Buddhist Nazis?

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jundo cohen
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by jundo cohen » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:38 pm

In my little view, Buddhism can be like formless clay to fit many shapes and interpretations. We sometimes do not recognize that dark potential sufficiently, believing that Compassion, Loving Kindness and Non-Violence are inevitably and naturally bound to manifest from all this. Generally yes, but not always and inevitably. Even the Precepts can be stretched to excuse and encompass much ugly behavior (the anti-Islamic Buddhist monks of modern Burma are but one example). It is fitting on this weekend to say that the "beyond right and wrong, good and bad, nobody ultimately to kill or be killed" elements of the Perfection of Wisdom teachings can go off into a "Dark Side" if one is not careful. :jedi:

One thing about Brian Victoria ... I am generally a fan and supporter of his project to uncover some dark aspects of Buddhist history, but also feel he plays fast and loose as a scholar. I have written on that elsewhere ...

“Zen At War” AUTHOR BRIAN VICTORIA’S WAR ON ZEN
http://sweepingzen.com/zen-war-author-b ... ndo-cohen/

“ZEN AT WAR” BRIAN VICTORIA: THROWING BOMBS AT KODO
http://sweepingzen.com/zen-at-war-brian ... ndo-cohen/

Sometime during the coming year, I will write something similar on some of his D.T. Suzuki articles at The Asia-Pacific Journal .

Gassho, Jundo
Priest/Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha. Treeleaf Zendo was designed as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or work, childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online. The focus is Shikantaza "Just Sitting" Zazen as instructed by the 13th Century Japanese Master, Eihei Dogen. http://www.treeleaf.org

Caodemarte
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:11 pm

The reason to have the Thrid Reich at all was to kill the racial "inferiors," not to have a smoothly working government. In fact, Hitler diverted valuable war material to exterminate the "inferiors." There is no serious historical question on this. Hitler and the Nazis would have considered it an insult to claim they were not racists. They were quite proud of their muderous racism.

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Taco_Rice » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:43 am

odysseus wrote:
Karma_Yeshe wrote:
I'm a German, both my grandparents fought in the Wehrmacht (one on the western frontier as a Leutnant, one on the eastern frontier as a foot soldier) and I have never heard any word of mouth that Hitler was no racist. I mean, just ask all the Jews and Sinti and Roma that got killed or starved to death in the camps. Also the idea was always that the Arian as the so called "Herrenrasse" rule all other races, especially in the occupied countries. Most germans found those ideas quite strange, that's why the whole KZ (conzentration camp) thing was pretty much hidden from the common folks. So there is no evidence whatsoever, that Hitler's racism was a kind of the method for achieving other hidden goals. It was quite the opposite.

Karma Yeshe
If Hitler was serious about Third Reich (which he really was), he knew racism would not work in the long term in order to be the ruler. But this subject could turn into a heated debate.
A heated debate? Why is that? :stirthepot:

Caodemarte wrote:The reason to have the Thrid Reich at all was to kill the racial "inferiors," not to have a smoothly working government. In fact, Hitler diverted valuable war material to exterminate the "inferiors." There is no serious historical question on this. Hitler and the Nazis would have considered it an insult to claim they were not racists. They were quite proud of their muderous racism.
My understanding is that the long-term goals of the Überkraut Empire (note the tongue in the cheek) were actually hegemonic.

jundo cohen wrote:It is fitting on this weekend to say that the "beyond right and wrong, good and bad, nobody ultimately to kill or be killed" elements of the Perfection of Wisdom teachings can go off into a "Dark Side" if one is not careful. :jedi:
Hah! No, I haven't seen the new Star Wars movie yet. Actually... one of my posts was censored, which got me to thinking about how some Buddhists centers had opened in Germany in the WWII era. I also saw that someone mentioned eccentric, Austrian born Baron Ungern-Sternberg in another thread, which all coalesced into the questions in the original posts.

Not trying to go off into the Dark Side.. Just putting out a stick and poking a wasps' nests over the fence, maybe.

:jedi:

Paul wrote:EDIT: to understand the Nazi interest in Buddhism I think you'd have to look at Madame Blavatsky & Theosophy, as a lot of Nazi racial mythology came from her teachings - especially via the Thule Society. She of course was very interested in Buddhism and was one of the first modern westerners to take refuge.
My understanding is that American General Olcott, being a man of his time and Blavatsky's lover, considered Buddhism a "white religion" that had degraded due to being perpetuated by non-whites. I think this has something to do with Buddhism being considered an "Aryan religion," or whatever, by Nazi and white supremacist types...

