers.
              >
              >How can all this be helping the cause of world peace? From an early age our
              >citizens are learning that violence the best solution to their problems,
              >that violence is a socially acceptable and socially approved way of dealing
              >with problems both personal and interpersonal. Turn off the TV!
              >
              >Step Three
              >
              >By constantly being mindful of your own thoughts, words and actions and by
              >constantly trying to purify them, we can become part of the force for peace
              >rather than part of the force for war. Teachings about karma indicate to us
              >that no matter how just our cause, no matter how right our ideas, if they
              >are accompanied by anger and hate, they will merely generate more anger and
              >hate. If our minds are inundated with the emotions of war, we aid the cause
              >of war, no matter how noble our cause. Buddhist teachings about karma
              >indicate unequivocally that a fundamentally moral life is a necessary
              >prerequisite for ridding our minds of negative emotions, for transforming
              >them into selfless compassion for all. There are many selfless endeavors
              >that we can take upon ourselves to stir the soup and help cool the pot. But
              >we should remember to be constantly mindful of our own mental attitudes. If
              >we are not, no matter how hard we stir, we may also be unconsciously helping
              >to turn up the flames.
              >
              >How do we change our own mental attitudes; how do we rid our minds of those
              >strong negative emotions that cause turbidity in our minds? Part of the
              >Bodhisattva Path consists of the practice of giving as an antidote to
              >desire, greed, stinginess, and craving; the practice of patience as an
              >antidote for anger; and the practice of wisdom as an antidote for
              >foolishness.
              >
              >Step Four
              >
              >We should work on the systematic extension of compassion towards others.
              > From the level of our own minds, to our speech and then our actions, we can
              >work on generating compassion to those who are closest to us, the members of
              >our own familes, and then progressively extend our compassion to our
              >communities, countries, and the entire world. Many of you may be
              >disappointed in these suggestions. Perhaps you are looking for something
              >more exciting or stimulating. However, I hope that you will realize that
              >there is some indication that these Buddhist ideas do really work. King
              >Asoka, the Mauryan emperor of India who was coronated in 268 BCE, was
              >converted to Buddhism after experiencing personal revulsion in the aftermath
              >of his bloody conquest of Kalinga. Thereafter he prohibited any form of
              >killing and encouraged humane treatment of all peoples and also animals. The
              >Tibetans were bloodthirsty and warlike before conversion to Buddhism.
              >Likewise, their neighbors the Mongols, particularly the armies of Ghengis
              >Khan, terrorized many peoples, from China to the gates of Vienna. It would
              >be hard to find people more fierce and bloodthirsty. Buddhist missionaries
              >subsequently transformed the Mongols into one of the most peaceful peoples
              >of Asia. Buddhists have never advocated war and have never sanctioned the
              >idea of religious war. The ideal of the Bodhisattva (an enlightened being
              >who devotes himself or herself to the enlightenment of all beings) is to
              >voluntarily return, life after life, to our world of suffering to teach the
              >Way to permanent inner peace, which is the only way to true peace in the
              >world. Whether for us or for the great sages of the world, peace can only be
              >brought to the world one thought at a time in the minds of each one of us.
              >Only on that basis, can our actions for peace, also performed one at a time,
              >be truly effective.
              >
              >[ Reprinted here with permission of the author. Copyright © 1988 by Ron
              >Epstein. All rights reserved. ]
              >Copyright © 1977-2002, Barry Kapke.
              >All rights reserved.
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

              "Each day is a new life. Seize it. Live it."
              --David Guy Powers--
            • Robert Helton
              Hello everyone, Hi James my name is Robert Helton and enjoyed your post..and all of them actually. I`m an avid lurker here and like the subject matter and
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 2, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                Hello everyone,

                Hi James my name is Robert Helton and enjoyed your post..and all of them
                actually. I`m an avid lurker here and like the subject matter and
                collect many interesting links. Here is an interesting link on Buddha
                Particle Physics you may find interesting. I haven`t read it for quite
                awhile but it seems their belief is similar to todays quantum theories
                where "particles" come and go from existence. Possibly drawing energy
                from the zeropoint/aether? I kind of lean towards the all matter is
                vibration like Milo Wolfe promotes and many others I`m sure. Anyway here
                is the link I mentioned above:
                http://www.cyborganic.com/People/gizard/Tibud/Mad/index.html

                James Moore wrote:
                >
                > Very interesting post Dave! what the world needs is better Karma. Speaking
                > of Sanskrit, are you familiar with Patrick Bernhardt's musical Matras? Check
                > out Solaris Universalis if you get a chance. Even though I can't understand
                > the lyrics (supposedly in Sanskrit), the musical composition is superb, and
                > very relaxing, and a type of religious experience to listen to. He should put
                > out an English translation of his works, IMO. I am very eager to understand
                > the lyrics to his music, of which I have several albums. If you are not familiar
                > with him, maybe I can share them with you, I you wish.
                >
                > "Tonight I spent a couple hours chanting the Vajraguru Mantra for world
                > peace. If I'm going to participate along these lines I would post something
                > like..."
                >
                > This is also very admirable! If everyone of every religion were concerned enough,
                > and made an all out effort to concentrate for world peace, and harmony for mankind,
                > who knows what might miraculously happen to the cumulative human psyche, to
                > change the course of this world in a better direction. Thanks for your non-science
                > contribution. I don't think that it hurt anyone, and those who might not approve can
                > delete, right.
                >
                > JPM
                >
                > At 12:32 AM 06/01/2002 -0500, you wrote:
                > >Hi Jim
                > >
                > >4. These are difficult times. I think we NEED a little of this.
                > >5. Perhaps 'quiet ones' on the list will find these topics and viewpoints
                > > useful.
                > >6. I view this following material as of National Interest, not politics.
                > >
                > >Tonight I spent a couple hours chanting the Vajraguru Mantra for world
                > >peace. If I'm going to participate along these lines I would post something
                > >like...
                > >
                > >http://www.bodydharma.org/choices/violence/epstein.html
                > >C H O I C E S
                > >Living Consciously
                > >
                > >Buddhist Ideas for Attaining World Peace
                > >
                > >(Lectures for the Global Peace Studies Program, San Francisco State
                > >University, November 7 & 9, 1988)
                > >
                > >INTRODUCTION
                > >
                > >Buddhism teaches that whether we have global peace or global war is up to us
                > >at every moment. The situation is not hopeless and out of our hands. If we
                > >don't do anything, who will? Peace or war is our decision. The fundamental
                > >goal of Buddhism is peace, not only peace in this world but peace in all
                > >worlds. The Buddha taught that the first step on the path to peace is
                > >understanding the causality of peace. When we understand what causes peace,
                > >we know where to direct our efforts. No matter how vigorously we stir a
                > >boiling pot of soup on a fire, the soup will not cool. When we remove the
                > >pot from the fire, it will cool on its own, and our stirring will hasten the
                > >process. Stirring causes the soup to cool, but only if we first remove the
                > >soup from the fire. In other words, we can take many actions in our quest
                > >for peace that may be helpful. But if we do not first address the
                > >fundamental issues, all other actions will come to naught.
