Response to Wrong Views?

Discuss the application of the Dharma to situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice.
smcj
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by smcj » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:57 pm

What is the best response to these things though?
Understanding that it is all part of an endless cycle of suffering, and that, even at a seemingly safe distance, we are participating and buying into that very same cycle by indulging our kleshas. There is no barrier keeping us from being reborn where all that nastiness is happening other than our practice. (Of course if you are not removed at a safe distance, and events are overtaking you, you've got karma ripening and you've got to deal with it as best you can.)

That perspective gives rise to the fundamental impulse to free ourselves from our own b.s. for the sake of all.

Without that perspective our efforts towards Dharma tends to have, as its basis, the idea that our own b.s. is non-negotiable, and what we want Dharma to be is a golden lollipop to make our corner of samsara comfortable. I've been taught that approach doesn't work as per the 1st Noble Truth.

As such, the news of suffering and tragedy can be a great motivation for bodhicitta and our practice.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Quay » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:16 am

I once heard a student as a question of a Lama of stainless reputation.

"Lama, I want to take time off to take part in a protest against ______. Can I do that?"
"Sure, that is fine, fine, as long as you have done enough practice and are ready to die right now. Have you? Are you?"

That along with the nearly constant "news of suffering and tragedy" helps me to keep things in a helpful perspective.
"Knowledge is as infinite as the stars in the sky;
There is no end to all the subjects one could study.
It is better to grasp straight away their very essence--
The unchanging fortress of the Dharmakaya."

– Longchenpa.

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by AlexMcLeod » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:49 am

The best response is to relax, don't worry, don't intellectualize, and enjoy your practice.
Relax! Smile From The Heart!
There is a difference between the Mundane and the Transcendental. If you purposefully confuse them, I will ignore you, you nihilist.
There is no Emotion, there is Peace. There is no Ignorance, there is Knowledge. There is no Passion, there is Serenity. There is no Death, there is the Force.

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Dan74 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 4:49 am

Queequeg wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote: On one level you're right that this IS connected to a particular interpretation of Islam, and I think that probably changes within Islam will be part of the likely solution.

On the other hand, the Middle East is not unique at all, look at the number of civilians that were killed by Pol Pot..in fact, look at the many genocides of the 20th century..there is nothing unique about this kind of violence, it is just a permutation that affects the West directly.
Note, I want this discussion to not blow up, so understand I really am interested in the different ways to think about this. So, knowing that this can be a touchy subject, I promise to tread lightly and kindly for the sake of having the discussion, I hope others will participate on similar terms too.
OK, Queequeg, in the spirit of your question, let me offer you this different view, the view of the perpetrators (to the extent that I understand it).

We have seen in many movies, especially from Hollywood, the triumph of the underdog. The little guy against the mighty brutal machine. Many Muslims the world over see themselves as the little guy ran over by the behemoth of the Western military might. Western neocolonialism, Israel being one of the prime manifestations, and the endless meddling in Muslim affairs whether propping up corrupt regimes as in Saudi Arabia or wars in Iraq and Afghanistan resulting in ISIS and failed states, incitement that led to bloody Syrian civil war, the chaos that is Libya, etc. They see terrorism as a desperate way to say "STOP!" "Leave us alone!". The value of individual human lives does not have quite the same currency everywhere and ultimately millions are lost in battles and we hardly blink an eye, if they are not on our side.

In fact, I think all Muslims I've spoken to agree with this view (of Western meddling), they just don't support killing innocent people and hope that it can all be resolved in a better way. But if you do not share such optimism and see injustice perpetuated indefinitely, you may be driven to desperate measures. The dude in Nice was mad, the other guys too, but you know what, you don't need to be insane, you just need to be very angry, mad as hell, and not care too much what happens to you. And young people flock to them, because at least they believe in something, whereas we and our leaders (as in Western democracies) don't really believe in anything anymore.

