Inequality

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DGA
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Re: Inequality

Post by DGA » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:36 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sherab Dorje wrote:We make this world, not God, not chance, not fate. We make it, through our actions. We can make it somewhat better, we can make it somewhat worse or we can transform it into a Pure Land. It is 100% up to us.
In order for the world to be a pure land, we do not have do anything except realize it as such. But there is no way to create an outer material utopia.

If you really want to create such a place, then you have to convince every person to strictly avoid the ten nonvirtues. Since you cannot force others to avoid the ten nonvirtues, all you can do is start with yourself.
We'll also do well to encourage others to avoid the ten nonvirtues, and to engage in the ten virtues. Further, we should avoid rejoicing in the works and accomplishments of those who make their business on the ten nonvirtues, and instead with those who find a way to live by the ten virtues.

Which reminds me: Anyone read Rob Nixon's Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor? Very useful context for this discussion--an explicit description of the inequalities of the present world in the vein of Mike Davis' Planet of Slums

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Re: Inequality

Post by Malcolm » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:40 pm

Jikan wrote: Further, we should avoid rejoicing in the works and accomplishments of those who make their business on the ten nonvirtues
I guess we start with Hollywood then...
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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Re: Inequality

Post by Grigoris » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:07 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Jikan wrote: Further, we should avoid rejoicing in the works and accomplishments of those who make their business on the ten nonvirtues
I guess we start with Hollywood then...
Or ourselves.
"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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Malcolm
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Re: Inequality

Post by Malcolm » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:09 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Malcolm wrote:
Jikan wrote: Further, we should avoid rejoicing in the works and accomplishments of those who make their business on the ten nonvirtues
I guess we start with Hollywood then...
Or ourselves.
Is there an echo in here...?
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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Re: Inequality

Post by Grigoris » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:10 pm

Is there an echo in here? Is there an echo in here? Is there an echo in here? :tongue:
"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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Re: Inequality

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:40 am

theanarchist wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:No. I think it's fortunate to be born as a human, and it's a lovely world.


I just say, Ebola in Africa, ISIS in the middle east, war in Ukraine, sexual abuse of children, starvation and violence against helpless humans in countless towns and villages on this planet. Plus the cruelty against animals.


Yeah, lovely place... :thinking: Maybe when there are no humans around....
Yes, it is lovely and getting better all the time. If we compare disease now to any period in the past, now is better than ever. That isn't the only measures also, there's also infant mortality: decreasing, poverty: decreasing, lifespan: increasing, and so on. That by no means means it will keep improving forever, but it's something nice at least.

Two civil wars aren't quite something to worry about on a worldwide level. If we ever see two developed nations engage in internecine warfare in our lifetimes, then we will know what horrors modern weaponry can really bring -- something that these civil wars are only mild versions of. One thing is certain with regards to war, however, and that it increases directly proportional to the amount of democracy. Democracy brings with it disadvantageous ideologies about constraint on executives to meet the needs of the populace, which tends towards civil war. The trick to world peace is not just less democracy, it is uti possidetis. If we accept that a nation may have achieved its aim in a war, the war is called to a truce, instead of an utter crushing of the enemy, as we tended to prefer in the twentieth century. You don't need to crush IS, you just need to stop the war. The problem is, at the same time that other powers want IS to stop expanding, they don't recognise the legitimacy of the Syrian government because of their idealistic belief in the democratic destiny of the rebels, who are also IS on weekends. Once again, this notion of equality ruins everything. Not everything has to be equal. Not every citizen has to be a king. Sometimes the best king is just a king.
Sherab Dorje wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:I didn't claim that Buddhism supports economic and social inequality. It's just the way the world is.
It's not "just the way the world is", it is the way we make it. And how do we make it? Through karma (intentional action). We make this world, not God, not chance, not fate. We make it, through our actions. We can make it somewhat better, we can make it somewhat worse or we can transform it into a Pure Land. It is 100% up to us.
Bad karma in both cases of course. Can you remedy it? Obviously you can. This is different from advocating levelling or equality.
No, it is not different from advocating equality. In order to feed those that don't have enough food (for example), those that have an overabundance of food have to share it. This will lead to an equalising in the allocation of resources.
If there is a beggar, you give. You practice. Thinking about who to blame and pillory for it, and who to take from, is missing the point of generosity.
If I have $2 and due to my generosity I give $1 to a beggar then we both have $1. Economically we become equals. If I have $1 and somebody else has $1 and due to my greed I take it, then I have $2 and they have $0. I am the cause of their poverty. I am then to blame for their poverty.