                > >
                > >The Buddha taught that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speech and peaceful
                > >actions. If the minds of living beings are at peace, the world will be at
                > >peace. Who has a mind at peace, you say? The overwhelming majority of us
                > >live in the midst of mental maelstroms that subside only for brief and
                > >treasured moments. We could probably count on the fingers of both hands the
                > >number of those rare, holy persons whose minds are truly, permanently at
                > >peace. If we wait for all beings in the world to become sages, what chance
                > >is there of a peaceful world for us? Even if our minds are not completely
                > >peaceful, is there any possibility of reducing the levels of violence in the
                > >world and of successfully abating the winds of war?
                > >
                > >To answer these questions, let us look first at the Buddha's vision of the
                > >world, including the causality of its operations. Then, in that context, we
                > >can trace the causes of war. When the causes are identified, the Buddha's
                > >suggestions for dealing with them and eliminating them can be discussed.
                > >Finally, having developed a Buddhist theoretical framework for understanding
                > >the nature of the problem and its solution, we can try to apply the basic
                > >principles in searching for concrete applications that we can actually put
                > >into practice in our own daily lives.
                > >
                > >SOME ASPECTS OF THE BUDDHIST WORLD-VIEW
                > >
                > >The Buddha taught that all forms of life partake of the same fundamental
                > >spiritual source, which he called the enlightened nature or the
                > >Buddha-nature. He did not admit to any essential division in the spiritual
                > >condition of human beings and other forms of life. In fact, according to
                > >Buddhist teachings, after death a human being is reborn, perhaps again as a
                > >human being or possibly in the animal realms or in other realms. Likewise,
                > >animals can, in certain circumstances, be reborn as human beings. All
                > >sentient beings are seen as passing through the unending cycle of the wheel
                > >of rebirth. They are born, they grow old, become sick, and die. They are
                > >reborn, grow old, get sick and die, over and over and over again.
                > >
                > >KARMA: THE NETWORK OF CAUSE AND EFFECT
                > >
                > >What determines how you are reborn is karma. Whether you obtain a human
                > >body, whether male or female, or that of an animal or some other life-form
                > >is karma. Whether you have a body that is healthy or sickly, whether you are
                > >intelligent or stupid, whether your family is rich or poor, whether your
                > >parents are compassionate or hard-hearted — all that is karma. Karma is a
                > >Sanskrit word that is derived from the semantic root meaning 'to do'. It
                > >refers to activity — mental, verbal, and physical — as governed by complex
                > >patterns of cause and effect. There are two basic kinds of karma —
                > >individual and shared. Individual karma is not limited to a single lifetime.
                > >What you did in your past lives determines your situation in your present
                > >life. If you did good deeds in past lives, the result will be an auspicious
                > >rebirth. If your actions in past lives were predominantly bad, your
                > >situation in the present will be inauspicious. If in this life you act more
                > >like an animal than a human being, your next rebirth will be as an animal.
                > >
                > >Shared karma refers to our net of inter-relationship with other people,
                > >non-human beings, and our environment. A certain category of beings live in
                > >a certain location and tend to perceive their environment in much the same
                > >way, because that particular shared situation is the fruition of their
                > >former actions.
                > >
                > >The doctrine of karma is not deterministic. Rather it is a doctrine of
                > >radical personal responsibility. Although your present situation in every
                > >moment is determined by your past actions, your action in the present
                > >moment, in the present circumstances, can be totally unconditioned and,
                > >therefore, totally free. It is true that you may mindlessly react according
                > >to the strengths of your various habit-patterns, but that need not be the
                > >case. The potential for you to act mindfully and freely is always there. It
                > >is up to you to realize that you have the choice and to make it. This
                > >realization is the beginning of true spiritual growth.
                > >
                > >The Buddha taught that the fundamental cause of all suffering is ignorance.
                > >The basic ignorance is our failure to understand that the self, which is at
                > >the center of all of our lives, which determines the way in which we see the
                > >world, which directs our actions for our own ease and benefit, is an
                > >illusion. The illusion of the self is the cause of all our suffering. We
                > >want to protect our self from the dangers of the constant flux of life. We
                > >want to exempt our self from change, when nothing in the world is exempt
                > >from change.
                > >
                > >Life centered on self naturally tends toward the selfish. Selfishness
                > >poisons us with desire and greed. When they are not fulfilled, we tend to
                > >become angry and hateful. These basic emotional conditions cover the
                > >luminous depths of our minds and cut us off from our own intuitive wisdom
                > >and compassion; our thoughts and actions then emanate from deluded and
                > >superficial views.
                > >
                > >THE CAUSES OF WAR
                > >
                > >The causes of war are too numerous even to list, let alone discuss
                > >intelligently. What we discuss here are what the Buddha considered the most
                > >fundamental, the fire under the
                > >boiling pot of soup.
                > >
                > >War is not something abstract. War is waged between one group of individuals
                > >and another. The reasons for war are also not abstract. [We have not yet had
                > >a war started and directed according to logical paradigms programmed into a
                > >computer.] It is individuals who decide to wage war. Even if the war is
                > >global, its beginning can be traced back to the decisions of individuals.
                > >And so before we talk about global war, let us first talk about war on the
                > >level of the individual.
                > >
                > >Wars begin because the people of one country, or at least their rulers, have
                > >unfulfilled desires — they are greedy for benefits or wealth (i.e., economic
                > >greed) or power, or they are angry or hateful. Either their desires have
                > >been thwarted or their pride, their sense of self, has been offended. This
                > >can also manifest as racial or national arrogance. They wrongly feel that
                > >the answer to problems, which are essentially within their own minds, a
                > >matter of attitudes, can be sought externally, through the use of force.
                > >
                > >THE STORY OF THE WATER WAR
                > >
                > >Four years after his [the Buddha's] attainment of enlightenment, a war took
                > >place between the city-state of Kapilavastu and that of Kilivastu over the
                > >use of water. Being told of this, [the Buddha] Sakyamuni hastened back to
                > >Kapilavastu and stood between the two great armies about to start fighting.
                > >At the sight of Sakyamuni, there was a great commotion among the warriors,
                > >who said, "Now that we see the World-Honored One, we cannot shoot the arrows
                > >at our enemies," and they threw down their weapons. Summoning the chiefs of
                > >the two armies, he asked them, "Why are you gathered here like this?" "To
                > >fight," was their reply. "For what cause do you fight?" he queried. "To get
                > >water for irrigation." Then, asked Sakyamuni again, "How much value do you
                > >think water has in comparison with the lives of men?" "The value of water is
                > >very slight" was the reply. "Why do you destroy lives which are valuable for
                > >valueless water?" he asked. Then, giving some allegories, Sakyamuni taught
                > >them as follows: "Since people cause war through misunderstanding, thereby
                > >harming and killing each other, they should try to understand each other in
                > >the right manner." In other words, misunderstanding will lead all people to
                > >a tragic end, and Sakyamuni exhorted them to pay attention to this. Thus the
                > >armies of the two city-states were dissuaded from fighting each other.
