Dharma government?

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tingdzin
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by tingdzin » Thu Aug 16, 2018 9:57 am

Malcolm wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:16 pm
Thailand was a constitutional monarchy on the British model. However, it is now a military dictatorship and has been since 2014.
Thailand has been in and out of military rule since the early 20th century, and theoretically a constitutional monarchy off and on, sometimes at the same time.

However, today's "military dictatorship" cannot be compared to those of 50 years ago, when demonstrators were shot down in the streets. As a matter of fact, the ordinary citizen has barely experienced any change for the worse in his life since the last coup. In many ways, things are better. I am not an advocate of military government, but Western cultural imperialists have to get over the mantra "democracy = good, other forms of government = bad" (not that I'm accusing you personally of that, Malcolm). The monarchy in Nepal was bottomlessly corrupt and inefficient; it got overthrown and now there's a bottomlessly corrupt, inefficient democracy, and they also suffered through a useless "people's war" for ten years into the bargain.

I agree that while governments that do not hinder the practice of Dharma are desirable, I also don't think a "Dharmic government" is possible.

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Grigoris
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:50 am

Wayfarer wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:26 am
There's a similar principle in Christian philosophy, based on the verse 'render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar's', which became the basis for the theory of the separation of church and state.

Another interesting historical note: 'secular' originally referred to a kind of time, not to a system of government. There was the 'secular calendar' which was purely concerned with mundane matters, distinguished from the 'sacramental calendar' which was concerned with the 'eternal'.

I generally agree with the separation of religious and secular affairs, with the caveat that in Western culture, 'the secular' is now being imbued with a kind of pseudo-religious significance, because the culture has lost its own connection with the sacred. (This is why, I think, the fantasy of interstellar travel is actually a sublimated longing for the transcendent.) So properly speaking a secular system of government is one which literally looks after infrastructure and resources management, but doesn't propose a 'secular view' or anything of that kind, which is where secularism morphs into scientism. (Every secular office ought to have Wittgenstein's dictum framed on the wall - 'that of which we cannot speak, of that we are to remain silent'.)
Secularism is an ideal. In reality what we have is Christianity with references to God removed. The basic moral/ethical ideas of Christianity are still there. The influence of religion on daily life is still there.

Take the U$ for example:

73.3% of the population identifies as Christian and only 18.2% identify as having no religion.

The effect of this statistic is that although there is a split between church and state, in reality the U$ functions as a Christian nation.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Queequeg
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:30 pm

In the absence of a creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. as a paradigm through which to organize the world and provide a map for life, some iteration will emerge and become the defacto creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. This is true for the individual as it is for society.

Better to select a better one that takes into account our tendencies to defeat ourselves and deal with the imperfect execution than to just go through life haphazard like flotsam and jetsam.

Might as well try to put Nagarjuna's Jeweled Garland into practice. Better than The Prince, or Secularism, or any other number of political philosophies that have been proposed and implemented over the centuries. Better than whim.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:30 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:30 pm
In the absence of a creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. as a paradigm through which to organize the world and provide a map for life, some iteration will emerge and become the defacto creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. This is true for the individual as it is for society.

Better to select a better one that takes into account our tendencies to defeat ourselves and deal with the imperfect execution than to just go through life haphazard like flotsam and jetsam.

Might as well try to put Nagarjuna's Jeweled Garland into practice. Better than The Prince, or Secularism, or any other number of political philosophies that have been proposed and implemented over the centuries. Better than whim.

I prefer HHDL"s POV:
Today, however, any religion-based answer to the problem of our neglect of inner values can never be universal, and so will be inadequate. What we need today is an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally acceptable to those with faith and those without: a secular ethics....the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I believe the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics that is beyond religion.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/ ... 25892.html
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Nemo
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Nemo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:35 pm

Kings are not the only choice for a Dharma government. Iran has an interesting model where they have a clergy with an ethical veto on a democratically elected government. Applying the very dynamic and situational ethics Buddhism is famous for as a check against the inevitable oligarchy and plutocracy that are hallmarks of democracy could be a very nice incremental improvement on the current system.

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:49 pm

Nemo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:35 pm
Kings are not the only choice for a Dharma government. Iran has an interesting model where they have a clergy with an ethical veto on a democratically elected government. Applying the very dynamic and situational ethics Buddhism is famous for as a check against the inevitable oligarchy and plutocracy that are hallmarks of democracy could be a very nice incremental improvement on the current system.
Yes, looked how that has worked out for Iran. Not well.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:18 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:30 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:30 pm
In the absence of a creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. as a paradigm through which to organize the world and provide a map for life, some iteration will emerge and become the defacto creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. This is true for the individual as it is for society.

