Anders wrote:I can only imagine kirtu has never lived outside western society if he imagines "all of western culture as a font of death and misery."
Yes I have. Hawaiian culture is unique, not Asia and not a total adherent to the US monoculture although deeply influenced by it. Kamehameha I's wars of unification were so bloody that the aftermath was that the Hawaiian people were essentially oriented to pacifism. This is not necessarily obvious because Hawaiians are fairly pro-military. The 30's/40's saw legendary martial arts schools activity (back then few non-Asians could study in those schools [this continued in some places up to the early 70's] with Kenpo being developed as a synthetic no-holds bared fighting art). Then there was the infamous "kill haole [white person] day" in high schools and later drug violence. Nonetheless Hawaii has developed as a true melting pot. The society is actually overwhelmingly opposed to war and violence. Even though deeply affected by US conservatism (this is afterall the fundamental mode of thought in the US) it is probably the first place that social democracy will appear in the US using community well-being as a basis.
Why do the people living long term in Hawaii gravitate in this direction? Because of the overwhelming power of nature, as well as Buddhist and Christian (mostly Methodist) values that permeate society.
Western society as a font of death and misery: really do I need to elaborate on this? It's difficult to even begin to elaborate the stream of death. The 20th century was nothing but a river of blood, mostly centred on Europe with horrific misery imposed on millions. The 19th century before it was a lull before the storm but it too was a stream of blood (originating in Europe and visited mostly on North America and Africa).
Tell us more about this utopian Dharmic society. How is it governed? By whom? And how is power retained? Which rights shall be renounced in order to ensure the supremacy of Dharmic principles. How are these Dharmic principles determined?
The reason western society created death and misery and imposed these on millions of people is because the cultures permit that to happen. By which I mean specifically the thought patterns that are typical of the societies permit thoughts of harm to arise in individual minds as a consequence of evaluating a situation or a problem. So over time we make it less likely for those thought forms to arise. And we do this by changing the priorities of the rules that people use to evaluate situations. We do this by establishing universal compassion and kindness as the highest priorities followed by (ideally preceded with) viewing human beings as fundamentally divine and not as units of exploitation. We just emphasize these ideals.
"Set your heart on virtue: Virtue's outcome is delight".
“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”