Human Nature, Politics, and Culture

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Human Nature, Politics, and Culture

Postby kirtu » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:00 pm

Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?

Kirt
Last edited by Mr. G on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Mod Edit: Topic Split from the following thread: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=8649
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“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby treehuggingoctopus » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:05 pm

kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?


Why, you've just listed most of the stuff we should be saving the West from :-)
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby greentreee » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:20 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?


Why, you've just listed most of the stuff we should be saving the West from :-)


i think "west" is being distorted here. one thing i've learned from native american culture is to give back to the earth, after one has taken something from it. for example, if one cuts a tree down for what ever purpose, place tabacco where the tree was removed. from my analysis it makes one mindful of what we take from the earth, since it is the earth that provide for us.

for an example of the strangeness of "western science" and this purely based on my own research, is that regardless of all the advancements made in medical science, they finally decided to do research in the long term effects of concussions and multiple concussions, this began in 2009. i find it funny considering how long humans have been beating each other over the head and some instances still do.

also, until science can find a way for humans to no longer be dependent on fossil fuels, it's very hard to say how things will end up. since we can never know what role those fossil fuel's played in the functioning of the earths eco system prior to their extractions. we can only know the effects of what happened after the fact.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby dharmagoat » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:24 pm

kirtu wrote:Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?

Touché. It is easy to see why so many of us want to be Tibetans.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:39 pm

kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?

Kirt


I'll take Mozart over Tuva any day of the week, to say nothing o modern music. Same goes for the Impressionists or the Group of Seven over most Tibetan art. We have nothing to teach the Tibetans about hypocrisy and if the Kalu Yangsi is to be believed, child abuse either. As to the other qualities, they are crimes of opportunity that I don't think would have been resisted by Tibetans if they had the chance.

So let's see:

Science
Mathematics
Music
Arts
Moral philosophy
Democracy
Gender equality
Transparency and accountability in public institutions
Etc.

You really think there is so little of value in our own society?
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Simon E. » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:41 pm

:good:
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby greentreee » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:58 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?

Kirt


I'll take Mozart over Tuva any day of the week, to say nothing o modern music. Same goes for the Impressionists or the Group of Seven over most Tibetan art. We have nothing to teach the Tibetans about hypocrisy and if the Kalu Yangsi is to be believed, child abuse either. As to the other qualities, they are crimes of opportunity that I don't think would have been resisted by Tibetans if they had the chance.

So let's see:

Science
Mathematics
Music
Arts
Moral philosophy
Democracy
Gender equality
Transparency and accountability in public institutions
Etc.

You really think there is so little of value in our own society?



well, lets see where some of these came from...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_democracy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhism
this encompasses such things as philosophy and art

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matriarchy
women's rights/gender equality


anyways, not trying to argue, just sharing some historical perspective.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:24 pm

greentreee wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?


i think "west" is being distorted here. one thing i've learned from native american culture is to give back to the earth, after one has taken something from it. for example, if one cuts a tree down for what ever purpose, place tabacco where the tree was removed. from my analysis it makes one mindful of what we take from the earth, since it is the earth that provide for us.



That principle is true (not necessarily with tabacco of course). But it's not an element of western culture.

for an example of the strangeness of "western science" and this purely based on my own research, is that regardless of all the advancements made in medical science, they finally decided to do research in the long term effects of concussions and multiple concussions, this began in 2009. i find it funny considering how long humans have been beating each other over the head and some instances still do.


The reason science is an important element is that it is repeatable and verifiable. In other words a claim can be tested for truth or accuracy (a claim is falsifiable).

In fact medicine has been going lots of research on concussions. The more recent conclusions pertain to the accumulated long-term effects of low-level head injuries.

also, until science can find a way for humans to no longer be dependent on fossil fuels,


We have had ways to end dependence on fossil fuels since 1954 (the first solar cell) and 1956 (the first commercial nuclear reactor). The problem has always been that people have declared solar power (in it's now multiple forms) too expensive and have not engineered nuclear power plants for complete safety. Short of practical fusion power, solar energy is in fact the killer energy app that can power humanity on this plant for 3-4B years. Properly engineered nuclear power (and yes, we do have these kinds of plants non-commercially) can eliminate electricity concerns until we can replace fossil fuels completely with solar power. The reason we haven't done this already is due to ignorance about science and the mindless assertion of the primacy of resource allocation based on money.

Still, the question I raised was what elements of western culture are worth preserving? Is there a western culture beyond mindless entertainment and the acquisition of resources (the compulsive need for resource acquisition is explicitly listed as one of the sufferings in the human realm in the Sakya tradition)? In fact HHDL has said that fundamentally there is not much difference between Tibetan and western culture and has cited concerns primarily about work and home life as two major commonalities.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:37 pm

Karma Dorje wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?

Kirt


I'll take Mozart over Tuva any day of the week, to say nothing o modern music. Same goes for the Impressionists or the Group of Seven over most Tibetan art. We have nothing to teach the Tibetans about hypocrisy and if the Kalu Yangsi is to be believed, child abuse either. As to the other qualities, they are crimes of opportunity that I don't think would have been resisted by Tibetans if they had the chance.

So let's see:

Science
Mathematics
Music
Arts
Moral philosophy
Democracy
Gender equality
Transparency and accountability in public institutions
Etc.


Oh please. Most of these are new innovations that are still in development and we have had piecemeal in parts of the west for less than 100 years. You read right. In the US for example we've had democracy since 1964 (passage of the Civil Rights Law of 1964) at most. Since LGTB people were just declared human at a federal level in the last year I would assert that we're still struggling with democracy and we're not there yet. Most of Europe has had democracy since 1945, some of Europe less than 100 years before that.

Gender equality: we do not have this in the US, it didn't exist in Switzerland before 1992 or so, it was acknowledged as a legal notion in Germany apparently before 1933 but I can tell you that it didn't really exist in Germany when I was living there in the early 80's.

Transparency and accountability in public institutions - we do not have this in the US although it exists in principle. This also doesn't actually exist in any country that I am familiar with except maybe Iceland.

Moral philosophy - since much of the west had legalized and explicit slavery up to the mid-1800's this has been more an explicit failure of western societies. Since most western societies pursued explicit persecution of and often turned a blind eye to the murders of LGBT people until quite recently I think that moral philosophy is not something you can assert as a success. We could then move on to racism and age discrimination, etc.

So you like western art and music. Okay. Maybe games and sports too?

You really think there is so little of value in our own society?


Yes.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby greentreee » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:50 pm

kirtu wrote:
greentreee wrote:
kirtu wrote:Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?


i think "west" is being distorted here. one thing i've learned from native american culture is to give back to the earth, after one has taken something from it. for example, if one cuts a tree down for what ever purpose, place tabacco where the tree was removed. from my analysis it makes one mindful of what we take from the earth, since it is the earth that provide for us.



That principle is true (not necessarily with tabacco of course). But it's not an element of western culture.

for an example of the strangeness of "western science" and this purely based on my own research, is that regardless of all the advancements made in medical science, they finally decided to do research in the long term effects of concussions and multiple concussions, this began in 2009. i find it funny considering how long humans have been beating each other over the head and some instances still do.


The reason science is an important element is that it is repeatable and verifiable. In other words a claim can be tested for truth or accuracy (a claim is falsifiable).

In fact medicine has been going lots of research on concussions. The more recent conclusions pertain to the accumulated long-term effects of low-level head injuries.

also, until science can find a way for humans to no longer be dependent on fossil fuels,


We have had ways to end dependence on fossil fuels since 1954 (the first solar cell) and 1956 (the first commercial nuclear reactor). The problem has always been that people have declared solar power (in it's now multiple forms) too expensive and have not engineered nuclear power plants for complete safety. Short of practical fusion power, solar energy is in fact the killer energy app that can power humanity on this plant for 3-4B years. Properly engineered nuclear power (and yes, we do have these kinds of plants non-commercially) can eliminate electricity concerns until we can replace fossil fuels completely with solar power. The reason we haven't done this already is due to ignorance about science and the mindless assertion of the primacy of resource allocation based on money.

Still, the question I raised was what elements of western culture are worth preserving? Is there a western culture beyond mindless entertainment and the acquisition of resources (the compulsive need for resource acquisition is explicitly listed as one of the sufferings in the human realm in the Sakya tradition)? In fact HHDL has said that fundamentally there is not much difference between Tibetan and western culture and has cited concerns primarily about work and home life as two major commonalities.

Kirt



thanks for the reply. my main point was regarding how the term "west" gets skewed into a particular perspective. for example westerners, can mean north american or europeans, or both. and when they get lumped together it seems that as if there was no other culture prior to colonial times. i see this often in the media as well, it's almost as if native americans get pushed to the side and back on to the reserve where they tended to be out of sight, out of mind.

regarding the concussion issue, i'm not so sure "medicine" is progressing towards understanding the long term of effects of multiple concussions, but I could be wrong. I am fully aware of many effects of concussions on a personal level, since it took me years to get bits and pieces of information regarding particular effects, in order to understand why things were occurring in my own head.

the other comment regarding the use of fossil fuels was more about getting humans to act, not the creation of materials, for the creation of materials requires materials. another example of the attempt to create alternative energy could easily be the car Henry Ford created prior to the marijuana tax act from back in the 1930s. i'm all for fixing what's wrong, btw, nihilism tends to get me sunk in oblivion.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Virgo » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:03 pm

kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?

Kirt

As far as hypocrisy goes, that is just how humans have been; it has nothing to do with the West oer se. The East had done this as well to some degree, and is no stranger from genocides and genocidal attempts, nor crusades. Rapacious capatalism not the best yeah but out of it gave the drive and ingenuity that created the lightbulb, the computer you are working on, your automobile, etc. In short we can say the reason you are able to get into any Dharma teachings in your area is due to Western advances. Also the reason there is no State religion that you must practice by law is due to western philosophical systems that influenced our governments, not just because a King is being nice. Western medicine is great too. It saved my life when I had appendicitis. Some of our family values are great, democracy is great, a distaste for tyranny is good, belief that man can be self-governing. The West has produced great things, and there have been many great people in our societies throughout history.

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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Sönam » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:06 pm

kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?

Kirt


IT is not fair, one could set an identical list for Tibetan culture, which would not be representative of it ... hypocrisy, excessive feudalism, child abuse ...

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:12 pm

greentreee wrote:...it seems that as if there was no other culture prior to colonial times. i see this often in the media as well, it's almost as if native americans get pushed to the side and back on to the reserve where they tended to be out of sight, out of mind.


This is a good point but American Indians were not a part of the invader European cultures that developed into the west by definition. Over 400 years American Indians may have become assimilated to a large degree although that is unclear. What is clear is that traditional American Indian values have largely lost their meaning. In Hawai'i this was finally opposed in the early 1980's, the Hawaiian language was revived and Hawaiian culture was more largely revived. I don't know how far that has gone. In hs a friend of mine was studying to be a kahuna. I don't know how far he got with his training. On the Mainland some American Indian groups have taken some action to restore native culture. Again this is in progress. Not all native values were positive though. The Cherokee and others held slaves for example.


i'm all for fixing what's wrong, btw, nihilism tends to get me sunk in oblivion.


I'm all for fixing what is wrong too. Western (or northern) cultures have largely but not completely solved problems of shelter, heat and food (unless you are forced to be a homeless person). Some western societies have solved the problem of medicine (the US has not). No one has really solved the problem of education. Some societies have solved the problems of protection of the individuals from government and business exploitation but these are usually just partial solutions.