Now of course this isn't the Dharmic way. But in order to understand, it is good to know what actually drives these people. And it's not something unhuman, I think. It is very human, and as Kim said we have to look at the big picture, at how we do things. Which doesn't mean we stop doing our utmost to prevent such acts using intelligence gathering etc.

_/|\_

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:54 am

whereas we and our leaders (as in Western democracies) don't really believe in anything anymore.
I think this is very true. Until the West can at least somewhat live up to it's rhetoric, and until we once again start caring about the ideals we profess, I'm afraid we will look well...hollow to the rest of the world.
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:37 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote: Other than saying "they're different", you're failing to explain exactly how, so I'd say you also are being vague. Sure the reasons here for remaking history is Jihadist Islam, rather than Marxism, but in action the result doesn't appear to be hugely different other than the fact that JIhadist propaganda has been exceptionally effective, and their terror has been much more effectively tactically, so thus far they don't have nearly the body count...let's hope they never reach that point.

Can you explain how they are qualitatively different, and what you think makes the Middle East "unique" in this regard, rather than just a similar pattern played out with different actors?

There's always a tendency to see one's time, and the Great Enemy of that time as unique, but I just don't see much evidence of that.
I don't think I'm the one making an extraordinary point in saying that the Killing Fields of Cambodia are qualitatively different than the carnage from car bombs in market places across the Middle East and broadcast gore porn executions. Other than some incredibly vague and broad conclusion that both are fall out from colonialism, the parallels are hard to make out. I think the burden is on you to make the case, but who are we kidding? Neither of us are experts on this and the dissertation demanded to make such a thesis is not going to happen. I can see both arguments, I just think the differences are more prominent.
They are despicable to be sure, but I think it's time that we stop treating these guys as if they are some amazing thing, IMO a lot of the narrative surrounding them is a loop that ends up feeding them notoriety.
Who says they are "amazing"? Maybe they make that claim in their slick propaganda. Part of the problem is that no one took Isis seriously as a military threat. Obama called them "JV." Their success says more about the lack of order in the region than their effectiveness as a military force. From what I understand, their military success and organizational capability is at least in part due to old Baathists and Saddam-era military personnel in their ranks. The notoriety comes from posting gruesome execution videos. Sick as it is, they're good at propaganda.
Jihadist ideology appeals to people who already have tendency towards sociopathic behavior,
I don't know if I'd go that far, but I agree with your gist. Terrorist violence, at least the homegrown sort, seems to have become a meme for people with certain characteristics. It seems to have emerged as a ritualistic way to act out pathologies. An article by Malcolm Gladwell published in the New Yorker argues that school shootings have more or less become a codified mode of behavior - the article makes the point by focusing on an autistic kid who planned to perpetrate a mass shooting without really understanding what he was doing. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/ ... f-violence
I think the same phenomena can be seen at work in these Isis-inspired attackers. The suicide attacker mythology has been a long time in the making - IIRC, it started in Sri Lanka.
I think any correction of "wrong view" would come from overall fighting within Islam against this sort of fundamentalism, which eventually might lessen the number of people who jump into it, maybe interrupt the cycle of indoctrination. Again though, if you just take a cursory glance at the life of many of these guys, they were already heading in that direction, years of petty crime, spousal abuse, whatever else... so there is no "correcting" their views, I wouldn't think.
But petty criminals have been around forever - the jump to mass killer is unfathomable without this context.I think Gladwell is onto something. I think interrupting the cycle of indoctrination would help, but if Gladwell's article is right and its applicable here, then alternative examples of behavior would be mot effective. Show these angry young men there are other alternatives.