                > >
                > >The doctrine of karma teaches that force and violence, even to the level of
                > >killing, never solves anything. Killing generates fear and anger, which
                > >generates more killing, more fear, and more anger, in a vicious cycle
                > >without end. If you kill your enemy in this life, he is reborn, seeks
                > >revenge, and kills you in the next life. When the people of one nation
                > >invade and kill or subjugate the people of another nation, sooner or later
                > >the opportunity will present itself for the people of the conquered nation
                > >to wreak their revenge upon the conquerors. Has there ever been a war that
                > >has, in the long run, really resolved any problem in a positive manner? In
                > >modern times the so-called 'war to end all wars' has only led to
                > >progressively larger and more destructive wars.
                > >
                > >The emotions of killing translate into more and more deaths as the weapons
                > >of killing become more and more sophisticated. In prehistoric times, a
                > >caveman could explode with anger, take up his club, and bludgeon a few
                > >people to death. Nowadays, if, for example, the President of the United
                > >States loses his temper, who can tell how many will lose their lives as the
                > >result of the employment of our modern weaponry. And in the present we are
                > >on the brink of a global war that threatens to extinguish permanently all
                > >life on the planet. When will that happen? Perhaps when the collective
                > >selfishness of individuals to pursue their own desires — greed for sex,
                > >wealth and power; the venting of frustrations through anger, hatred and
                > >brutal self-assertion — overcomes the collective compassion of individuals
                > >for others, overcomes their respect for the lives and aspirations of others.
                > >Then the unseen collective pressure of mind on mind will tip the precarious
                > >balance, causing the finger, controlled ostensibly by an individual mind, to
                > >press the button that will bring about nuclear Armageddon. When the
                > >individual minds of all living beings are weighted, if peaceful minds are
                > >more predominant, the world will tend to be at peace; if violent minds are
                > >more predominant, the world will tend to be at war.
                > >
                > >BUDDHIST PRESCRIPTIONS
                > >
                > >Providing people with physical well-being and wealth does not necessarily
                > >lead to peace. Lewis Lapham recently wrote:
                > >
                > >Apparently it is not poverty that causes crime, but rather the resentment of
                > >poverty. This latter condition is as likely to embitter the 'subjectively
                > >deprived' in a rich society as the 'objectively deprived' in a poor society.
                > >
                > >Mental attitudes and the actions to which they lead are the key.
                > >
                > >Buddhists believe that the minds of all living beings are totally
                > >interconnected and interrelated, whether they are consciously aware of it or
                > >not. To use a simple analogy for the interconnection, each being has his or
                > >her own transmitting and receiving station and is constantly broadcasting to
                > >all others his or her state of mind and is constantly receiving broadcasts
                > >from all others. Even the most insignificant thoughts in our minds have some
                > >effect on all other beings. How much the more so do our strong negative
                > >emotions and our acting out of them in direct or indirect forms of physical
                > >violence! In other words, each thought in the mind of each and every one of
                > >us brings the world either a little closer to the brink of global disaster
                > >or helps to move the world a little farther away from the brink. If each
                > >time we feel irritated, annoyed, thwarted, outraged, or just plain
                > >frustrated, we reflect on the consequences of our thoughts, words and
                > >actions, perhaps that reflection in itself will help to lead us to behave in
                > >a way that will contribute to global peace. If every time we get angry at
                > >our wife or husband, girl friend or boy friend, parents or children, we are
                > >aware that we are driving the entire world toward the brink of war, maybe we
                > >will think twice and wonder whether our anger is worth the consequences.
                > >Even if we feel our cause is just, if we in thought, word, and deed make war
                > >against injustice, we are still part of the problem and not contributing to
                > >the solution. On the other hand, if we concentrate on putting our own minds
                > >at peace, then we can broadcast peace mentally and generate peace through
                > >our actions. We should use a peaceful mind to act for peace in the world.
                > >
                > >As to the interrelations between the minds of beings, the being we may be
                > >about to harm or even kill, from a Buddhist point of view, may well be our
                > >own parents, children, wives or husbands, or dearest friends from former
                > >lives. Because Buddhists see the problem of war as a karmic one, the
                > >solution is seen as the practicing and teaching of correct ethical
                > >behavior. Good deeds lead to good consequences, bad deeds to bad. If you
                > >plant bean seeds, you get beans; if you plant melon seeds, you get melons.
                > >If you plant the seeds of war, you get war; if you plant the seeds of peace,
                > >you get peace. The most fundamental moral precept in Buddhist teaching is
                > >respect for life and the prohibition against taking life. Generally
                > >speaking, all living beings want to live and are afraid of death. The
                > >strongest desire is for life, and when that desire is thwarted, the response
                > >is unbelievably powerful anger. Unlike almost all other religions, Buddhism
                > >teaches that there are no exceptions to this prohibition and no expedient
                > >arguments are admitted. The taking of life not only covers human life but
                > >all sentient beings. Reducing the karma of killing is equivalent to putting
                > >out the fire under the pot of boiling soup. If we end killing, the world
                > >will be at peace.
                > >
                > >The prohibition against stealing says, more literally, that one must not
                > >take what is not given. Stealing, whether it is by individuals,
                > >corporations, or nations, occurs because of selfish greed. From the time of
                > >the Trojan War, sexual misconduct has also been a cause of war, as has been
                > >lying. National leaders whose minds have been clouded by drugs are not rare
                > >in history either--their conduct is rarely just and peaceful. The
                > >international drug trade in itself has become a major impediment to peace in
                > >most parts of the world. The taking of intoxicating substances is also
                > >prohibited by fundamental Buddhist teachings.
                > >
                > >The Buddhist vision is a world in which all life is sacred, in which
                > >selfishness, in the guise of greed, anger and foolishness, does not
                > >interfere with the basic interconnectedness of all living beings. That
                > >interconnectedness, when freed from the distortion of selfishness, is based
                > >upon the potential for enlightenment that every being shares.
                > >
                > >PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
                > >
                > >A beautiful vision, some might say. But how can such a peace be realized in
                > >a world such as ours? Isn't it mere impractical fantasy? No, it is not. Now
                > >the time has come to outline some concrete and practical steps that can be
                > >taken towards making it a reality. As a beginning, here are three steps.
                > >
                > >Step One
                > >
                > >If the karma of killing is the flame beneath the soup pot, by reducing it,
                > >we directly affect the boiling turmoil of violence and war. We need to
                > >reduce the atmosphere of killing and violence, both in our society and in
                > >our own lives. Each one of us can reduce the level of killing in our own
                > >lives by the very simple act of becoming vegetarian. An ancient sage once
                > >said:
                > >
                > >For hundreds of thousands of years
                > >The stew in the pot
                > >Has brewed hatred and resentment
                > >That is difficult to stop.
                > >If you wish to know why there are disasters
                > >Of armies and weapons in the world,
                > >Listen to the piteous cries
                > > From the slaughterhouse at midnight.