As far as ideas that had some influence, emptiness is an idea that had an influence on German philosophers like Nietzsche and Heidegger, who were both very familiar with Buddhism, AFAIK. Obviously no one at that time was paying much attention to loving-kindness and compassion but... this was also the same era that era that the Japanese were slicing off people's limbs to see if they could reattach them onto other spots on the patient's body.

Horror happens.

:shrug:
When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on any one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there. One who has understood this is no different from Kannon with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.
— Takuan Sōhō, the Unfettered Mind

Caodemarte
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Caodemarte » Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:56 am

No, this is not a good understanding of the history of modern philosophy or even COL. Olcott.

By the way, the whole appeasement movement was premised on the idea that the Nazi's were a "normal" political movement just out for power and could be bought off by letting them take it. Then they would settle down to digest their conquests. This was the rationale for sacrificing the little "far away" countries "of which we know little" as the then English PM put it. Too late the appeasers learned that the Nazis really wanted to do exactly what they said they would. The Nazis were not interested in mere conquest; they were out to radically remake the world in the image of their murderous psychopathology. There were too many sacrifices not to remember.

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:24 am

Caodemarte wrote:There were too many sacrifices not to remember.
I'm not sure if they censored it on Wikipedia and others the last time I looked, but the mean count of casualties in WWII were 330 million. That war was bigger than you think.

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:59 am

odysseus wrote: I'm not sure if they censored it on Wikipedia and others the last time I looked, but the mean count of casualties in WWII were 330 million. That war was bigger than you think.
WWIII will be even bigger than the Nazi War... This war is actually holy and all, because it has something to do about our kids. Do you folks honestly believe that, or what? You people haven't seen nothing yet, but I'm not embarrased in any way...

Kindest regards from the General Gurung. It's pronounced Gu-runng. :meditate:

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by DNS » Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:45 am

Karma_Yeshe wrote: I mean there is no way you can unite the racist view of the Nazis with the view of Buddhadharma.
I agree, but unfortunately that didn't stop this guy from trying:
Brian Ruhe and Hitler

odysseus
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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:10 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
Karma_Yeshe wrote: I mean there is no way you can unite the racist view of the Nazis with the view of Buddhadharma.
I agree, but unfortunately that didn't stop this guy from trying:
Brian Ruhe and Hitler
Who really tried - this monk or Mr. Hitler himself?

Well, just be prophets all of you also - then all will be well.


Regards from General Gurung

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by catmoon » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:26 am

odysseus wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:There were too many sacrifices not to remember.
I'm not sure if they censored it on Wikipedia and others the last time I looked, but the mean count of casualties in WWII were 330 million. That war was bigger than you think.
I think you are way off there. Try thirty million, twenty million of which were suffered by the Russians.
Sergeant Schultz knew everything there was to know.

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by DNS » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:30 am

odysseus wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:
Karma_Yeshe wrote: I mean there is no way you can unite the racist view of the Nazis with the view of Buddhadharma.
I agree, but unfortunately that didn't stop this guy from trying:
Brian Ruhe and Hitler
Who really tried - this monk or Mr. Hitler himself?
Neither. Brian Ruhe tried to mix the 2 but as the monk correctly noted, the 2 don't mix.

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:41 am

catmoon wrote:
odysseus wrote:
Caodemarte wrote:There were too many sacrifices not to remember.
I'm not sure if they censored it on Wikipedia and others the last time I looked, but the mean count of casualties in WWII were 330 million. That war was bigger than you think.
I think you are way off there. Try thirty million, twenty million of which were suffered by the Russians.
Try again, Catmoon. Please count again and you will know the grand total - the Russians didn't actually kill so many, mostly Nazis. Unless you add in Stalin who killed his own people, a real child murderer.
Last edited by odysseus on Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:50 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by odysseus » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:44 am

David N. Snyder wrote: Neither. Brian Ruhe tried to mix the 2 but as the monk correctly noted, the 2 don't mix.
We try a good try to merge everything into real peace, but alas: Hitler couldn't reach enlightenment, however super intelligent he was.

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Paul » Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:03 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Karma_Yeshe wrote: I mean there is no way you can unite the racist view of the Nazis with the view of Buddhadharma.
I agree, but unfortunately that didn't stop this guy from trying:
Brian Ruhe and Hitler
If you want to go down a really odd rabbit hole of crazy it's hard to beat Savitri Devi.
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Taco_Rice » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:41 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Brian Ruhe tried to mix the 2 but as the monk correctly noted, the 2 don't mix.
Are you sure they don't mix? How far apart are hegemonic racialism and the Bramanistic caste system in the realities that they create? And is this Brian Ruhe the only one who has tried to reconcile Buddhism and Nazism—or even the first?
When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on any one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there. One who has understood this is no different from Kannon with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.
— Takuan Sōhō, the Unfettered Mind

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by dharmagoat » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:59 pm

Taco_Rice wrote:Are you sure they don't mix? How far apart are hegemonic racialism and the Bramanistic caste system in the realities that they create?
I did a quick search for "buddhism caste system" and this is the first thing that came up:

Caste, which was a matter of vital importance to the brahmins of India, was one of utter indifference to the Buddha, who strongly condemned the debasing caste system. In his Order of Monks all castes unite as do the rivers in the sea. They lose their former names, castes, and clans, and become known as members of one community, the Sangha.

http://www.buddhanet.net/bud_lt21.htm

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:04 pm

Taco_Rice wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Brian Ruhe tried to mix the 2 but as the monk correctly noted, the 2 don't mix.
Are you sure they don't mix? How far apart are hegemonic racialism and the Bramanistic caste system in the realities that they create? And is this Brian Ruhe the only one who has tried to reconcile Buddhism and Nazism—or even the first?

The Pali Canon is full of both direct statements and stories that make it clear that one becomes arya by one's deeds, and not by circumstance of birth or caste, much less of the modern notion of genetically inherited race. So the Buddha certainly believed in meritocracy amongnst people, but it had nothing to do with what one one was born to, and certainly not to some deference to "superior" inherited cultures.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Taco_Rice » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:05 pm

dharmagoat wrote:
Taco_Rice wrote:Are you sure they don't mix? How far apart are hegemonic racialism and the Bramanistic caste system in the realities that they create?
I did a quick search for "buddhism caste system" and this is the first thing that came up:

Caste, which was a matter of vital importance to the brahmins of India, was one of utter indifference to the Buddha, who strongly condemned the debasing caste system. In his Order of Monks all castes unite as do the rivers in the sea. They lose their former names, castes, and clans, and become known as members of one community, the Sangha.

http://www.buddhanet.net/bud_lt21.htm
And the key words here are in his Order of Monks, ie, within the ordained Sangha. The Buddha appears to have recognized each person (or being) for their individual merits and met everyone with compassion, but he did teach his disciples to respect caste as a social practice even as he undermined it within his order.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:The Pali Canon is full of both direct statements and stories that make it clear that one becomes arya by one's deeds, and not by circumstance of birth or caste, much less of the modern notion of genetically inherited race. So the Buddha certainly believed in meritocracy amongnst people, but it had nothing to do with what one one was born to, and certainly not to some deference to "superior" inherited cultures.
What I've read said that the Buddha redefined the work arya (noble) to mean nobility by one's actions and striving. But it seems to come from a reality of class segregation and—if I'm not mistaken—racial segregation, as class segregation in India falls along ancient racial lines.
When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on any one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there. One who has understood this is no different from Kannon with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.
— Takuan Sōhō, the Unfettered Mind

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:16 pm

What I've read said that the Buddha redefined the work arya (noble) to mean nobility by one's actions and striving. But it seems to come from a reality of class segregation and—if I'm not mistaken—racial segregation, as class segregation in India falls along ancient racial lines.
There was no notion of genetic "race" in ancient India comparable to the modern one, AFAIK.

Anyway, I don't think anyone would seriously deny that he gave deference to some of the institutions of the culture he came from, including people's station of birth - pretty normal for the ancient world. That is not the same as saying that the occult ideas of Nazism and Dharma are compatible though.

But yeah, people have tried, the Nazi's were obsessed with all kinds of mythology, idea of the Kali Yuga, Kalki etc...this is no secret really. Theosophy and similar were part of the cultural milieu that Nazism arose in..again, really no mystery. Nonsense, but no mystery.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by Taco_Rice » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:24 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Theosophy
Apparently Buddhism inspired.

:shrug:
When facing a single tree, if you look at a single one of its red leaves, you will not see all the others. When the eye is not set on any one leaf, and you face the tree with nothing at all in mind, any number of leaves are visible to the eye without limit. But if a single leaf holds the eye, it will be as if the remaining leaves were not there. One who has understood this is no different from Kannon with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.
— Takuan Sōhō, the Unfettered Mind

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Re: Buddhist Nazis?

Post by dharmagoat » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:26 pm

Taco_Rice wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:Theosophy
Apparently Buddhism inspired.
Buddhism was poorly understood in the West in the early 20th century, and even that is an understatement.

Edit: I just checked. The Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, which reaches even further back into the dark ages of Buddhism in the West.
Last edited by dharmagoat on Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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