Better to select a better one that takes into account our tendencies to defeat ourselves and deal with the imperfect execution than to just go through life haphazard like flotsam and jetsam.

Might as well try to put Nagarjuna's Jeweled Garland into practice. Better than The Prince, or Secularism, or any other number of political philosophies that have been proposed and implemented over the centuries. Better than whim.

I prefer HHDL"s POV:
Today, however, any religion-based answer to the problem of our neglect of inner values can never be universal, and so will be inadequate. What we need today is an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally acceptable to those with faith and those without: a secular ethics....the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I believe the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics that is beyond religion.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/ ... 25892.html
The jeweled Garland is braver than that without seeking to impose any particular dharma.

I believe what HHDL is looking for is human rights which are founded on the "dignity of human life". Whatever that means. It's intentionally vague so that we can actually manage to talk to each other and never have an actual conversation.

Anyway, a multicultural, democratic system has a way of processing religion until it approaches just some notion of generic good. If you start with something that vague it has a tendency of becoming even more vague and meaningless. And then some creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. eventually emerges anyway.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:29 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:49 pm
Nemo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:35 pm
Kings are not the only choice for a Dharma government. Iran has an interesting model where they have a clergy with an ethical veto on a democratically elected government. Applying the very dynamic and situational ethics Buddhism is famous for as a check against the inevitable oligarchy and plutocracy that are hallmarks of democracy could be a very nice incremental improvement on the current system.
Yes, looked how that has worked out for Iran. Not well.
Their guiding creed is Islam, and a particular type . We don't know that it's the political system that is screwing things up.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Jeff H » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:52 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:18 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:30 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:30 pm
In the absence of a creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. as a paradigm through which to organize the world and provide a map for life, some iteration will emerge and become the defacto creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. This is true for the individual as it is for society.

Better to select a better one that takes into account our tendencies to defeat ourselves and deal with the imperfect execution than to just go through life haphazard like flotsam and jetsam.

Might as well try to put Nagarjuna's Jeweled Garland into practice. Better than The Prince, or Secularism, or any other number of political philosophies that have been proposed and implemented over the centuries. Better than whim.

I prefer HHDL"s POV:
Today, however, any religion-based answer to the problem of our neglect of inner values can never be universal, and so will be inadequate. What we need today is an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally acceptable to those with faith and those without: a secular ethics....the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I believe the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics that is beyond religion.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/ ... 25892.html
The jeweled Garland is braver than that without seeking to impose any particular dharma.

I believe what HHDL is looking for is human rights which are founded on the "dignity of human life". Whatever that means. It's intentionally vague so that we can actually manage to talk to each other and never have an actual conversation.

Anyway, a multicultural, democratic system has a way of processing religion until it approaches just some notion of generic good. If you start with something that vague it has a tendency of becoming even more vague and meaningless. And then some creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. eventually emerges anyway.
I didn't find the book (Beyond Religion) vague at all. The first two thirds of the book essentially exposes the way ego and attachment distort what should be commonly discernible ethical guidelines, utterly without regard to any particular religion or lack of religion. Toward the end of the book he does start providing some clearly identifiable Buddhist practices, but most of the book is quite specific while taking religion out of the picture.

I think he provides a profound conversation.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Virgo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:59 pm

The main challenge of sentient beings is to attain liberation, but the impetus for this must come personally; it cannot be forced upon one. The main challenge of groups is to live together harmoniously (with their own and of course with others). Dharma is created and taught for bringing people to liberation. It is not created for creating overall societal harmony. Does it bring greater harmony when Buddhists are acting as they should? Yes. But in this world, leaders must sometimes fight wars, kill people, and so on, and this clashes with the teachings of Buddhism because it creates bad karma even though it may be better for a given society (think of samsara as having a twist in it). Likewise, since the impetus for liberation must come personally, some will always have views about God/s and will feel strongly about worshiping as they wish, being treated equally, and having rulers with their own beliefs. Therefore, the challenge of humans collectively is to live harmoniously, not to live under Dharma, while the challenge for individuals - as we understand as Buddhists who have surely practiced the path before - is to attain liberation.

The best system we have created thus far is the Social Democracy, not the Buddhist monarchy. We must think of others as well as ourselves. *

* This is a key point.

Kevin...
Last edited by Virgo on Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:06 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:18 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:30 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 1:30 pm
In the absence of a creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. as a paradigm through which to organize the world and provide a map for life, some iteration will emerge and become the defacto creed, philosophy, ideology, religion, etc. This is true for the individual as it is for society.

Better to select a better one that takes into account our tendencies to defeat ourselves and deal with the imperfect execution than to just go through life haphazard like flotsam and jetsam.

Might as well try to put Nagarjuna's Jeweled Garland into practice. Better than The Prince, or Secularism, or any other number of political philosophies that have been proposed and implemented over the centuries. Better than whim.

I prefer HHDL"s POV:
Today, however, any religion-based answer to the problem of our neglect of inner values can never be universal, and so will be inadequate. What we need today is an approach to ethics which makes no recourse to religion and can be equally acceptable to those with faith and those without: a secular ethics....the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I believe the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics that is beyond religion.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/ ... 25892.html
The jeweled Garland is braver than that without seeking to impose any particular dharma.
The Ratnavali is Mahāyāna polemical text.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:10 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:52 pm
I didn't find the book (Beyond Religion) vague at all. The first two thirds of the book essentially exposes the way ego and attachment distort what should be commonly discernible ethical guidelines, utterly without regard to any particular religion or lack of religion. Toward the end of the book he does start providing some clearly identifiable Buddhist practices, but most of the book is quite specific while taking religion out of the picture.

I think he provides a profound conversation.
Have not read it. But I have read other statements of his on human rights.

He's proposing a secular ethics based on what he says are universal values - compassion, love, kindness, etc.

That's well and good, I agree those are values to build on - I've argued this extensively over the last few weeks down here in the lounge - and receiving considerable push back to my surprise.

But, any secular system will need to pick an arbitrary starting point - a common denominator that everyone can agree on. This is what "human dignity" functions as in the human rights rubric. "Human dignity" is the basic value from which all the various civil and social rights derive. We can all agree on human dignity, right? That all human beings are intrinsically deserving of respect.

All well and good when we're talking about a bill of rights as a document that we can discuss and ratify. The problems come up when we start trying to apply this - that's when we have to actually start thinking about what "human dignity" actually means.

The same issue will arise when you pick any arbitrary value as a basis for a moral or ethical system. Sooner or later, you are going to come back to questions about what "compassion" actually means. Where does it come from? What are the psychological mechanisms that add up to compassion? What parts of the brain are activated? Is compassion really just a sort of self interest? Is it divinely inspired and therefore a pure, essential dharma that is beyond dissolution?

No, rather this new arbitrary value just becomes another line demarcating polite conversation.

I'm not saying this is bad. I'm saying, hey, that's better than what we have, but don't kid yourself that this is going to get us past all the problems that have plagued us in the past.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:12 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:06 pm
The Ratnavali is Mahāyāna polemical text.
I never said it wasn't.

My argument is, you're going to be stuck in some system of meaning anyway. The Jeweled Garland is better than others.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Malcolm
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:24 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:12 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:06 pm
The Ratnavali is Mahāyāna polemical text.
I never said it wasn't.
That's the point -- it is a Mahāyāna polemical treatise—— not even all Buddhists would go along with it.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Nemo
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Nemo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:25 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:29 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:49 pm
Nemo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:35 pm
Kings are not the only choice for a Dharma government. Iran has an interesting model where they have a clergy with an ethical veto on a democratically elected government. Applying the very dynamic and situational ethics Buddhism is famous for as a check against the inevitable oligarchy and plutocracy that are hallmarks of democracy could be a very nice incremental improvement on the current system.
Yes, looked how that has worked out for Iran. Not well.
Their guiding creed is Islam, and a particular type . We don't know that it's the political system that is screwing things up.
Ya, and our plutocracy is so amazing with our thousands of nukes, fake democracy and imminent ecological catastrophe. Why would we ever want to imagine improving our perfect system. It's not like we are in the dying days of a sociopathic empire.
Compare Iran to the other ME countries. Syria, Saudi, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. They are a rising global power that has outlived hostile American administrations since the 70s.

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:24 pm
That's the point -- it is a Mahāyāna polemical treatise—— not even all Buddhists would go along with it.
And under a government implementing the Jeweled Garland they'd have the liberty to disagree and pursue their dharmas. They'd even be encouraged and supported.

But I'm not particularly interested in getting everything right. I full well accept that things will go wrong. I just want to push things in the right direction - more love, more compassion, more kindness, more smiling people. I'm a whole lot more pragmatic than other posters here, I think.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Queequeg
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:39 pm

Nemo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:25 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:29 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:49 pm


Yes, looked how that has worked out for Iran. Not well.
Their guiding creed is Islam, and a particular type . We don't know that it's the political system that is screwing things up.
Ya, and our plutocracy is so amazing with our thousands of nukes, fake democracy and imminent ecological catastrophe. Why would we ever want to imagine improving our perfect system. It's not like we are in the dying days of a sociopathic empire.
Compare Iran to the other ME countries. Syria, Saudi, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. They are a rising global power that has outlived hostile American administrations since the 70s.
I was pointing out that there are many moving parts. We don't really know what is going wrong. I tend to think that Islam is not particularly good as a personal or social value system, but that is admittedly an opinion, based on observation and experience.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Virgo » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:45 pm

Virgo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:59 pm
The main challenge of sentient beings is to attain liberation, but the impetus for this must come personally; it cannot be forced upon one. The main challenge of groups is to live together harmoniously (with their own and of course with others). Dharma is created and taught for bringing people to liberation. It is not created for creating overall societal harmony. Does it bring greater harmony when Buddhists are acting as they should? Yes. But in this world, leaders must sometimes fight wars, kill people, and so on, and this clashes with the teachings of Buddhism because it creates bad karma even though it may be better for a given society (think of samsara as having a twist in it). Likewise, since the impetus for liberation must come personally, some will always have views about God/s and will feel strongly about worshiping as they wish, being treated equally, and having rulers with their own beliefs. Therefore, the challenge of humans collectively is to live harmoniously, not to live under Dharma, while the challenge for individuals - as we understand as Buddhists who have surely practiced the path before - is to attain liberation.

The best system we have created thus far is the Social Democracy, not the Buddhist monarchy. We must think of others as well as ourselves. *

* This is a key point.

Kevin...
In addition, whenever we communicate anything there is what we are saying on the surface and there is also a more subtle conversation going on/ message being sent. When we enshrine Buddhism as a State religion with only a Buddhist leader, we are essentially telling people, "we value our belief system more highly than yours", "if you live in this society you may or may not be able to practice your belief system, and certainly if you do not capitulate you will not be aligning yourself with those in power", "we don't value you enough to make your own choices concerning belief systems/ religious views", "it is possible we might become openly hostile to you and/ or your beliefs", and so on and so on. It just makes you enemies and so on. It was one thing in the Ancient World, but now, it really isn't the right conversation to be having or message to be sending. Meanwhile, Dharma can thrive under non-Buddhist political systems as is obvious today in North America, Europe, Britain, Australia, etc., etc. etc. just fine.

Again, peoples need to live in harmony.

Kevin...
Last edited by Virgo on Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Malcolm » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:54 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:24 pm
That's the point -- it is a Mahāyāna polemical treatise—— not even all Buddhists would go along with it.
And under a government implementing the Jeweled Garland they'd have the liberty to disagree and pursue their dharmas. They'd even be encouraged and supported.

But I'm not particularly interested in getting everything right. I full well accept that things will go wrong. I just want to push things in the right direction - more love, more compassion, more kindness, more smiling people. I'm a whole lot more pragmatic than other posters here, I think.
The Ratnavali proposes some good ideas for rulers, but it does not propose anything that goes beyond say, the bill of rights, etc. Since it depends on the munificence of kings, it does not really go very far at all.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Queequeg
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Re: Dharma government?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:56 pm

Virgo wrote:
Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:45 pm
Dharma can thrive under non-Buddhist political systems as is obvious today in North America, Europe, Britain, Australia, etc., etc. etc. just fine.
Thrive? I wouldn't go that far.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I am not advocating Buddhism as a state religion. I am advocating the introduction of Buddhist ideas and values into the public sphere and by extension into the political process and government policies.

One of the problems with the secular governments we have now is that they are fundamentally materialist. There are historical reasons for this retreat. Little or no account is taken of the spiritual life, and this has been to our collective detriment. There were some bad ideas about spiritual life that needed to be pushed back, but in throwing everything out, we were left with materialism.

One thing that bringing Buddhism into the political sphere would do is to have at least one voice asserting that there is more to life than atoms bouncing off each other. If Buddhism has a voice, obviously other would too.

There has to be a way to open up these areas of life to consideration in our society without devolving.

Or maybe not. Maybe letting ideas about the spirit come out into the open would be a violent disaster.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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