                > >
                > >In a more contemporary vein George Bernard Shaw wrote a "Song of Peace:"
                > >
                > >We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
                > >Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
                > >We never pause to wonder at our feasts
                > >If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
                > >We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
                > >To guide our footsteps on the paths we tread.
                > >We're sick of war, we do not want to fight,
                > >The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread
                > >And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
                > >Like carrion crows, we live and feed on meat,
                > >Regardless of the suffering and pain
                > >We cause by doing so. If thus we treat
                > >Defenseless animals for sport or gain,
                > >How can we hope in this world to attain
                > >The Peace we say we are so anxious for?
                > >We pray for it, o'r hecatombs of slain,
                > >To God, while outraging the moral law,
                > >Thus cruelty begets its offspring--War.
                > >
                > >For those who still do not see the logical relationships, I shall try to
                > >spell them out more clearly. Non-human life is not qualitatively different
                > >than human life, according to Buddhist teachings. Just as when a human is
                > >killed, an animal too most often responds to its death with thoughts of
                > >resentment, hatred and revenge. While it is dying, these thoughts or
                > >emotions poison its flesh. After it is dead, its disembodied consciousness
                > >continues to broadcast thoughts of resentment, hatred and revenge to the
                > >minds of its killers and those for whom it was killed. Think of the billions
                > >of cows, pigs, chickens and sheep that are killed for consumption each year
                > >in the United States alone. Those of you who have passed the slaughter yards
                > >on the interstate highway near Coalinga, California, have probably noticed
                > >not only the stench but also the dark cloud of fear and violence that hangs
                > >over the place. The general mental atmosphere of that entire county is thick
                > >with thoughts of violence with which such thoughts within our own minds can
                > >all too easily resonate.
                > >
                > >One of the problems of modern society is that the karma we generate is often
                > >indirect and not immediately obvious to us, even though it can be quite
                > >powerful. We are no less responsible for the death of the animals when we
                > >buy meat wrapped in plastic in the supermarket than if we had killed them
                > >ourselves. We are no less responsible for the environmental poisoning of
                > >people by chemicals that we pour down our drains or by industries we work
                > >for or whose products we buy, than if we had personally added the poison to
                > >their food. So too we may not be directly aware of the ways in which we may
                > >be providing support for many conflicts and wars around the world. Of
                > >course, it is much worse to do something wrong, clearly knowing that it is
                > >wrong than to do it in ignorance. Yet ignorance does not absolve us of
                > >blame.
                > >
                > >Step Two
                > >
                > >Since war can come about when the general level of violence in the
                > >population reaches the boiling point and can either manifest in civil war or
                > >be channeled into foreign wars, anything we can do to reduce the general
                > >level of violence in the population will certainly be most helpful. One of
                > >the major teachers of violence in our society is television. Turn off your
                > >TV — permanently. Michael Nagler has written:
                > >
                > >* 96 percent of American homes have at least one television set. The average
                > >home has a set going six hours a day.
                > >* In 'ordinary' viewing, there are 8 violent episodes an hour.
                > >* Between the ages of five and fifteen the average American child has
                > >watched the killing of 13,000 people. By age eighteen he or she will have
                > >logged more than 15,000 hours of this kind of exposure and taken in more
                > >than 20,000 acts of violence. . . .
                > >* 97 percent of cartoons intended for children include acts of violence. By
                > >the criteria of the Media Action Research Center, an act of aggression
                > >occurs every three and a half minutes during children's Saturday morning
                > >programs. Dr. George Gerbner counts one every two minutes by similar
                > >criteria.
                > >* In a typical recent year "children . . . witness, on prime time
                > >television, 5,000 murders, rapes, beatings and stabbings, 1,300 acts of
                > >adultery, and 2,700 sexually aggressive comments," according to a group of
                > >concerned mothers.
                > >
                > >How can all this be helping the cause of world peace? From an early age our
                > >citizens are learning that violence the best solution to their problems,
                > >that violence is a socially acceptable and socially approved way of dealing
                > >with problems both personal and interpersonal. Turn off the TV!
                > >
                > >Step Three
                > >
                > >By constantly being mindful of your own thoughts, words and actions and by
                > >constantly trying to purify them, we can become part of the force for peace
                > >rather than part of the force for war. Teachings about karma indicate to us
                > >that no matter how just our cause, no matter how right our ideas, if they
                > >are accompanied by anger and hate, they will merely generate more anger and
                > >hate. If our minds are inundated with the emotions of war, we aid the cause
                > >of war, no matter how noble our cause. Buddhist teachings about karma
                > >indicate unequivocally that a fundamentally moral life is a necessary
                > >prerequisite for ridding our minds of negative emotions, for transforming
                > >them into selfless compassion for all. There are many selfless endeavors
                > >that we can take upon ourselves to stir the soup and help cool the pot. But
                > >we should remember to be constantly mindful of our own mental attitudes. If
                > >we are not, no matter how hard we stir, we may also be unconsciously helping
                > >to turn up the flames.
                > >
                > >How do we change our own mental attitudes; how do we rid our minds of those
                > >strong negative emotions that cause turbidity in our minds? Part of the
                > >Bodhisattva Path consists of the practice of giving as an antidote to
                > >desire, greed, stinginess, and craving; the practice of patience as an
                > >antidote for anger; and the practice of wisdom as an antidote for
                > >foolishness.
                > >
                > >Step Four
                > >
                > >We should work on the systematic extension of compassion towards others.
                > > From the level of our own minds, to our speech and then our actions, we can
                > >work on generating compassion to those who are closest to us, the members of
                > >our own familes, and then progressively extend our compassion to our
                > >communities, countries, and the entire world. Many of you may be
                > >disappointed in these suggestions. Perhaps you are looking for something
                > >more exciting or stimulating. However, I hope that you will realize that
                > >there is some indication that these Buddhist ideas do really work. King
                > >Asoka, the Mauryan emperor of India who was coronated in 268 BCE, was
                > >converted to Buddhism after experiencing personal revulsion in the aftermath
                > >of his bloody conquest of Kalinga. Thereafter he prohibited any form of
                > >killing and encouraged humane treatment of all peoples and also animals. The
                > >Tibetans were bloodthirsty and warlike before conversion to Buddhism.
                > >Likewise, their neighbors the Mongols, particularly the armies of Ghengis
                > >Khan, terrorized many peoples, from China to the gates of Vienna. It would
                > >be hard to find people more fierce and bloodthirsty. Buddhist missionaries
                > >subsequently transformed the Mongols into one of the most peaceful peoples
                > >of Asia. Buddhists have never advocated war and have never sanctioned the
                > >idea of religious war. The ideal of the Bodhisattva (an enlightened being
                > >who devotes himself or herself to the enlightenment of all beings) is to
                > >voluntarily return, life after life, to our world of suffering to teach the
                > >Way to permanent inner peace, which is the only way to true peace in the
                > >world. Whether for us or for the great sages of the world, peace can only be
                > >brought to the world one thought at a time in the minds of each one of us.
                > >Only on that basis, can our actions for peace, also performed one at a time,
                > >be truly effective.
