Politics and Toxicity

Discuss the application of the Dharma to situations of social, political, environmental and economic suffering and injustice.
User avatar
The Cicada
Posts: 930
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:15 am
Location: Trumpaloka

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by The Cicada » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:08 pm

Haven't really been into sports and football is really politicized these days. Whatever happened to baseball?

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 6398
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Queequeg » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:20 pm

The Cicada wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:08 pm
Haven't really been into sports and football is really politicized these days. Whatever happened to baseball?
Politicization of football is overblown. Trump makes a big deal about it because he has Trumpistas pegged to explode if any black man ever speaks up about anything. Those bozos want to boycott over the anthem protests? Not CTE?

Football right now is pretty compelling. Probably a high water mark. The CTE repercussions are coming.

Baseball doesn't have a salary cap. The Yankees can just buy pennants. That's what happened to it.
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

User avatar
Malcolm
Posts: 28578
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Malcolm » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:51 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:22 pm

"part of". Not the whole. And not the whole of the bodhisattva path.
You did not qualify your statement, hence my observation. Had you said, " being solely concerned with purification of the self," I would not have said anything.
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

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 6398
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Queequeg » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:04 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:51 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:22 pm

"part of". Not the whole. And not the whole of the bodhisattva path.
You did not qualify your statement, hence my observation. Had you said, " being solely concerned with purification of the self," I would not have said anything.
I can see how my comment taken in isolation would give that impression, and no small fault of my own for not being clear. :cheers:
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

boda
Posts: 1930
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by boda » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:41 pm

justsomeguy wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:40 pm
I'm posting this because I want a Buddhist perspective. How do you all manage it? Something inside me tells me this is an opportunity for development, and I want it to be. But how?
I suppose the Buddhist perspective is based is equanimity. I sit every day for at least a half-hour, and I believe it helps.

I don't know if it aligns with the Buddhist perspective but after Trump was elected I sought to understand how that could happen and read relevant books and articles. Understanding the Trump supporter a bit better now aids in equanimity.

I read The Dictators Handbook (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dictator%27s_Handbook) to better understand Trump. Great book.

User avatar
Dan74
Founding Member
Posts: 2486
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Lyss, Switzerland

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Dan74 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:37 am

boda wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:41 pm
justsomeguy wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:40 pm
I'm posting this because I want a Buddhist perspective. How do you all manage it? Something inside me tells me this is an opportunity for development, and I want it to be. But how?
I suppose the Buddhist perspective is based is equanimity. I sit every day for at least a half-hour, and I believe it helps.

I don't know if it aligns with the Buddhist perspective but after Trump was elected I sought to understand how that could happen and read relevant books and articles. Understanding the Trump supporter a bit better now aids in equanimity.
:twothumbsup:

That said, sometimes we can be just too damn tolerant. I see it in some students of mine who are good at seeing and understanding multiple perspectives. Then why speak up, why protest - it's all perfectly understandable and valid in some sense...

Bundokji
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:51 pm

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Bundokji » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:19 am

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:37 am
That said, sometimes we can be just too damn tolerant. I see it in some students of mine who are good at seeing and understanding multiple perspectives. Then why speak up, why protest - it's all perfectly understandable and valid in some sense...
Hello Dan74 :namaste:

Understandable and valid are two different things in my opinion. To understand is to avoid reducing reality into "right and wrong" without negating them.
The cleverest defenders of faith are its greatest enemies: for their subtleties engender doubt and stimulate the mind. -- Will Durant

User avatar
Dan74
Founding Member
Posts: 2486
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Lyss, Switzerland

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Dan74 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:54 am

Bundokji wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:19 am
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:37 am
That said, sometimes we can be just too damn tolerant. I see it in some students of mine who are good at seeing and understanding multiple perspectives. Then why speak up, why protest - it's all perfectly understandable and valid in some sense...
Hello Dan74 :namaste:

Understandable and valid are two different things in my opinion. To understand is to avoid reducing reality into "right and wrong" without negating them.
Indeed.