If somebody pointed their finger at me and said: "They took the $1 from that guy there." there would be nothing false about their statement. If somebody else said: "C'mon man, you don't need the $2, give the $1 back to the poor guy. Giving it back will lead to you receiving even more in the future without having to generate negative outcomes" There would be nothing wrong with that statement also. If a third person came along and said: "Don't worry about having $2, the other guy was meant to lose it anyway, if you didn't take it somebody else would, it is his karma." Well, I would have to consider that that person lacks wisdom and compassion (to say the least). You may beg to differ.
The difference is that advocating generosity is practical and achievable, advocating equality is not.

If something isn't possible, it's more or less a nothing. A non-fact. Generosity can be a fact every moment. Equality is impossible in a world of dualism and compounded dharmas. Only in the non-dual is there equality.

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Re: Inequality

Post by greentara » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:40 am

Of course only in the non dual is there equal eye and true equality. What we would like is more equality, not just this trickery of the weak trickle down affect which obviously only benefits the powerful and mega rich.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Mkoll » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:55 am

Zhen Li wrote:. . .
You've compared this world to a pure land. I'd always assumed that pure lands were blissful places completely without the kind of gross and worldly suffering we experience here, e.g. hunger, thirst, disease, injury, and other physical afflictions of the body. I don't know much about pure lands in Mahayana/Vajrayana doctrine but that's the impression I get.

But from what you're saying, it sounds like pure lands can have gross and worldly suffering as well. Is that true?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Inequality

Post by muni » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:13 am

Malcolm wrote: In order for the world to be a pure land, we do not have do anything except realize it as such. But there is no way to create an outer material utopia.

If you really want to create such a place, then you have to convince every person to strictly avoid the ten nonvirtues. Since you cannot force others to avoid the ten nonvirtues, all you can do is start with yourself.
Right. We cannot purify all phenomena or purify others mind, rather have to start by ourselves, realize ourselves.

Or to recognize Nature/Bodhichitta.
'The bird' of Bodhichitta flies free on two wings; * Wisdom - Compassion *
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: Inequality

Post by muni » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:01 am

Yangthang Rinpoche’s teachings on pure land practices.
https://bodhiactivity.files.wordpress.c ... e-land.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Grigoris » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:03 am

Zhen Li wrote:The difference is that advocating generosity is practical and achievable, advocating equality is not.
What you fail to understand is that it is essentially the same thing, whether it sits with you ideologically or not: If you have 2 and you give 1 then that makes you equal to the one you gave to. Generosity is all about reducing ego clinging.
"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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Re: Inequality

Post by muni » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:57 am

What is meant with equality (as far as I understand) is not a person/thought being able to see every thing/everyone as being equal. This is the same as it is not possible to purify all phenomena by an independent one.

Equality arises by recognition how all appears and is, within own being (not within thoughts), just like peace arises within.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Kaccāni » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:15 am

Zhen Li wrote: Yes, it is lovely and getting better all the time. If we compare disease now to any period in the past, now is better than ever. That isn't the only measures also, there's also infant mortality: decreasing, poverty: decreasing, lifespan: increasing, and so on. That by no means means it will keep improving forever, but it's something nice at least.
Disease is just part of it, neither good nor bad, it just is. Death comes by many reasons, and there will be one for everything which has been born. Disease is there because something else has been called "healthy". Trying to make everybody healthy is as delusory as trying to make black white. The body you have will endure a certain amount of changes, then some part of it will fail. So what. It happens with everybody. In fact, if you subtract children's deaths and infectious diseases (the latter ones are only a temporary effect that will backfire once we cannot keep up finding new, altered medications), we're not really healthier than before. Society has this tendency to eat up any progress we would make and optimize on other terms.

Poverty is there as long as other people are rich. Trying to make everybody rich would be an equally delusory thing. Trying to make everybody equally (non-)wealthy is also a delusory enterprise, since it is the nature of the universe to express in waves, not linearly. The mistake was to measure "well-being" in terms of montary wealth.

Trying to beat the fundamentals of the universe will only bring more suffering. And as far as I am concerned, that is not what Buddhism is about.

Best wishes
Gwenn
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Re: Inequality

Post by muni » Thu Sep 11, 2014 11:06 am

Gwenn Dana wrote:
Zhen Li wrote: Yes, it is lovely and getting better all the time. If we compare disease now to any period in the past, now is better than ever. That isn't the only measures also, there's also infant mortality: decreasing, poverty: decreasing, lifespan: increasing, and so on. That by no means means it will keep improving forever, but it's something nice at least.
Disease is just part of it, neither good nor bad, it just is. Death comes by many reasons, and there will be one for everything which has been born. Disease is there because something else has been called "healthy". Trying to make everybody healthy is as delusory as trying to make black white. The body you have will endure a certain amount of changes, then some part of it will fail. So what. It happens with everybody. In fact, if you subtract children's deaths and infectious diseases (the latter ones are only a temporary effect that will backfire once we cannot keep up finding new, altered medications), we're not really healthier than before. Society has this tendency to eat up any progress we would make and optimize on other terms.

Poverty is there as long as other people are rich. Trying to make everybody rich would be an equally delusory thing. Trying to make everybody equally (non-)wealthy is also a delusory enterprise, since it is the nature of the universe to express in waves, not linearly. The mistake was to measure "well-being" in terms of montary wealth.

Trying to beat the fundamentals of the universe will only bring more suffering. And as far as I am concerned, that is not what Buddhism is about.

Best wishes
Gwenn
Lifting beyond limitations of apprehended this and that in which there is always imperfection.
“ Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek. ”
H H Dalai Lama

"Relax." nirvana-samsara do not stray from spaciousness.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Zhen Li » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:33 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:The difference is that advocating generosity is practical and achievable, advocating equality is not.
What you fail to understand is that it is essentially the same thing, whether it sits with you ideologically or not: If you have 2 and you give 1 then that makes you equal to the one you gave to. Generosity is all about reducing ego clinging.
Firstly, the goal isn't equality. You don't give until you're equal, you give whenever asked. You give wishing the recipient to be able to achieve bodhi and be our teacher as the Buddha.

Secondly, if the goal is equality we're thinking with the comparative mind - better, worse, richer, poorer, envy, stinginess. Me, you. Self, other.

One needs to know that equality already exists, and still be able to give. In your world, equality means no more giving. In Dharma, giving is infinite and endless.
Mkoll wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:. . .
You've compared this world to a pure land. I'd always assumed that pure lands were blissful places completely without the kind of gross and worldly suffering we experience here, e.g. hunger, thirst, disease, injury, and other physical afflictions of the body. I don't know much about pure lands in Mahayana/Vajrayana doctrine but that's the impression I get.

But from what you're saying, it sounds like pure lands can have gross and worldly suffering as well. Is that true?
Perhaps to help clarify. The way I practice is that ch'an (or emptiness practice) isn't distinguishable from pureland practice. This world is blissful, it's all a question of practice before you realise it.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Grigoris » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:36 pm

Zhen Li wrote:Firstly, the goal isn't equality. You don't give until you're equal, you give whenever asked. You give wishing the recipient to be able to achieve bodhi and be our teacher as the Buddha.
Yeah whatever, if it helps you overcome your cognitive dissonance: GO FOR IT!
Secondly, if the goal is equality we're thinking with the comparative mind - better, worse, richer, poorer, envy, stinginess. Me, you. Self, other.
The goal is generosity, the outcome is... prepare for more cognitive dissonance. :smile:
"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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Re: Inequality

Post by Mkoll » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:10 pm

Mkoll wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:. . .
You've compared this world to a pure land. I'd always assumed that pure lands were blissful places completely without the kind of gross and worldly suffering we experience here, e.g. hunger, thirst, disease, injury, and other physical afflictions of the body. I don't know much about pure lands in Mahayana/Vajrayana doctrine but that's the impression I get.

But from what you're saying, it sounds like pure lands can have gross and worldly suffering as well. Is that true?
Perhaps to help clarify. The way I practice is that ch'an (or emptiness practice) isn't distinguishable from pureland practice. This world is blissful, it's all a question of practice before you realise it.[/quote]
That doesn't really answer my question, which I'll rephrase:

Are pure lands supposed to have gross suffering (e.g. hunger, thirst, disease, injury, and other afflictions of the body) like we have in this world?
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Inequality

Post by Zhen Li » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:34 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:
Zhen Li wrote:Firstly, the goal isn't equality. You don't give until you're equal, you give whenever asked. You give wishing the recipient to be able to achieve bodhi and be our teacher as the Buddha.
Yeah whatever, if it helps you overcome your cognitive dissonance: GO FOR IT!
Secondly, if the goal is equality we're thinking with the comparative mind - better, worse, richer, poorer, envy, stinginess. Me, you. Self, other.
The goal is generosity, the outcome is... prepare for more cognitive dissonance. :smile:
This isn't cognitive dissonance. The goal is realisation, not material betterment. If it were material betterment, you would close your fist to someone who you perceived as having enough.
Mkoll wrote:Are pure lands supposed to have gross suffering (e.g. hunger, thirst, disease, injury, and other afflictions of the body) like we have in this world?
Maybe I can suggest joining the Pure Land reading discussion group. The book they are reading explains all this far better than I can in a few sentences here. The question doesn't fundamentally apply, na upeti. If you just want superficial answers, you can say: both yes, and no. But it's better to be accurate.

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Re: Inequality

Post by Grigoris » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:05 am

Zhen Li wrote:This isn't cognitive dissonance. The goal is realisation, not material betterment. If it were material betterment, you would close your fist to someone who you perceived as having enough.
Obviously it is too painful for you to simply admit that generosity, regardless of its aim, leads to material equality. So I will leave you to your delusion. Wouldn't want to burst your bubble or anything.
"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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Re: Inequality

Post by garudha » Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:45 am

Gwenn Dana wrote:
Zhen Li wrote: Yes, it is lovely and getting better all the time. If we compare disease now to any period in the past, now is better than ever. That isn't the only measures also, there's also infant mortality: decreasing, poverty: decreasing, lifespan: increasing, and so on. That by no means means it will keep improving forever, but it's something nice at least.
Disease is just part of it, neither good nor bad, it just is. Death comes by many reasons, and there will be one for everything which has been born. Disease is there because something else has been called "healthy". Trying to make everybody healthy is as delusory as trying to make black white. The body you have will endure a certain amount of changes, then some part of it will fail. So what. It happens with everybody. In fact, if you subtract children's deaths and infectious diseases (the latter ones are only a temporary effect that will backfire once we cannot keep up finding new, altered medications), we're not really healthier than before. Society has this tendency to eat up any progress we would make and optimize on other terms.

Poverty is there as long as other people are rich. Trying to make everybody rich would be an equally delusory thing. Trying to make everybody equally (non-)wealthy is also a delusory enterprise, since it is the nature of the universe to express in waves, not linearly. The mistake was to measure "well-being" in terms of montary wealth.

Trying to beat the fundamentals of the universe will only bring more suffering. And as far as I am concerned, that is not what Buddhism is about.

Best wishes
Gwenn
Good post which provides insight into how your mind(1) judges external equanimity. However; I would say these are simply observations of the universe(2) and not necessarily fundamentals.
(1) I use the word mind, and not universe, for convenience (2) I use the word universe purposefully.

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