                > >
                > >[ Reprinted here with permission of the author. Copyright © 1988 by Ron
                > >Epstein. All rights reserved. ]
                > >Copyright © 1977-2002, Barry Kapke.
                > >All rights reserved.
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                > "Each day is a new life. Seize it. Live it."
                > --David Guy Powers--
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              • James Moore
                Thanks Robert... I will check the link out. I am always interested in new or different viewpoints and theories on different topics, although I must say... I
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 2, 2002
                • 0 Attachment
                  Thanks Robert... I will check the link out. I am always interested in new
                  or different viewpoints and theories on different topics, although I must
                  say... I can't imagine Buddha could have to do with Particle Physics.
                  Maybe I will know when I visit the link. thanks....

                  JPM

                  At 10:44 AM 06/02/2002 -0700, you wrote:
                  >Hello everyone,
                  >
                  >Hi James my name is Robert Helton and enjoyed your post..and all of them
                  >actually. I`m an avid lurker here and like the subject matter and
                  >collect many interesting links. Here is an interesting link on Buddha
                  >Particle Physics you may find interesting. I haven`t read it for quite
                  >awhile but it seems their belief is similar to todays quantum theories
                  >where "particles" come and go from existence. Possibly drawing energy
                  >from the zeropoint/aether? I kind of lean towards the all matter is
                  >vibration like Milo Wolfe promotes and many others I`m sure. Anyway here
                  >is the link I mentioned above:
                  > http://www.cyborganic.com/People/gizard/Tibud/Mad/index.html
                  >
                  >James Moore wrote:
                  >>
                  >> Very interesting post Dave! what the world needs is better Karma. Speaking
                  >> of Sanskrit, are you familiar with Patrick Bernhardt's musical Matras? Check
                  >> out Solaris Universalis if you get a chance. Even though I can't understand
                  >> the lyrics (supposedly in Sanskrit), the musical composition is superb, and
                  >> very relaxing, and a type of religious experience to listen to. He should put
                  >> out an English translation of his works, IMO. I am very eager to understand
                  >> the lyrics to his music, of which I have several albums. If you are not familiar
                  >> with him, maybe I can share them with you, I you wish.
                  >>
                  >> "Tonight I spent a couple hours chanting the Vajraguru Mantra for world
                  >> peace. If I'm going to participate along these lines I would post something
                  >> like..."
                  >>
                  >> This is also very admirable! If everyone of every religion were concerned enough,
                  >> and made an all out effort to concentrate for world peace, and harmony for mankind,
                  >> who knows what might miraculously happen to the cumulative human psyche, to
                  >> change the course of this world in a better direction. Thanks for your non-science
                  >> contribution. I don't think that it hurt anyone, and those who might not approve can
                  >> delete, right.
                  >>
                  >> JPM
                  >>
                  >> At 12:32 AM 06/01/2002 -0500, you wrote:
                  >> >Hi Jim
                  >> >
                  >> >4. These are difficult times. I think we NEED a little of this.
                  >> >5. Perhaps 'quiet ones' on the list will find these topics and viewpoints
                  >> > useful.
                  >> >6. I view this following material as of National Interest, not politics.
                  >> >
                  >> >Tonight I spent a couple hours chanting the Vajraguru Mantra for world
                  >> >peace. If I'm going to participate along these lines I would post something
                  >> >like...
                  >> >
                  >> >http://www.bodydharma.org/choices/violence/epstein.html
                  >> >C H O I C E S
                  >> >Living Consciously
                  >> >
                  >> >Buddhist Ideas for Attaining World Peace
                  >> >
                  >> >(Lectures for the Global Peace Studies Program, San Francisco State
                  >> >University, November 7 & 9, 1988)
                  >> >
                  >> >INTRODUCTION
                  >> >
                  >> >Buddhism teaches that whether we have global peace or global war is up to us
                  >> >at every moment. The situation is not hopeless and out of our hands. If we
                  >> >don't do anything, who will? Peace or war is our decision. The fundamental
                  >> >goal of Buddhism is peace, not only peace in this world but peace in all
                  >> >worlds. The Buddha taught that the first step on the path to peace is
                  >> >understanding the causality of peace. When we understand what causes peace,
                  >> >we know where to direct our efforts. No matter how vigorously we stir a
                  >> >boiling pot of soup on a fire, the soup will not cool. When we remove the
                  >> >pot from the fire, it will cool on its own, and our stirring will hasten the
                  >> >process. Stirring causes the soup to cool, but only if we first remove the
                  >> >soup from the fire. In other words, we can take many actions in our quest
                  >> >for peace that may be helpful. But if we do not first address the
                  >> >fundamental issues, all other actions will come to naught.
                  >> >
                  >> >The Buddha taught that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speech and peaceful
                  >> >actions. If the minds of living beings are at peace, the world will be at
                  >> >peace. Who has a mind at peace, you say? The overwhelming majority of us
                  >> >live in the midst of mental maelstroms that subside only for brief and
                  >> >treasured moments. We could probably count on the fingers of both hands the
                  >> >number of those rare, holy persons whose minds are truly, permanently at
                  >> >peace. If we wait for all beings in the world to become sages, what chance
                  >> >is there of a peaceful world for us? Even if our minds are not completely
                  >> >peaceful, is there any possibility of reducing the levels of violence in the
                  >> >world and of successfully abating the winds of war?
                  >> >
                  >> >To answer these questions, let us look first at the Buddha's vision of the
                  >> >world, including the causality of its operations. Then, in that context, we
                  >> >can trace the causes of war. When the causes are identified, the Buddha's
                  >> >suggestions for dealing with them and eliminating them can be discussed.
                  >> >Finally, having developed a Buddhist theoretical framework for understanding
                  >> >the nature of the problem and its solution, we can try to apply the basic
                  >> >principles in searching for concrete applications that we can actually put
                  >> >into practice in our own daily lives.
                  >> >
                  >> >SOME ASPECTS OF THE BUDDHIST WORLD-VIEW
                  >> >
                  >> >The Buddha taught that all forms of life partake of the same fundamental
                  >> >spiritual source, which he called the enlightened nature or the
                  >> >Buddha-nature. He did not admit to any essential division in the spiritual
                  >> >condition of human beings and other forms of life. In fact, according to
                  >> >Buddhist teachings, after death a human being is reborn, perhaps again as a
                  >> >human being or possibly in the animal realms or in other realms. Likewise,
                  >> >animals can, in certain circumstances, be reborn as human beings. All
                  >> >sentient beings are seen as passing through the unending cycle of the wheel
                  >> >of rebirth. They are born, they grow old, become sick, and die. They are
                  >> >reborn, grow old, get sick and die, over and over and over again.
                  >> >
                  >> >KARMA: THE NETWORK OF CAUSE AND EFFECT
                  >> >
                  >> >What determines how you are reborn is karma. Whether you obtain a human
                  >> >body, whether male or female, or that of an animal or some other life-form
                  >> >is karma. Whether you have a body that is healthy or sickly, whether you are
                  >> >intelligent or stupid, whether your family is rich or poor, whether your
                  >> >parents are compassionate or hard-hearted — all that is karma. Karma is a
                  >> >Sanskrit word that is derived from the semantic root meaning 'to do'. It
                  >> >refers to activity — mental, verbal, and physical — as governed by complex
                  >> >patterns of cause and effect. There are two basic kinds of karma —
                  >> >individual and shared. Individual karma is not limited to a single lifetime.