My sense is that some Arabs are trying to offer an alternative vision of the Middle East with places like Dubai - technologically advanced, economically sophisticated, cosmopolitan, globally oriented, peaceful, and devoutly Muslim. The problem is, how does that vision translate for some marginalized kid in Florida or Nice. Arabic TV?
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:10 pm

Who says they are "amazing"? Maybe they make that claim in their slick propaganda. Part of the problem is that no one took Isis seriously as a military threat. Obama called them "JV." Their success says more about the lack of order in the region than their effectiveness as a military force. From what I understand, their military success and organizational capability is at least in part due to old Baathists and Saddam-era military personnel in their ranks. The notoriety comes from posting gruesome execution videos. Sick as it is, they're good at propaganda.
Who says they are amazing? The media, and their entire narrative pumps up ISIS to some insurmountable thing, all the time. The way media treats terror attacks is IMO one of the various reasons for continued terror attacks being "successful", as it were they are presented as THE pressing threat, even here..where we've had plenty of non-jihadist mass shootings. It's a toughy to be sure, but not because they are amazing at anything, more because the circumstances that led to their rise (part foreign policy on our part, part religious ideology on theirs, part political grievance, part sectarian conflict etc.) will be difficult to change. It's our own weaknesses that makes them seem stronger.

But petty criminals have been around forever - the jump to mass killer is unfathomable without this context.I think Gladwell is onto something. I think interrupting the cycle of indoctrination would help, but if Gladwell's article is right and its applicable here, then alternative examples of behavior would be mot effective. Show these angry young men there are other alternatives.
Yes, that's true, that's the most (only, really) impressive thing about ISIS, their propaganda is effectively turning unhappy, crazy folks in the criminal class into mass killers. Again, the tone of western media coverage helps this along greatly IMO. Our media have turned them into the ultimate boogey man, which presumably was part of their plan, and I imagine that the media adepts at ISIS relish it when they check out the front page of CNN and see TERROR EVERYWHERE and panicked headlines for a week every time there is an attack.

There are people in the ME working for actual democracy, and some notion of liberality, but I think they are crushed between the authoritarian regimes on the one hand, and the jihadists on the other.
I don't think I'm the one making an extraordinary point in saying that the Killing Fields of Cambodia are qualitatively different than the carnage from car bombs in market places across the Middle East and broadcast gore porn executions. Other than some incredibly vague and broad conclusion that both are fall out from colonialism, the parallels are hard to make out. I think the burden is on you to make the case, but who are we kidding? Neither of us are experts on this and the dissertation demanded to make such a thesis is not going to happen. I can see both arguments, I just think the differences are more prominent.
It appeared to me that you are somehow making the claim that Jihadist violence is "unique", as if the ME is uniquely violent in human history, which is nonsensical if you go by body count at least, even by type of atrocity. Usually people deploy this as a way to not examine the circumstances surrounding the creation of the modern Middle East, or it's specific problems, and just focus on suspicion of Islam. Obviously it's different than something like the Khmer Rouge, but presenting as if it's some new, unique threat to civilization is questionable IMO. If you weren't trying to do that, then sorry.

One simple parallel: much of the Khmer Rouge foot soldier population were young men. Younger I think than the jihadists generally are though. This is important though, young men are... manipulable in some very specific ways.
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:46 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Who says they are amazing? The media, and their entire narrative pumps up ISIS to some insurmountable thing, all the time. The way media treats terror attacks is IMO one of the various reasons for continued terror attacks being "successful", as it were they are presented as THE pressing threat, even here..where we've had plenty of non-jihadist mass shootings. It's a toughy to be sure, but not because they are amazing at anything, more because the circumstances that led to their rise (part foreign policy on our part, part religious ideology on theirs, part political grievance, part sectarian conflict etc.) will be difficult to change. It's our own weaknesses that makes them seem stronger.
This comment might touch on some delicate pressure points - The way that terrorists use American commercial news media is evil genius. The defining example is 9-11, right? The attack took place on 911 - the number we dial for emergencies. It was spectacular in that it gave us the visual of commercial passenger jets slamming into the most iconic buildings in the NYC skyline. It was straight out of a Hollywood disaster movie. I was there, and it was surreal - copy paper floating through the air like confetti against a cloudless blue sky. How does the news media avoid reporting on it? How do they avoid playing the second plane crashing on a loop while talking heads give their hot takes? And its the same formula for every sensational tragedy. Mesmerizing graphics, leading with bleeding imagery, and breathless, emotional commentary. Our weakness I think is human weakness - we're drawn to the spectacle. Rubbernecking, schadenfruede... and some media people know that's how to keep our eyeballs and then can slip us commercials for metamucil.

