Dharma and "political correctness"

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby Ramon1920 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:37 am

As practitioners of a religion with a set of teachings that disagree with and criticize other religions directly or indirectly for holding disastrous and wrong views:

how do we deal with the expectations of "political correctness" from within our own "Buddhist" groups and communities for voicing the Buddhist point of view?
how do we deal with accusations of discrimination or hate speech from within our "Buddhist" groups and communities for voicing the Buddhist POV?


In particular, how do we compensate for the knee jerk rejection of Buddhists teachings regarding:
creator god(s)?
the basis of ethics and what is ethical?
ritual sacrifice of animals and humans?
what constitutes a spiritual attainment?
whether or not a practice or doctrine is wholesome, unwholesome, benign or malignant?

To set the tone of the discussion and to save time, below I have listed a few relevant Buddhist excerpts with their references.

Shantideva speaks about false spiritual paths produced by demonic forces:
"(161) There, as well, demonic force is working hard
To bring about a fall to the most awful rebirth states.
There, (because) there's a profusion of false paths,
Indecisively wavering is so hard to transcend." - Chapter 9 (sPyod-'jug, Bodhisattvacharyavatara)
by Shantideva trans. Berzin 2004


Shantideva refutes a "creator god" religion:
"(124) If what he depends on is a gathering (of conditions),
(Then, again,) the Powerful Lord Ishvara would become
not the cause:
(For,) when they're gathered, he'd lack the power
not to create,
And in their absence, he'd lack the power to create." - Chapter 9 (sPyod-'jug, Bodhisattvacharyavatara)
by Shantideva trans. Berzin 2004


Buddha Shakyamuni refutes a "creator god" who was under the influence of Mara:
"When this was said, I told Mara the Evil One, 'I know you, Evil One. Don't assume, "He doesn't know me." You are Mara, Evil One. And Brahma, and Brahma's assembly, and the attendants of Brahma's assembly have all fallen into your hands. They have all fallen into your power. And you think, "This one, too, has come into my hands, has come under my control." But, Evil One, I have neither come into your hands nor have I come under your control.' - Brahma-nimantanika Sutta trans. Thanissaro http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Buddha Shakyamuni identifies the wrong view of a "creator god":
""And the beings who re-arose there after him also think: 'This must be Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the Vanquisher, the Unvanquished, the Universal Seer, the Wielder of Power, the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being, the Ordainer, the Almighty, the Father of all that are and are to be. And we have been created by him. What is the reason? Because we see that he was here first, and we appeared here after him.'" - Brahmajala 42 trans. Bodhi http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html


Buddha Shakyamuni identifies the attitude of a person who will not make statements about wholesome and unwholesome out of fear and instead uses evasive statements(see eel wriggling):
"62. "Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or a brahmin does not understand as it really is what is wholesome and what is unwholesome. He thinks: 'I do not understand as it really is what is wholesome and what is unwholesome. If, without understanding, I were to declare something to be wholesome or unwholesome, my declaration might be false. If my declaration should be false, that would distress me, and that distress would be an obstacle for me.' Therefore, out of fear and loathing of making a false statement, he does not declare anything to be wholesome or unwholesome. But when he is questioned about this or that point, he resorts to evasive statements and to endless equivocation: "I do not take it thus, nor do I take it in that way, nor do I take it in some other way. I do not say that it is not, nor do I say that it is neither this nor that.' "This, bhikkhus, is the first case." - Brahmajala 62 trans. Bodhi http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html"


Buddha Shakyamuni speaks about people who don't speak about good and bad action due to dullness and stupidity in that regard:
""Herein, bhikkhus, a certain recluse or a brahmin is dull and stupid. Due to his dullness and stupidity, when he is questioned about this or that point, he resorts to evasive statements and to endless equivocation: 'If you ask me whether there is a world beyond — if I thought there is another world, I would declare that there is. But I do not take it thus, nor do I take it in that way, nor do I take it in some other way. I do not say that it is not, nor do I say that is neither this nor that.'"Similarly, when asked any of the following questions, he resorts to the same evasive statements and to endless equivocation:....C.