Namkhai Norbu has said that he loves his culture and wants to preserve his culture (why? Tibetan culture is samsaric and is thus a source of suffering). Sonam said we need to preserve our culture too. Perhaps he was talking about French culture - so what's so great about French culture that we need to preserve it? Same with Dutch culture (although they have a nice balance between personal liberty and social community resulting in a well functioning democracy). Same with German culture (hiking in the woods is good, but as we saw 60 yrs ago even that can be perverted and bent to the goals of evil people). We can walk down the line. What values are worth preserving that we would identify as western? Sagen as an example basically suggested math, science, music and art as did Karma Dorje before he added the myths of western democracies (and in this case I mean myth not as an organizing story but as myth as a falsehood).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:19 pm

Sönam wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?

Kirt


IT is not fair, one could set an identical list for Tibetan culture, which would not be representative of it ... hypocrisy, excessive feudalism, child abuse ...

Sönam


That's true. I was surprised at Namkhai Norbu's statement as Tibetan culture is samsaric also. What should be preserved in human societies beyond science and mathematics (oh and engineering)? This is a critical question, BTW. What we see is the rise of consumerism world wide. Consumerism can be positive since it can deliver goods and services people need as long as they can pay for it (because consumerism also means rationing through a money mechanism) but mostly consumerism just papers over people's material poverty and distracts people from spiritual and community activities and possibilities.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Sönam » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:22 pm

KIrt, I understand that you are a bit touchy regarding the way modern western culture behave, it's very destructive ... And I'm not the last one to claim it is so. Nevertheless that cannot eradicate hundred years of philosophes, writers, poets, musician, painters, activists, human right, women's rights, child protection and many others, also it is not perfect on those points too.

Sönam
By understanding everything you perceive from the perspective of the view, you are freed from the constraints of philosophical beliefs.
By understanding that any and all mental activity is meditation, you are freed from arbitrary divisions between formal sessions and postmeditation activity.
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby greentreee » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:47 pm

kirtu wrote:
greentreee wrote:...it seems that as if there was no other culture prior to colonial times. i see this often in the media as well, it's almost as if native americans get pushed to the side and back on to the reserve where they tended to be out of sight, out of mind.


This is a good point but American Indians were not a part of the invader European cultures that developed into the west by definition. Over 400 years American Indians may have become assimilated to a large degree although that is unclear. What is clear is that traditional American Indian values have largely lost their meaning. In Hawai'i this was finally opposed in the early 1980's, the Hawaiian language was revived and Hawaiian culture was more largely revived. I don't know how far that has gone. In hs a friend of mine was studying to be a kahuna. I don't know how far he got with his training. On the Mainland some American Indian groups have taken some action to restore native culture. Again this is in progress. Not all native values were positive though. The Cherokee and others held slaves for example.


i'm all for fixing what's wrong, btw, nihilism tends to get me sunk in oblivion.


I'm all for fixing what is wrong too. Western (or northern) cultures have largely but not completely solved problems of shelter, heat and food (unless you are forced to be a homeless person). Some western societies have solved the problem of medicine (the US has not). No one has really solved the problem of education. Some societies have solved the problems of protection of the individuals from government and business exploitation but these are usually just partial solutions.

Namkhai Norbu has said that he loves his culture and wants to preserve his culture (why? Tibetan culture is samsaric and is thus a source of suffering). Sonam said we need to preserve our culture too. Perhaps he was talking about French culture - so what's so great about French culture that we need to preserve it? Same with Dutch culture (although they have a nice balance between personal liberty and social community resulting in a well functioning democracy). Same with German culture (hiking in the woods is good, but as we saw 60 yrs ago even that can be perverted and bent to the goals of evil people). We can walk down the line. What values are worth preserving that we would identify as western? Sagen as an example basically suggested math, science, music and art as did Karma Dorje before he added the myths of western democracies (and in this case I mean myth not as an organizing story but as myth as a falsehood).

Kirt


well, i won't go into the assimilation debate here and simply say that i have and have had several native friends over the years, some live on reserves some don't.

next, i have been homeless, twice in fact and had some interesting experiences, to say the least. I also spent 7 of the last 10 years without running water, so i have some experience with regards to what you mention.

ha, le français eh? i am aware of the french culture debate, at least more in canada, than in France. being in canada i hear lots of opinions. my adoption papers say i'm part french. again, assimilation is something that comes up in this debate as well.

i'd have to say some western foods are great! i enjoy other aspects of life, but some aren't exclusive to any region, for example photography. and what would i do without the internet?
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Karma Dorje » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:48 pm

Kirt,

I am not going to get into a tit-for-tat discussion of your disenfranchisement or the shortcomings of the country you live in. My wife is Haitian and my children are mixed, so I am more sensitive to the vulgarities of the American body politic than the average person and choose not to live there on account of it. But are you really going to dismiss our legacy of literature and philosophy simply because the entire society has not lived up to the highest ideals expressed therein? Do you find nothing of worth in Thoreau, Emerson, Alcott and Hawthorne?

While we are at it, there is much brilliance in French thought, from Voltaire to Baudelaire to Derrida to Merleau-Ponty... much beauty in its contemporary music from Edith Piaf to Charles Aznavour to Joe Dassin to the plethora of modern musicians. We should disregard all of this because of Napoleon? Quel dommage.

The same goes for all of the many cultures that make up the "West". What is the point of discarding all of value and beauty in our own cultures? We will *never* be accepted in Tibetan society. Anyone who has spent time amongst Tibetans know what the average Tibetan thinks of "Injies". I do appreciate the good elements of Tibetan society and I certainly hope they manage to preserve the important aspects of their culture in the diaspora, but I simply disagree that we must turn our backs on what is good here. We would be missing an opportunity for engagement, and would be the poorer for it.

All the best,

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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby kirtu » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:31 am

Virgo wrote:
kirtu wrote:
Sönam wrote:That is Rinpoche's karma, he is born Tibetan ... he certainly should do that. Same as our culture is important for us, we must save our culture.


Aside from science and mathematics, what elements of western culture are important to the human race: hypocrisy, perfected industrial genocide, rapacious capitalism, environmental and natural resource rape, child abuse? What noble attributes of western culture exist?

Kirt

As far as hypocrisy goes, that is just how humans have been;


Good point!

The East had done this as well to some degree, and is no stranger from genocides and genocidal attempts, nor crusades.


The East didn't create death factories but I doubt that matters much in light of the killing fields.

Rapacious capatalism not the best yeah but out of it gave the drive and ingenuity that created the lightbulb,


I guess I'll accept this because this does seem to be the historical context.

the computer you are working on,


No the computer did not come from rapacious capitalism. The computer is inevitable from Hilbert's question on decidability. Even without the question the computer was inevitable as it appears that Babbage's Difference and Analytic Engines could actually have been build with mid-1800's technology. Bush and others created programmable mechanical calculator's in the 20's and electronic analog computers have been around since 1912. In fact analog computers in various forms have been around for almost 2000 years. But most telling, Konrad Zuse appears to have created the first stored program electronic computer around 1942 in Berlin, most definitely *NOT* under a capitalist system. If you don't accept that then the first electronic stored program computer is the Whirlwind or the Eniac from von Neuman's group 44-45 (and that history goes back to U. Penn, 36).

Computers were inevitable from human computing activity no matter what the economic system. However in our world it took WW II and the Cold War to begin the current stage of computer development.

your automobile,


Automobiles were created under several different societies in the late 1880's. They too were inevitable.

In short we can say the reason you are able to get into any Dharma teachings in your area is due to Western advances.


No this isn't true. I know lots of people who grew up in the US with Dharma teaching. You forget or don't know that Dharma teaching has been in the US for 150 years.


Also the reason there is no State religion that you must practice by law is due to western philosophical systems that influenced our governments, not just because a King is being nice.


I'm not sure I buy this. The west had forms of this (it still arguably does in Germany and Austria where Catholics and Protestants used to until very recently pay a tax to the respective church) until the 1800's or later.

Western medicine is great too.


It is. As long as you can afford access to it. I no longer can and as a result have no access to health care.

Some of our family values are great,


That's a tough sell for me. It seems to me that children have few protections.

democracy is great,


Sure where it exists, but I was born a US citizen and therefore don't live in a democracy, even though I was born in one (although I would have been born in one of the worst tyrannies in history just a few years before).

The West has produced great things, and there have been many great people in our societies throughout history.


The primary impulse of the west is to control other people and restrict their creativity through serfdom. Marx was essentially correct on this point.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

“All beings are Buddhas, but obscured by incidental stains. When those have been removed, there is Buddhahood.”
Hevajra Tantra
kirtu
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Virgo » Sat Jun 02, 2012 3:50 am

Hi Kirt :)

kirtu wrote:
The East didn't create death factories but I doubt that matters much in light of the killing fields.


In this instance we are just talking about human nature. An uncountable amount of people have been slaughtered in the East. Red China, the Muslim invasions, etc.

kirtu wrote:No the computer did not come from rapacious capitalism. The computer is inevitable from Hilbert's question on decidability. Even without the question the computer was inevitable as it appears that Babbage's Difference and Analytic Engines could actually have been build with mid-1800's technology. Bush and others created programmable mechanical calculator's in the 20's and electronic analog computers have been around since 1912. In fact analog computers in various forms have been around for almost 2000 years. But most telling, Konrad Zuse appears to have created the first stored program electronic computer around 1942 in Berlin, most definitely *NOT* under a capitalist system. If you don't accept that then the first electronic stored program computer is the Whirlwind or the Eniac from von Neuman's group 44-45 (and that history goes back to U. Penn, 36).

Computers were inevitable from human computing activity no matter what the economic system.

I can accept that. However, I think capatalism plays a big part in the speed of advances we find in technology, in the computer industry as well. This doesn't mean I am huge into capatalism either...

your automobile,


Automobiles were created under several different societies in the late 1880's. They too were inevitable.[/quote]
Yes, I can give you that one as well.


Also the reason there is no State religion that you must practice by law is due to western philosophical systems that influenced our governments, not just because a King is being nice.

I'm not sure I buy this. The west had forms of this (it still arguably does in Germany and Austria where Catholics and Protestants used to until very recently pay a tax to the respective church) until the 1800's or later.

Yes, this is true. But the political system in the United States protects ones right to practice whichever faith one chooses, and this is born out of Western philosophy.

Western medicine is great too.

It is. As long as you can afford access to it. I no longer can and as a result have no access to health care.

I am sorry to hear that. As far as I understand no one who really needs medical care is ever denied in this country, citizen or not. If you cannot afford it, we have a program called Medicaid. You can also move to MA for medical care if need be (sorry MA residents but that's the nature of Romneycare). My brother needed an emergency operation. He did not have coverage. The bills exceeded 30k US, in the end he only had to pay a fraction months later (after going to court) and was able to pay in installments.

Some of our family values are great,

That's a tough sell for me. It seems to me that children have few protections.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean, Kirt.

Kevin
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Re: Institutional Buddhism

Postby Anders » Sat Jun 02, 2012 12:34 pm

kirtu wrote:The primary impulse of the west is to control other people and restrict their creativity through serfdom. Marx was essentially correct on this point.

Kirt


I have never met or heard of anyone with an impulse to such a thing. Nor do I believe there is a conspiracy to effect this.

It may be an unintentional consequence of western society, but I don't believe it is the driving impulse.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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