The issue I see is making sure we don't fall into a Hamlet-like apathy - no one can be really certain that theirs is the right view, let alone what consequences their actions are bound to have. And yet we still have to act. Non-action is also action.

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 6398
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:54 am
no one can be really certain that theirs is the right view
Whoa. There are plenty of views that are wrong. As Buddhists, we have a list of 64. Beyond that, we can safely judge that If a view is inflected with malice, or holds that people are inferior and therefore not entitled to fair treatment, that's a wrong view.

That tendency to know nothingism in the guise of fairness and objectivity is another form of stupidity. That is precisely a form of thinking that lulls one into not taking action when it is needed.

What action to take? - that is the question.
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

Bundokji
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:51 pm

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Bundokji » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:54 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:54 am
Indeed.

The issue I see is making sure we don't fall into a Hamlet-like apathy - no one can be really certain that theirs is the right view, let alone what consequences their actions are bound to have. And yet we still have to act. Non-action is also action.
Maybe the Hamlet-like apathy is a result of the false dilemma "to be or not to be, that is the question" which is a result of self view according to my understanding.

To exist and to refuse to fall into cynicism is a heroic act in my opinion.
The cleverest defenders of faith are its greatest enemies: for their subtleties engender doubt and stimulate the mind. -- Will Durant

boda
Posts: 1930
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2014 8:40 pm

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by boda » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:07 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:37 am
boda wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:41 pm
justsomeguy wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:40 pm
I'm posting this because I want a Buddhist perspective. How do you all manage it? Something inside me tells me this is an opportunity for development, and I want it to be. But how?
I suppose the Buddhist perspective is based is equanimity. I sit every day for at least a half-hour, and I believe it helps.

I don't know if it aligns with the Buddhist perspective but after Trump was elected I sought to understand how that could happen and read relevant books and articles. Understanding the Trump supporter a bit better now aids in equanimity.
:twothumbsup:

That said, sometimes we can be just too damn tolerant.
You know I'd be the last person to accuse you of being overly tolerant. :lol:
I see it in some students of mine who are good at seeing and understanding multiple perspectives. Then why speak up, why protest - it's all perfectly understandable and valid in some sense...
Understandable but not valid according to our own values and understanding. The point is, which I think is in line with topic, to circumvent the toxicity and in doing reduce partisanship and perhaps be more effective in mutually beneficial progress. Maybe progress is a bad word choice. :tongue:

User avatar
Dan74
Founding Member
Posts: 2486
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Lyss, Switzerland

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Dan74 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:21 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:26 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:54 am
no one can be really certain that theirs is the right view
Whoa. There are plenty of views that are wrong. As Buddhists, we have a list of 64. Beyond that, we can safely judge that If a view is inflected with malice, or holds that people are inferior and therefore not entitled to fair treatment, that's a wrong view.

That tendency to know nothingism in the guise of fairness and objectivity is another form of stupidity. That is precisely a form of thinking that lulls one into not taking action when it is needed.

What action to take? - that is the question.
I guess I don't have the luxury of your certainty, QQ, but still I act, somehow. I am probably just vastly stupid, as you say, there are just so many variables and unknowns everywhere one turns. But yes, I agree, we should not allow ourselves to be paralysed into apathy. Non-action is something very different altogether...


Bundokji, I think Hamlet's dilemma was pretty serious and relevant for us. He saw the corruption everywhere he looked and didn't see the way out. What is one to do when every action one take is likely to only make matters worse?


Boda, 'tolerant' or 'not tolerant' is in the eye of the beholder, like everything else, I guess. FWIW, I second the . "The point is, which I think is in line with topic, to circumvent the toxicity and in doing reduce partisanship and perhaps be more effective in mutually beneficial progress." Yes, I think this is very important now. Build bridges. Be patient. It might take quite a while before anyone crosses from the 'other side."'