                  >> >What you did in your past lives determines your situation in your present
                  >> >life. If you did good deeds in past lives, the result will be an auspicious
                  >> >rebirth. If your actions in past lives were predominantly bad, your
                  >> >situation in the present will be inauspicious. If in this life you act more
                  >> >like an animal than a human being, your next rebirth will be as an animal.
                  >> >
                  >> >Shared karma refers to our net of inter-relationship with other people,
                  >> >non-human beings, and our environment. A certain category of beings live in
                  >> >a certain location and tend to perceive their environment in much the same
                  >> >way, because that particular shared situation is the fruition of their
                  >> >former actions.
                  >> >
                  >> >The doctrine of karma is not deterministic. Rather it is a doctrine of
                  >> >radical personal responsibility. Although your present situation in every
                  >> >moment is determined by your past actions, your action in the present
                  >> >moment, in the present circumstances, can be totally unconditioned and,
                  >> >therefore, totally free. It is true that you may mindlessly react according
                  >> >to the strengths of your various habit-patterns, but that need not be the
                  >> >case. The potential for you to act mindfully and freely is always there. It
                  >> >is up to you to realize that you have the choice and to make it. This
                  >> >realization is the beginning of true spiritual growth.
                  >> >
                  >> >The Buddha taught that the fundamental cause of all suffering is ignorance.
                  >> >The basic ignorance is our failure to understand that the self, which is at
                  >> >the center of all of our lives, which determines the way in which we see the
                  >> >world, which directs our actions for our own ease and benefit, is an
                  >> >illusion. The illusion of the self is the cause of all our suffering. We
                  >> >want to protect our self from the dangers of the constant flux of life. We
                  >> >want to exempt our self from change, when nothing in the world is exempt
                  >> >from change.
                  >> >
                  >> >Life centered on self naturally tends toward the selfish. Selfishness
                  >> >poisons us with desire and greed. When they are not fulfilled, we tend to
                  >> >become angry and hateful. These basic emotional conditions cover the
                  >> >luminous depths of our minds and cut us off from our own intuitive wisdom
                  >> >and compassion; our thoughts and actions then emanate from deluded and
                  >> >superficial views.
                  >> >
                  >> >THE CAUSES OF WAR
                  >> >
                  >> >The causes of war are too numerous even to list, let alone discuss
                  >> >intelligently. What we discuss here are what the Buddha considered the most
                  >> >fundamental, the fire under the
                  >> >boiling pot of soup.
                  >> >
                  >> >War is not something abstract. War is waged between one group of individuals
                  >> >and another. The reasons for war are also not abstract. [We have not yet had
                  >> >a war started and directed according to logical paradigms programmed into a
                  >> >computer.] It is individuals who decide to wage war. Even if the war is
                  >> >global, its beginning can be traced back to the decisions of individuals.
                  >> >And so before we talk about global war, let us first talk about war on the
                  >> >level of the individual.
                  >> >
                  >> >Wars begin because the people of one country, or at least their rulers, have
                  >> >unfulfilled desires — they are greedy for benefits or wealth (i.e., economic
                  >> >greed) or power, or they are angry or hateful. Either their desires have
                  >> >been thwarted or their pride, their sense of self, has been offended. This
                  >> >can also manifest as racial or national arrogance. They wrongly feel that
                  >> >the answer to problems, which are essentially within their own minds, a
                  >> >matter of attitudes, can be sought externally, through the use of force.
                  >> >
                  >> >THE STORY OF THE WATER WAR
                  >> >
                  >> >Four years after his [the Buddha's] attainment of enlightenment, a war took
                  >> >place between the city-state of Kapilavastu and that of Kilivastu over the
                  >> >use of water. Being told of this, [the Buddha] Sakyamuni hastened back to
                  >> >Kapilavastu and stood between the two great armies about to start fighting.
                  >> >At the sight of Sakyamuni, there was a great commotion among the warriors,
                  >> >who said, "Now that we see the World-Honored One, we cannot shoot the arrows
                  >> >at our enemies," and they threw down their weapons. Summoning the chiefs of
                  >> >the two armies, he asked them, "Why are you gathered here like this?" "To
                  >> >fight," was their reply. "For what cause do you fight?" he queried. "To get
                  >> >water for irrigation." Then, asked Sakyamuni again, "How much value do you
                  >> >think water has in comparison with the lives of men?" "The value of water is
                  >> >very slight" was the reply. "Why do you destroy lives which are valuable for
                  >> >valueless water?" he asked. Then, giving some allegories, Sakyamuni taught
                  >> >them as follows: "Since people cause war through misunderstanding, thereby
                  >> >harming and killing each other, they should try to understand each other in
                  >> >the right manner." In other words, misunderstanding will lead all people to
                  >> >a tragic end, and Sakyamuni exhorted them to pay attention to this. Thus the
                  >> >armies of the two city-states were dissuaded from fighting each other.
                  >> >
                  >> >The doctrine of karma teaches that force and violence, even to the level of
                  >> >killing, never solves anything. Killing generates fear and anger, which
                  >> >generates more killing, more fear, and more anger, in a vicious cycle
                  >> >without end. If you kill your enemy in this life, he is reborn, seeks
                  >> >revenge, and kills you in the next life. When the people of one nation
                  >> >invade and kill or subjugate the people of another nation, sooner or later
                  >> >the opportunity will present itself for the people of the conquered nation
                  >> >to wreak their revenge upon the conquerors. Has there ever been a war that
                  >> >has, in the long run, really resolved any problem in a positive manner? In
                  >> >modern times the so-called 'war to end all wars' has only led to
                  >> >progressively larger and more destructive wars.
                  >> >
                  >> >The emotions of killing translate into more and more deaths as the weapons
                  >> >of killing become more and more sophisticated. In prehistoric times, a
                  >> >caveman could explode with anger, take up his club, and bludgeon a few
                  >> >people to death. Nowadays, if, for example, the President of the United
                  >> >States loses his temper, who can tell how many will lose their lives as the
                  >> >result of the employment of our modern weaponry. And in the present we are
                  >> >on the brink of a global war that threatens to extinguish permanently all
                  >> >life on the planet. When will that happen? Perhaps when the collective
                  >> >selfishness of individuals to pursue their own desires — greed for sex,
                  >> >wealth and power; the venting of frustrations through anger, hatred and
                  >> >brutal self-assertion — overcomes the collective compassion of individuals
                  >> >for others, overcomes their respect for the lives and aspirations of others.
                  >> >Then the unseen collective pressure of mind on mind will tip the precarious
                  >> >balance, causing the finger, controlled ostensibly by an individual mind, to
                  >> >press the button that will bring about nuclear Armageddon. When the
                  >> >individual minds of all living beings are weighted, if peaceful minds are
                  >> >more predominant, the world will tend to be at peace; if violent minds are
                  >> >more predominant, the world will tend to be at war.
                  >> >
                  >> >BUDDHIST PRESCRIPTIONS
                  >> >
                  >> >Providing people with physical well-being and wealth does not necessarily
                  >> >lead to peace. Lewis Lapham recently wrote:
                  >> >
                  >> >Apparently it is not poverty that causes crime, but rather the resentment of
                  >> >poverty. This latter condition is as likely to embitter the 'subjectively
                  >> >deprived' in a rich society as the 'objectively deprived' in a poor society.
                  >> >
                  >> >Mental attitudes and the actions to which they lead are the key.
                  >> >
                  >> >Buddhists believe that the minds of all living beings are totally
                  >> >interconnected and interrelated, whether they are consciously aware of it or
                  >> >not. To use a simple analogy for the interconnection, each being has his or
                  >> >her own transmitting and receiving station and is constantly broadcasting to
                  >> >all others his or her state of mind and is constantly receiving broadcasts
                  >> >from all others. Even the most insignificant thoughts in our minds have some
                  >> >effect on all other beings. How much the more so do our strong negative
                  >> >emotions and our acting out of them in direct or indirect forms of physical
                  >> >violence! In other words, each thought in the mind of each and every one of
                  >> >us brings the world either a little closer to the brink of global disaster
                  >> >or helps to move the world a little farther away from the brink. If each
                  >> >time we feel irritated, annoyed, thwarted, outraged, or just plain
                  >> >frustrated, we reflect on the consequences of our thoughts, words and
                  >> >actions, perhaps that reflection in itself will help to lead us to behave in
                  >> >a way that will contribute to global peace. If every time we get angry at
                  >> >our wife or husband, girl friend or boy friend, parents or children, we are
                  >> >aware that we are driving the entire world toward the brink of war, maybe we
                  >> >will think twice and wonder whether our anger is worth the consequences.
                  >> >Even if we feel our cause is just, if we in thought, word, and deed make war
                  >> >against injustice, we are still part of the problem and not contributing to
                  >> >the solution. On the other hand, if we concentrate on putting our own minds
                  >> >at peace, then we can broadcast peace mentally and generate peace through
                  >> >our actions. We should use a peaceful mind to act for peace in the world.
                  >> >
                  >> >As to the interrelations between the minds of beings, the being we may be
                  >> >about to harm or even kill, from a Buddhist point of view, may well be our
                  >> >own parents, children, wives or husbands, or dearest friends from former
                  >> >lives. Because Buddhists see the problem of war as a karmic one, the
                  >> >solution is seen as the practicing and teaching of correct ethical
                  >> >behavior. Good deeds lead to good consequences, bad deeds to bad. If you
                  >> >plant bean seeds, you get beans; if you plant melon seeds, you get melons.
                  >> >If you plant the seeds of war, you get war; if you plant the seeds of peace,
                  >> >you get peace. The most fundamental moral precept in Buddhist teaching is
                  >> >respect for life and the prohibition against taking life. Generally
                  >> >speaking, all living beings want to live and are afraid of death. The
                  >> >strongest desire is for life, and when that desire is thwarted, the response
                  >> >is unbelievably powerful anger. Unlike almost all other religions, Buddhism
                  >> >teaches that there are no exceptions to this prohibition and no expedient
                  >> >arguments are admitted. The taking of life not only covers human life but
                  >> >all sentient beings. Reducing the karma of killing is equivalent to putting
                  >> >out the fire under the pot of boiling soup. If we end killing, the world
                  >> >will be at peace.
                  >> >
                  >> >The prohibition against stealing says, more literally, that one must not
                  >> >take what is not given. Stealing, whether it is by individuals,
                  >> >corporations, or nations, occurs because of selfish greed. From the time of
                  >> >the Trojan War, sexual misconduct has also been a cause of war, as has been
                  >> >lying. National leaders whose minds have been clouded by drugs are not rare
                  >> >in history either--their conduct is rarely just and peaceful. The
                  >> >international drug trade in itself has become a major impediment to peace in
                  >> >most parts of the world. The taking of intoxicating substances is also
                  >> >prohibited by fundamental Buddhist teachings.
                  >> >
                  >> >The Buddhist vision is a world in which all life is sacred, in which
                  >> >selfishness, in the guise of greed, anger and foolishness, does not
                  >> >interfere with the basic interconnectedness of all living beings. That
                  >> >interconnectedness, when freed from the distortion of selfishness, is based
                  >> >upon the potential for enlightenment that every being shares.
                  >> >
                  >> >PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
                  >> >
                  >> >A beautiful vision, some might say. But how can such a peace be realized in
                  >> >a world such as ours? Isn't it mere impractical fantasy? No, it is not. Now
                  >> >the time has come to outline some concrete and practical steps that can be
                  >> >taken towards making it a reality. As a beginning, here are three steps.
                  >> >
                  >> >Step One
                  >> >
                  >> >If the karma of killing is the flame beneath the soup pot, by reducing it,
                  >> >we directly affect the boiling turmoil of violence and war. We need to
                  >> >reduce the atmosphere of killing and violence, both in our society and in
                  >> >our own lives. Each one of us can reduce the level of killing in our own
                  >> >lives by the very simple act of becoming vegetarian. An ancient sage once
                  >> >said:
                  >> >
                  >> >For hundreds of thousands of years
                  >> >The stew in the pot
                  >> >Has brewed hatred and resentment
                  >> >That is difficult to stop.
                  >> >If you wish to know why there are disasters
                  >> >Of armies and weapons in the world,
                  >> >Listen to the piteous cries
                  >> > From the slaughterhouse at midnight.
                  >> >
                  >> >In a more contemporary vein George Bernard Shaw wrote a "Song of Peace:"
                  >> >
                  >> >We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
                  >> >Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites.
                  >> >We never pause to wonder at our feasts
                  >> >If animals, like men, can possibly have rights.
                  >> >We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
                  >> >To guide our footsteps on the paths we tread.
                  >> >We're sick of war, we do not want to fight,
                  >> >The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread
                  >> >And yet we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
                  >> >Like carrion crows, we live and feed on meat,
                  >> >Regardless of the suffering and pain
                  >> >We cause by doing so. If thus we treat
                  >> >Defenseless animals for sport or gain,
                  >> >How can we hope in this world to attain
                  >> >The Peace we say we are so anxious for?
                  >> >We pray for it, o'r hecatombs of slain,
                  >> >To God, while outraging the moral law,
                  >> >Thus cruelty begets its offspring--War.
                  >> >
                  >> >For those who still do not see the logical relationships, I shall try to
                  >> >spell them out more clearly. Non-human life is not qualitatively different
                  >> >than human life, according to Buddhist teachings. Just as when a human is
                  >> >killed, an animal too most often responds to its death with thoughts of
                  >> >resentment, hatred and revenge. While it is dying, these thoughts or
                  >> >emotions poison its flesh. After it is dead, its disembodied consciousness
                  >> >continues to broadcast thoughts of resentment, hatred and revenge to the
                  >> >minds of its killers and those for whom it was killed. Think of the billions
                  >> >of cows, pigs, chickens and sheep that are killed for consumption each year
                  >> >in the United States alone. Those of you who have passed the slaughter yards
                  >> >on the interstate highway near Coalinga, California, have probably noticed
                  >> >not only the stench but also the dark cloud of fear and violence that hangs
                  >> >over the place. The general mental atmosphere of that entire county is thick
                  >> >with thoughts of violence with which such thoughts within our own minds can
                  >> >all too easily resonate.
                  >> >
                  >> >One of the problems of modern society is that the karma we generate is often
                  >> >indirect and not immediately obvious to us, even though it can be quite
                  >> >powerful. We are no less responsible for the death of the animals when we
                  >> >buy meat wrapped in plastic in the supermarket than if we had killed them
                  >> >ourselves. We are no less responsible for the environmental poisoning of
                  >> >people by chemicals that we pour down our drains or by industries we work
                  >> >for or whose products we buy, than if we had personally added the poison to
                  >> >their food. So too we may not be directly aware of the ways in which we may
                  >> >be providing support for many conflicts and wars around the world. Of
                  >> >course, it is much worse to do something wrong, clearly knowing that it is
                  >> >wrong than to do it in ignorance. Yet ignorance does not absolve us of
                  >> >blame.
                  >> >
                  >> >Step Two
                  >> >
                  >> >Since war can come about when the general level of violence in the
                  >> >population reaches the boiling point and can either manifest in civil war or
                  >> >be channeled into foreign wars, anything we can do to reduce the general
                  >> >level of violence in the population will certainly be most helpful. One of
                  >> >the major teachers of violence in our society is television. Turn off your
                  >> >TV — permanently. Michael Nagler has written:
                  >> >
                  >> >* 96 percent of American homes have at least one television set. The average
                  >> >home has a set going six hours a day.
                  >> >* In 'ordinary' viewing, there are 8 violent episodes an hour.
                  >> >* Between the ages of five and fifteen the average American child has
                  >> >watched the killing of 13,000 people. By age eighteen he or she will have
                  >> >logged more than 15,000 hours of this kind of exposure and taken in more
                  >> >than 20,000 acts of violence. . . .
                  >> >* 97 percent of cartoons intended for children include acts of violence. By
                  >> >the criteria of the Media Action Research Center, an act of aggression
                  >> >occurs every three and a half minutes during children's Saturday morning
                  >> >programs. Dr. George Gerbner counts one every two minutes by similar
                  >> >criteria.
                  >> >* In a typical recent year "children . . . witness, on prime time
                  >> >television, 5,000 murders, rapes, beatings and stabbings, 1,300 acts of
                  >> >adultery, and 2,700 sexually aggressive comments," according to a group of
                  >> >concerned mothers.
                  >> >
                  >> >How can all this be helping the cause of world peace? From an early age our
                  >> >citizens are learning that violence the best solution to their problems,
                  >> >that violence is a socially acceptable and socially approved way of dealing
                  >> >with problems both personal and interpersonal. Turn off the TV!
                  >> >
                  >> >Step Three
                  >> >
                  >> >By constantly being mindful of your own thoughts, words and actions and by
                  >> >constantly trying to purify them, we can become part of the force for peace
                  >> >rather than part of the force for war. Teachings about karma indicate to us
                  >> >that no matter how just our cause, no matter how right our ideas, if they
                  >> >are accompanied by anger and hate, they will merely generate more anger and
                  >> >hate. If our minds are inundated with the emotions of war, we aid the cause
                  >> >of war, no matter how noble our cause. Buddhist teachings about karma
                  >> >indicate unequivocally that a fundamentally moral life is a necessary
                  >> >prerequisite for ridding our minds of negative emotions, for transforming
                  >> >them into selfless compassion for all. There are many selfless endeavors
                  >> >that we can take upon ourselves to stir the soup and help cool the pot. But
                  >> >we should remember to be constantly mindful of our own mental attitudes. If
                  >> >we are not, no matter how hard we stir, we may also be unconsciously helping
                  >> >to turn up the flames.
                  >> >
                  >> >How do we change our own mental attitudes; how do we rid our minds of those
                  >> >strong negative emotions that cause turbidity in our minds? Part of the
                  >> >Bodhisattva Path consists of the practice of giving as an antidote to
                  >> >desire, greed, stinginess, and craving; the practice of patience as an
                  >> >antidote for anger; and the practice of wisdom as an antidote for
                  >> >foolishness.
                  >> >
                  >> >Step Four
                  >> >
                  >> >We should work on the systematic extension of compassion towards others.
                  >> > From the level of our own minds, to our speech and then our actions, we can
                  >> >work on generating compassion to those who are closest to us, the members of
                  >> >our own familes, and then progressively extend our compassion to our
                  >> >communities, countries, and the entire world. Many of you may be
                  >> >disappointed in these suggestions. Perhaps you are looking for something
                  >> >more exciting or stimulating. However, I hope that you will realize that
                  >> >there is some indication that these Buddhist ideas do really work. King
                  >> >Asoka, the Mauryan emperor of India who was coronated in 268 BCE, was
                  >> >converted to Buddhism after experiencing personal revulsion in the aftermath
                  >> >of his bloody conquest of Kalinga. Thereafter he prohibited any form of
                  >> >killing and encouraged humane treatment of all peoples and also animals. The
                  >> >Tibetans were bloodthirsty and warlike before conversion to Buddhism.
                  >> >Likewise, their neighbors the Mongols, particularly the armies of Ghengis
                  >> >Khan, terrorized many peoples, from China to the gates of Vienna. It would
                  >> >be hard to find people more fierce and bloodthirsty. Buddhist missionaries
                  >> >subsequently transformed the Mongols into one of the most peaceful peoples
                  >> >of Asia. Buddhists have never advocated war and have never sanctioned the
                  >> >idea of religious war. The ideal of the Bodhisattva (an enlightened being
                  >> >who devotes himself or herself to the enlightenment of all beings) is to
                  >> >voluntarily return, life after life, to our world of suffering to teach the
                  >> >Way to permanent inner peace, which is the only way to true peace in the
                  >> >world. Whether for us or for the great sages of the world, peace can only be
                  >> >brought to the world one thought at a time in the minds of each one of us.
                  >> >Only on that basis, can our actions for peace, also performed one at a time,
                  >> >be truly effective.
                  >> >
                  >> >[ Reprinted here with permission of the author. Copyright © 1988 by Ron
                  >> >Epstein. All rights reserved. ]
                  >> >Copyright © 1977-2002, Barry Kapke.
                  >> >All rights reserved.
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> >
                  >> >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >>
                  >> "Each day is a new life. Seize it. Live it."
                  >> --David Guy Powers--
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

                  "Our entire universe does not seem to be infinite, yet our math has,
                  not only infinity, but infinity so complicated it's mind boggling."

                  --Jim Farrer USA-Tesla 3/2002--
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