1. Is there fruit and result of good and bad action?
2. Is there no fruit and result of good and bad action?
3. Is it that there both is and is not fruit and result of good and bad action?
4. Is it that there neither is nor is not fruit and result of good and bad action?" -Brahmajala 65 trans. Bodhi http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html


Buddha Shakyamuni speaks about debased arts like worshipping a "creator god", offerings to gods for favor, ceremonial bathing, and fire offerings which are common in some other religions:
26. "Or he might say: 'Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as: arranging auspicious dates for marriages, both those in which the bride is brought in (from another family) and those in which she is sent out (to another family); arranging auspicious dates for betrothals and divorces; arranging auspicious dates for the accumulation or expenditure of money; reciting charms to make people lucky or unlucky; rejuvenating the fetuses of abortive women; reciting spells to bind a man's tongue, to paralyze his jaws, to make him lose control over his hands, to make him lose control over his jaw, or to bring on deafness; obtaining oracular answers to questions by means of a mirror, a girl, or a god; worshipping the sun; worshipping Mahābrahmā; bringing forth flames from the mouth; invoking the goddess of luck — the recluse Gotama abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts.'

27. "Or he might say: 'Whereas some recluses and brahmins, while living on the food offered by the faithful, earn their living by a wrong means of livelihood, by such debased arts as: promising gifts to deities in return for favors; fulfilling such promises; demonology; reciting spells after entering an earthen house; inducing virility and impotence; preparing and consecrating sites for a house; giving ceremonial mouthwashes and ceremonial bathing; offering sacrificial fires; administering emetics, purgatives, expectorants and phlegmagogues; administering medicine through the ear and through the nose; administering ointments and counter-ointments; practising fine surgery on the eyes and ears; practising general surgery on the body; practising as a children's doctor; the application of medicinal roots; the binding on of medicinal herbs — the recluse Gotama abstains from such wrong means of livelihood, from such debased arts.'" - Brahmajala Sutta trans. Bodhi http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .bodh.html


A common teaching in Vajrayana of the 8 freedoms mentions not being reborn amongst those of other inferior religions:
"The sixth freedom: not being born as a heretic

The sixth freedom is having the freedom to practice Dharma through not being born as a heretic. A heretic is someone who says there are no Four Noble Truths, reincarnation, past and future lives or liberation from the bondage of karma and disturbing thoughts. Heretics may also believe that you can achieve liberation through self-inflicted punishment or that by sacrificing animals or killing people, you can go to heaven. Heretics recognize the path shown by Buddha as a completely wrong path and the teachings of Buddha as evil. Their practices create only heavy negative karma, which causes them to be reborn in the lower realms. Their completely hallucinated beliefs as to what is the path to liberation, or heaven, cannot even protect them from the lower realms. " - Perfect Freedom: The Great Value of Being Human, Lama Zopa http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect ... 2&chid=331


Now in the past I have faced criticism and even censorship amongst "Buddhists" for mentioning these excerpts and/or reiterating their meaning.
So, I am eager to see how we, in this Buddhist forum, will resolve this conflict between:
Society's values of the "political correctness" that rebukes discrimination, malignant or benign, with regard to views and practices and
Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and our own Buddhist values which discriminate malignant or benign, with regard to views and practices.
Ramon1920
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:57 am

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:41 am

Not understanding why Buddhism has no creator god is misunderstanding the entire thing, especially with regard to not understanding what karma is and how it relates to what is seen as "creation".

That is really just a question of whether or not people have bothered reading and a bit of study ...I can't imagine it's worth anyone's time to proselytize though, it's better to have a bunch of people with a few wrong views benefiting from some exposure to Dharma, then to drive them away entirely by being too bombastic.

I've run into the same thing with "God" it's such an entrenched notion in western views of spirituality, that and a totally messed up, soul-centered view of what Karma is, and it definitely seems to create a block towards presenting a coherent Buddhist worldview to people unfamiliar with it. It seems like the good teachers I've seen see it as a slow labor of love to explain this stuff to people with more entrenched ideas about it, for instance the phrase "well this is how it is from the Buddhist perspective seems to quell some of the weird feelings.