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 6398
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Queequeg » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:38 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:21 pm


I guess I don't have the luxury of your certainty, QQ, but still I act, somehow. I am probably just vastly stupid, as you say, there are just so many variables and unknowns everywhere one turns. But yes, I agree, we should not allow ourselves to be paralysed into apathy. Non-action is something very different altogether...

Lol. Ok.

Don't exaggerate my point. Some things are certainly wrong. Nowhere did I preclude uncertainty.

And don't feign the lamb to stake some moral high geound. Passive aggression is still aggression.

I'm sure you'd be able to find some reasonable explanation for Jeffrey Dahmer's diet.
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

User avatar
Dan74
Founding Member
Posts: 2486
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Lyss, Switzerland

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Dan74 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:16 am

Ok.. it seems we talked past each other... no aggression was intended, passive or otherwise.. also no interest in fighting here or moral high ground.. i am sorry if that's how I came across..

Bundokji
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:51 pm

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Bundokji » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:18 am

Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:21 pm
Bundokji, I think Hamlet's dilemma was pretty serious and relevant for us. He saw the corruption everywhere he looked and didn't see the way out. What is one to do when every action one take is likely to only make matters worse?
The problem arise when we try to have a categorical answer to apply to a fleeting phenomena. For example, when you say matters get worse, the focus is on a particular when, where and who (of which the three change all the time). Things might get worse in the short term but improve in the long term. Things might get worse in a certain location but improve in another, and things might get worse for one individual but improve for other individuals.

You might notice that the above is how the world act. Desire and identification are the driving force behind the when, where and who.

However, the Buddha's teachings, as i understand them, focused on:

1- The what: the first noble truth
2- The why: the second noble truth (the intention and which is, ironically, the focus on the three above Ws)
3- The how: the forth noble truth

It is worth noting that the above is "timeless". The Buddha's teachings are relevant to all individuals and groups regards of time and location.
The cleverest defenders of faith are its greatest enemies: for their subtleties engender doubt and stimulate the mind. -- Will Durant

amanitamusc
Posts: 1365
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:32 am

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by amanitamusc » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:59 am

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:38 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:21 pm


I guess I don't have the luxury of your certainty, QQ, but still I act, somehow. I am probably just vastly stupid, as you say, there are just so many variables and unknowns everywhere one turns. But yes, I agree, we should not allow ourselves to be paralysed into apathy. Non-action is something very different altogether...

Lol. Ok.

Don't exaggerate my point. Some things are certainly wrong. Nowhere did I preclude uncertainty.

And don't feign the lamb to stake some moral high geound. Passive aggression is still aggression.

I'm sure you'd be able to find some reasonable explanation for Jeffrey Dahmer's diet.
People food!They missed Dahmer. :jawdrop:
https://people.com/food/

User avatar
Nemo
Posts: 887
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:23 am
Location: Canada

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Nemo » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:01 pm

I don't think I understood politics until I worked in it. The system is not broken. It is working quite well for those it serves. The key is that most humans are not rational animals. The game now is to understand the psychology of groups and give them a story that resonates with them. Much of this research was done by the gambling industry and could be called persuasion psychology which I had seen used extensively in the army. Its no mistake that Sheldon Adelson and Trump are so successful in politics. If you target swing ridings and use sketchy emotional arguments you can be a king maker in a very short period. It is very lucrative though the AI is getting pretty competitive in this space. I'm retired now. What passes for politics now is almost devoid of policy and generally makes you sick. The roughly 20% of rational moral people left are just screaming into the void and easily countered.

I'm of a mind that the only hope is to form intentional communities that break off from this madness.

amanitamusc
Posts: 1365
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:32 am

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by amanitamusc » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:09 pm

Nemo wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:01 pm
I don't think I understood politics until I worked in it. The system is not broken. It is working quite well for those it serves. The key is that most humans are not rational animals. The game now is to understand the psychology of groups and give them a story that resonates with them. Much of this research was done by the gambling industry and could be called persuasion psychology which I had seen used extensively in the army. Its no mistake that Sheldon Adelson and Trump are so successful in politics. If you target swing ridings and use sketchy emotional arguments you can be a king maker in a very short period. It is very lucrative though the AI is getting pretty competitive in this space. I'm retired now. What passes for politics now is almost devoid of policy and generally makes you sick. The roughly 20% of rational moral people left are just screaming into the void and easily countered.