I think Trump has mastered this same key to media coverage. I saw some comment that during the course of the primaries he got the equivalent of $2 billion in free publicity by saying outrageous things. The news media followed him around eager to report on him. The coverage of the RNC is a farce.

It goes without saying that there is something wrong with the way the news is covered. The Jim Lehrer News Hour is what you'd have without all that wall to wall coverage. I'd be fine with that. I think we'd all be finer with that.
One simple parallel: much of the Khmer Rouge foot soldier population were young men. Younger I think than the jihadists generally are though. This is important though, young men are... manipulable in some very specific ways.
Isn't that our history as a species? Get your young men excited and put a weapon in their hands and tell them, "Kill!" Bob Thurman likes to talk about the monastic alternative where you take these rambunctious young men, put them into monasteries instead of armies where they can "kill their egos". Everyone is much much better off.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:25 am

I have posted this here before but it's worth re-reading - an essay called Terror in the God-Shaped Hole, David Loy (pdf).

It's an analysis of the origins of modern Islamic terrorism in the writings of Sayyid Qutb who portrayed Western secular culture as fundamentally decadent and soul-destroying (hence the depiction of the US as the Great Satan). According to Loy, this author, who spent time in the USA, was the intellectual god-father of Al Queda.

Loy is by no means excusing or rationalising terrorism but I think he's correct in point out why, for the Mujahadeen, it is literally a conflict between Allah and Satan. (Of course, there are also opportunistic psychopaths who are simply deranged and utterly malignant but they are in a sense parasitic to the movement, the founders of which are ideologues.)

At the bottom of the conflict, Loy sees the issue in terms of religious identity and its dissolution by secular modernity. I'm particularly impressed by the section on 'the spirituality of secularity' and the diagnosis of 'the secular worldview' in terms of a delusion. So, I think this analysis provides a dimension which helps to understand why parts of the Islamic world do understand the conflict in apocalyptic terms. This is missed by a lot of people on all sides of the debate; they see it as pointless violence, killing for the sake of killing, whereas for at least some of the participants it is genuinely a holy war against what is, in their eyes, an oppressive evil.
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:49 am

Wayfarer wrote:I have posted this here before but it's worth re-reading - an essay called Terror in the God-Shaped Hole, David Loy (pdf).

It's an analysis of the origins of modern Islamic terrorism in the writings of Sayyid Qutb who portrayed Western secular culture as fundamentally decadent and soul-destroying (hence the depiction of the US as the Great Satan). According to Loy, this author, who spent time in the USA, was the intellectual god-father of Al Queda.

Loy is by no means excusing or rationalising terrorism but I think he's correct in point out why, for the Mujahadeen, it is literally a conflict between Allah and Satan. (Of course, there are also opportunistic psychopaths who are simply deranged and utterly malignant but they are in a sense parasitic to the movement, the founders of which are ideologues.)

At the bottom of the conflict, Loy sees the issue in terms of religious identity and its dissolution by secular modernity. I'm particularly impressed by the section on 'the spirituality of secularity' and the diagnosis of 'the secular worldview' in terms of a delusion. So, I think this analysis provides a dimension which helps to understand why parts of the Islamic world do understand the conflict in apocalyptic terms. This is missed by a lot of people on all sides of the debate; they see it as pointless violence, killing for the sake of killing, whereas for at least some of the participants it is genuinely a holy war against what is, in their eyes, an oppressive evil.
Wayfarer, thanks for that reference. I will look it up. I've heard about this.

Reading your post, it occurred to me that in the US, it's not the secular crowd that is most outspoken on the 'war on terror'. For the most part, I think secularists can't understand and so look toward some solution informed by a multiculturalist view. Your description of radical Islam paints a picture of these people lashing out at people who are oblivious to the reason for this animosity, and actually angry at their very approach of the secularist resolution. That seems an irreconcilable situation, almost comically if it weren't for the tragedy.

My point though is that it's the religious right, the God and Mom's apple pie crowd that is most outspoken on radical Islam. And many of them probably feel similarly toward secularists. I'm not suggesting they are somehow wiser, but there is some irony there.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:12 am

Queequeg wrote:Your description of radical Islam paints a picture of these people lashing out at people who are oblivious to the reason for this animosity, and actually angry at their very approach of the secularist resolution.
You bet. Many Muslems hate 'secularism' in the sense of it being a 'positive philosophy' based on atheism (which is what it is to many people.) In reality, the initial idea behind the secular state was freedom of interference with religious beliefs, but nowadays in the West, 'secular philosophy' is easily, if fallaciously, equated with atheism. I notice this in dialogues about philosophy: that secular thinkers will respect your right to hold a belief, but they automatically assume that if it's any kind of 'religious view' then it can't have any basis in fact. And actually, Loy's essay casts some real light on that too, definitely worth the time to read.
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:55 am

So a sort of related question: what is the Buddhist view of secularism?
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:05 am

In its original intent, that is, a cultural framework within which one is free to practice any religion or none, I don't see any problem. What I see a problem with is the common assumption that, therefore, 'none' is better than 'any'. ;)
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Jeff H » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:50 pm

So returning to the OP, in this context, what is “wrong view”? And what is the Buddhist response? According to Buddhism, right view means that the ills of society arise from wrong view and can’t be fixed as such. The only cure is that our understanding of existence can be adjusted and thereby our perceptions and interactive responses can be reversed.

Those who believe in what Buddhists consider wrong views can never be swayed simply by professing what Buddhists consider right view. To try that approach amounts to engaging in the same ideological warfare that is a symptom of pervasive suffering. Buddhism is the “show me” religion. Buddha said, “don’t take my word for it, do it yourself.” To stomp our feet and say, “Buddha was right!!” is to engage in wrong view. Our attempts to influence others must be much subtler, more nuanced, and addressed on the others' terms.

I think the Buddhist response is to allow all the ills of society to spur us on to personally becoming something different so that we can model right view without professing it. If our right view is correct, then the better we become at it, the wiser we will be, and the more capable, for subtly influencing the situations around us. We practice, study, and discuss intensively among ourselves, but externally we follow the maxim, “do not give teachings that have not been requested”.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Malcolm » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:59 pm

Queequeg wrote:So a sort of related question: what is the Buddhist view of secularism?
This "Buddhist" regards it as essential to freedom and democracy.
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-- 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.

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:01 pm

Wayfarer wrote:In its original intent, that is, a cultural framework within which one is free to practice any religion or none, I don't see any problem. What I see a problem with is the common assumption that, therefore, 'none' is better than 'any'. ;)
The original intent is no fun. There's no controversy. Its the corruption that's interesting - "none better than any"...

Aside from strains of Islam that take on this "none" crowd, I mentioned Christians who also take on the "none" crowd - for instance, the Westboro Baptist Church (though they are remarkably consistent and so might not be the best example). Are there "fundamentalist" Buddhists who see the "none" crowd as a particular enemy?
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:13 pm

Jeff H wrote:So returning to the OP, in this context, what is “wrong view”? And what is the Buddhist response? According to Buddhism, right view means that the ills of society arise from wrong view and can’t be fixed as such. The only cure is that our understanding of existence can be adjusted and thereby our perceptions and interactive responses can be reversed.

Those who believe in what Buddhists consider wrong views can never be swayed simply by professing what Buddhists consider right view. To try that approach amounts to engaging in the same ideological warfare that is a symptom of pervasive suffering. Buddhism is the “show me” religion. Buddha said, “don’t take my word for it, do it yourself.” To stomp our feet and say, “Buddha was right!!” is to engage in wrong view. Our attempts to influence others must be much subtler, more nuanced, and addressed on the others' terms.

I think the Buddhist response is to allow all the ills of society to spur us on to personally becoming something different so that we can model right view without professing it. If our right view is correct, then the better we become at it, the wiser we will be, and the more capable, for subtly influencing the situations around us. We practice, study, and discuss intensively among ourselves, but externally we follow the maxim, “do not give teachings that have not been requested”.
Nice.

I agree, particulary with the second paragraph, though the third paragraph seems a little too timid. Not that I know what a good stronger approach would be. Just quietly practicing doesn't seem particularly effective, especially in the West where people will have no idea that a person is exemplifying Buddhist ideals. The role model might need a little more marketing around it.

If you go to many hotels in Japan, you often find a book, "The Teachings of Buddha" published and distributed by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai in the nightstand drawer, like the way you used to find bibles in the bed stand drawers of hotels in the US. I don't know how effective that is - I don't think I've ever met anyone who said they were turned onto Buddhism by a book they found in their hotel room.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Jeff H » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:24 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Jeff H wrote:I think the Buddhist response is to allow all the ills of society to spur us on to personally becoming something different so that we can model right view without professing it. If our right view is correct, then the better we become at it, the wiser we will be, and the more capable, for subtly influencing the situations around us. We practice, study, and discuss intensively among ourselves, but externally we follow the maxim, “do not give teachings that have not been requested”.
... the third paragraph seems a little too timid. ...
Timid? Maybe. But I don’t think timidity is appropriate for self-examination. I don’t see Buddhism as a quick fix. I’ve come for the long game, internally and externally. The deeper I look in the “mirror of Dharma”, the less certain I can be that I have any immediate answers for the problems of the people and societies around me. My goal, for now, is to plant the subtle seeds, in myself and others, that will eventually – naturally – result in deeper peace and broader wisdom. It's a very long game.

I got religion (Christianity) in my 40’s and the strong urge to help others. I studied pastoral counseling and went on to get my masters in social work. I got a job as family mediator in a runaway shelter. We’d engage the kids and, if they agreed, go back to the family with them to try and resolve the issues. In some cases, we’d help them to work out alternative life plans. You wouldn’t have thought me timid then. But after a while I began to realize that a few years training, even with heartfelt, sincere application on the job, didn’t really qualify me to insert myself into other people’s lives.

There’s a lot more going on than I presently understand. I believe Buddha understood, as have many of those masters who followed him (perhaps a few here on DW!). I don’t think samsara can be fixed but it can be obviated, and in the meantime I can try my best to ameliorate those little pockets of suffering that fall within my actual capabilities. However, I don’t see that happening by way of proselytizing or engaging samsaric situations on their own terms.

On the other hand, I may just be too timid. Don’t know. :shrug:
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

narhwal90
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by narhwal90 » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:54 pm

With respect to my beliefs, the example of my conduct is probably more meaningful than what I say. I don't think the quoted passage is timid at all, to have the restraint and perspective to not impose teachings on others, but instead share when asked shows respect & helps me to not act upon my own guesswork if not ignorance & delusion as well.

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Queequeg
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Re: Response to Wrong Views?

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jul 22, 2016 6:39 pm

timid was the wrong word... restrained? reserved?

the house is burning down, and walking out of the house in an orderly, single file line is totally lost on the others distracted with their games... including pyromaniac games making the situation worse...

I fully appreciate the reason and sensibility in what you guys are talking about.
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

I think each human being has things to find out in his own life that are inescapable. They’ll find them out the easy way or the hard way, or whatever.
-Jerry Garcia

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