I'm also married to an observant Jew, so I know the value of just shutting up and having a live and let live attitude too though.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2146
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby lobster » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:06 am

Dharma is ending.
It has run its remit.
Dharma ends because it is redundant or requires superseding. Many of us are following the remains and the essence of the useful to the best of our abilities.
Contention with the above or other beliefs is a waste of energy. Political correctness is finding what is efficacious and applying it. What else can we do? :meditate:
User avatar
lobster
 
Posts: 910
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:06 pm

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby jeeprs » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:03 am

I really don't like that anti-theistic polemical side of Buddhism. Considering the amount of sectarian division in the world, I think we're better off trying to build bridges than walls.

At the outset, let me state that Buddhism is not atheistic as the term is ordinarily understood. It has certainly a God, the highest reality and truth, through which and in which this universe exists. However, the followers of Buddhism usually avoid the term God, for it savors so much of Christianity, whose spirit is not always exactly in accord with the Buddhist interpretation of religious experience.


Soyen Shaku
He that knows it, knows it not.
User avatar
jeeprs
 
Posts: 1411
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 8:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby oushi » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:16 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Not understanding why Buddhism has no creator god is misunderstanding the entire thing, especially with regard to not understanding what karma is and how it relates to what is seen as "creation".


I determine all events and meanings.
Because no object exist which are not me,
You are beyond perspective or meditation.
Because there does not exist any protection other then me,
You are beyond charismatic activity to be sought.
Because there is no state other then me,
You are beyond stages to cultivate.
Because in me there are, from the beginning, no obstacles,
You are beyond all obstacles, self-arising pristine awareness just is.
[..]
I, the creativity of the universe,
Arise as the teacher, in five forms of pure and total presence.
[..]
Listen, because all you beings of the the three realms
Were made by me, the creativity of the universe,
You are my children, equal to me.

- from the Jewel Ship


Do you still think that you have it all figured out?

To the OP. In society, populism is a stronger force then truth by definition. Unfortunately, truth is not always populistic. Thus, political correctness shouldn't be the path.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1362
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am
Location: Chrząszczyrzewoszyce

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby muni » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:25 pm

Discriminations or holding on our view among the variety of buddhist fellows is a kind of not recognized problem in own mind. But temporary like all things.
Cannot be the meaning of the Buddha to sow confusion, which should just be another wind of samsara. But it is possible that we first need to hold on our form of Buddhism in order to get it and then our view opens in viewless in which no any discrimination is.
muni
 
Posts: 2735
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:59 am

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby JKhedrup » Sat Aug 10, 2013 3:47 pm

It is important to have the discernment to know when a debate is appropriate and when it is better to emphasize the commonalities of Buddhism and other traditions. As HHDL has mentioned, it is very sad when religious systems become a source of conflict.
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
-Sakya Pandita
JKhedrup
Former staff member
 
Posts: 1945
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 8:28 am
Location: the Netherlands and India

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:52 am

No Oushi I don't think I have it all figured out, but I feel ok about the standard Buddhist position on a creator God and causality. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama states his opinion clearly on these things in his writings. I can point out examples if you'd like. Belief in a causal creator God is contrary to the Buddhist understanding of Karma, and in fact all of Buddhist cosmology. Without that understanding of causality much of Buddhism can't be contextualized..the purpose of meditation, karma, dependent origination.. That shouldn't be a controversial statement. Just stating what has been Buddhist doctrine since the beginning should not be seen as a claim of authority on my part either...

There are many Buddhist text, like The All-Creating King etc. that seem theistic in the sense of theistic religions, but are not upon examination. So quotes like yours do not do anything to dissuade me personally that Buddhism is a thoroughly non-theistic worldview in any conventional use of the term.

At any rate, it's a matter of discretion when and when not to bring these things up in terms of discussing Buddhism, and I agree with the camp that would err on the side of discretion.

The paper that Jeeprs posted seems to me an example of a great way to find common ground with theists, while our ideas about causality and how the world exists may be very different, sometimes people's fears can be allayed by the understand that Buddhism does indeed believe in some kind of "ultimate", though it is of course a big source of controversy what that might be.

I think Ramon can be caustic in his presentation of things, but I also things he brings up a good point here. I have been around Buddhists that not only don't seem interested in reconciling the parts of the doctrine that conflict with their conditioned views (this being one small example), but sometimes they seem downright reluctant to even admit that Buddhism teaches anything at all other than just meditating and feeling great...so I understand where he is coming from in asking the question.

It also occurs to me the answer is different here maybe if you are talking to non-Buddhists who just want to practice meditation and what not, but if one is discussing Buddhism, at some point the issue comes up.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2146
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Aug 11, 2013 7:18 am

oushi wrote:
I determine all events and meanings.
Because no object exist which are not me,
You are beyond perspective or meditation.
Because there does not exist any protection other then me,
You are beyond charismatic activity to be sought.
Because there is no state other then me,
You are beyond stages to cultivate.
Because in me there are, from the beginning, no obstacles,
You are beyond all obstacles, self-arising pristine awareness just is.
[..]
I, the creativity of the universe,
Arise as the teacher, in five forms of pure and total presence.
[..]
Listen, because all you beings of the the three realms
Were made by me, the creativity of the universe,
You are my children, equal to me.

- from the Jewel Ship


Do you still think that you have it all figured out?
The only thing the text you quoted really shows me is that you should get a qualified teacher to point a few things out to you like, for example, how tantric texts should be analysed and understood based on their outer, inner, secret and ultimate meanings. They will probably tell you that Longchenpa, teaching from a sems sde position, is not talking about an external creator deity, but about the mind as creator of all perceived reality.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7899
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby oushi » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:36 am

They will probably tell you that Longchenpa, teaching from a sems sde position, is not talking about an external creator deity, but about the mind as creator of all perceived reality.

The word "external" makes a big difference, and you are the one who added it. Pay attention to what is written.
Without "external", the only difference between God and mind lies in naming. Even in mystical christianity God is not treated as something external. I is not my fault that people see God as an old man sitting on a cloud.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1362
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am
Location: Chrząszczyrzewoszyce

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:21 am

Stop wasting your time and yourself a teacher. It will be of immense benefit to your practice.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7899
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby oushi » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:47 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Stop wasting your time and yourself a teacher. It will be of immense benefit to your practice.

Thank you for this advice, but it has nothing to do with the topic. You are trying to be clever again without having anything to say. Relax.

PS. "Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth." This quote seems to fit perfectly to your constantly repeated advice.
User avatar
oushi
 
Posts: 1362
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:18 am
Location: Chrząszczyrzewoszyce

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:27 pm

I don't think Greg is trying to just be clever, but you don't seem to know what he is talking about, and maybe have little familiarity with the context of texts like these.

The explanation Greg is giving can be found in commentaries etc. some of which are publicly available and as far as I know, this is the standard explanation - mind as creator...I have yet to see a Buddhist interpretation of this or similar text that puts it in a theistic light, so an interpretation like that usually betrays lack of familiarity on the part of the writer, rather than some scholarly finding, or revelation of a Theistic Buddhism.

You can find the same thing on the web from people who (usually fairly obviously) haven't even put in the bare minimum of time to read any commentaries, contextualize, or ask a teacher (if I can tell they are lacking info, they are REALLY lacking info lol) but instead went "whoah must be Theistic talks about a creator" and present it as some revelation, when in fact at least by Buddhist standards, this is a flawed interpretation based on lack of information, context etc., and the question was settled long ago.
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2146
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:13 pm

oushi wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Stop wasting your time and yourself a teacher. It will be of immense benefit to your practice.

Thank you for this advice, but it has nothing to do with the topic. You are trying to be clever again without having anything to say. Relax.

PS. "Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the
ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth." This quote seems to fit perfectly to your constantly repeated advice.
Take it any way you please.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 7899
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Dharma and "political correctness"

Postby tidathep » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:15 pm

Sawaddee Ka... "gregkavarnos"

Just want to tell you that you're a very nice moderator.

Image

Sincerely,
tidathep :namaste:
User avatar
tidathep
 
Posts: 471
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:26 am


Return to Open Dharma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alfredo, smcj and 13 guests

>