I'm of a mind that the only hope is to form intentional communities that break off from this madness.
This is why you are retiring into the woods or at least part of it anyway?

User avatar
Nemo
Posts: 887
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:23 am
Location: Canada

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Nemo » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:50 pm

amanitamusc wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:09 pm
Nemo wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:01 pm
I don't think I understood politics until I worked in it. The system is not broken. It is working quite well for those it serves. The key is that most humans are not rational animals. The game now is to understand the psychology of groups and give them a story that resonates with them. Much of this research was done by the gambling industry and could be called persuasion psychology which I had seen used extensively in the army. Its no mistake that Sheldon Adelson and Trump are so successful in politics. If you target swing ridings and use sketchy emotional arguments you can be a king maker in a very short period. It is very lucrative though the AI is getting pretty competitive in this space. I'm retired now. What passes for politics now is almost devoid of policy and generally makes you sick. The roughly 20% of rational moral people left are just screaming into the void and easily countered.

I'm of a mind that the only hope is to form intentional communities that break off from this madness.
This is why you are retiring into the woods or at least part of it anyway?
Looking back now I think it was making me sick. Agitating so many minds at once seemed to have fallout. Negative engagement works better than positive. I had no idea when I was recruited that individuals could still be effective in politics. But you have very limited choices. Elevating your interest group over another has little effect on policy. Those with real power have policy goals that involve the parties pretending to be in charge changing regularly. Imagine being highly paid for selling people on why cholera is better than syphilis. Policies are decided often years before elections behind closed doors. If you can't hold ridings hostage your demands are irrelevant. If you can they try and pay you off. Politics is like a rugby scrum. No one person is in control.

So what passes for politics is theater now. Your votes have almost no meaningful effect on policy. It makes engagement very disheartening. The decision to paralyze the current system means things are getting worse. The tribalism that my party is always right and the other party is always wrong is designed to make governance impossible. Since 2016 I have seen illegal activity in all 3 of Canada's major parties. The money guys are always doing math and if a progressive party gets close to power they find 51% of them who are venal and no change comes. I couldn't find any winning moves which explains the timing of my offer. I'm still in shock at the number. Most people's lives are very stressful, lonely and precarious now. At best current politics offers cosmetic changes and feel good psychology tropes. The levers of power are beyond our grasp. They put me in the top 10% of earners and broke my heart at the same time.

I can sum up Western politics with the two words, "perfectly legal".

User avatar
Dan74
Founding Member
Posts: 2486
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:59 pm
Location: Lyss, Switzerland

Re: Politics and Toxicity

Post by Dan74 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:04 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:18 am
Dan74 wrote:
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:21 pm
Bundokji, I think Hamlet's dilemma was pretty serious and relevant for us. He saw the corruption everywhere he looked and didn't see the way out. What is one to do when every action one take is likely to only make matters worse?
The problem arise when we try to have a categorical answer to apply to a fleeting phenomena. For example, when you say matters get worse, the focus is on a particular when, where and who (of which the three change all the time). Things might get worse in the short term but improve in the long term. Things might get worse in a certain location but improve in another, and things might get worse for one individual but improve for other individuals.

You might notice that the above is how the world act. Desire and identification are the driving force behind the when, where and who.

However, the Buddha's teachings, as i understand them, focused on:

1- The what: the first noble truth
2- The why: the second noble truth (the intention and which is, ironically, the focus on the three above Ws)
3- The how: the forth noble truth

It is worth noting that the above is "timeless". The Buddha's teachings are relevant to all individuals and groups regards of time and location.
This is all fine and good, but what would you have done in Hamlet's place with all this knowledge and wisdom?

Locked

Return to “Engaged Buddhism”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests