Is violence ever really justifiable?

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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Tarpa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:11 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Tarpa wrote:Yes, that would be the ideal, utopic, however I was talking about this world.
So am I.
:namaste:


I don't think anybody would call this world utopic, liberation from utopia wouldn't make much sense.

I really didn't want to go any further with my other statement because it kinda feels weird bringing it up but it's so blatantly obvious to anybody who looks into it that the disregard of it is strange. In my 10 tears of vajrayana study and practice I have always found it extremely hypocritical of the Buddhist establishment to claim it's all lighty lighty lovey lovey, or rather it may very well be ( though those practicing in the nighttime world of the yoginitantras may disagree, lol ), but tons of its " auxillary " practices are certainly not this way. The root tantras have rites by the ton, for killing humans and other beings and there's no room at all for putting some soteriological slant on these, they are obviously witchcraft, rites for the usual wants and desires of humans through all history, through all magical traditions, such as getting chicks, getting wealthy, getting rid of people. As I am also a practicing witch I can appreciate these and don't get squeemish or feel the need to ignore them or pretend they aren't there, someone once said here that famous occultists such as Crowley etc. should have just been Buddhists, lol, the wealth of witchcraft, substances, and magical material within tantric practice is absolutely staggering. And all this is completely ignored by Buddhists, lol. I understand of course the real purpose of practice is soteriological but the majority of material in some root tantras is not soteriological and these are teachings given us in these tantras so are they wrong ? Certainly to focus on such things and forget the real purpose of tantric practice is wrong. There are extensive pharmacopeias in some of these as well. I have always felt the hindus are much more honest about their abhicara, Buddhists seem to just completely ignore theirs and pretend it doesn't exist, seems a very timid, hypocritical approach to me. Point is there are violent rites by the truckload in the root tantras and these are Buddhist works so..............just sayin.
The nonexistence of the transcendence of suffering
is what the protector of the world has taught as the transcendence
of suffering.
Knots tied on space
are untied by space itself.

May I never be seperated from perfect masters in all lives,
and delightfully experiencing the magnificent dharma,
completing all qualities of the stages of the paths
may I quickly attain the state of Vajradhara
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 27, 2012 8:38 am

Tarpa wrote:I don't think anybody would call this world utopic, liberation from utopia wouldn't make much sense.
I never said this world is utopic and what is this idea of liberation? Liberation from what to where?

What can "easily" happen in this world is that there is a paradigm shift from self-centred greed and profit at all costs (with small pockets of selfless generosity and mutual aid) to a global system of selfless generosity and mutual aid (with small pockets of self-centred greed and profit at all costs). There have been, and are, countless examples of these types of society. This is not a utopian vision (which presupposes perfection) this is a workable ( in the "real" world) hypothesis.

As to your other point: if you wish to myopically focus on a small number of tantric texts that (metaphorically in most cases) graphically depict the use of violence and violent means in order for you to justify/condone the use of violence, well, what can I say...? Go for it? :shrug: Or maybe find a teacher to explain them to you? Because that "wealth of witchcraft, substances, and magical material within tantric practice..." is not ignored at all by Buddhists, it just isn't utilised in order to fortify the sense of self (like in witchcraft), it is used to assist in Buddhist practice.
:namaste:
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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
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Tarpa » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:07 am

gregkavarnos wrote:
Tarpa wrote:I don't think anybody would call this world utopic, liberation from utopia wouldn't make much sense.
I never said this world is utopic and what is this idea of liberation? Liberation from what to where?

What can "easily" happen in this world is that there is a paradigm shift from self-centred greed and profit at all costs (with small pockets of selfless generosity and mutual aid) to a global system of selfless generosity and mutual aid (with small pockets of self-centred greed and profit at all costs). There have been, and are, countless examples of these types of society. This is not a utopian vision (which presupposes perfection) this is a workable ( in the "real" world) hypothesis.

As to your other point: if you wish to myopically focus on a small number of tantric texts that (metaphorically in most cases) graphically depict the use of violence and violent means in order for you to justify/condone the use of violence, well, what can I say...? Go for it? :shrug: Or maybe find a teacher to explain them to you? Because that "wealth of witchcraft, substances, and magical material within tantric practice..." is not ignored at all by Buddhists, it just isn't utilised in order to fortify the sense of self (like in witchcraft), it is used to assist in Buddhist practice.
:namaste:


They aren't a small number of texts, in fact the the kriya tantras, the first tantras had no soteriological trans-signification, these were primarily concerned with worldly siddhis, the soteriological trans-signification came in the higher tantras but the root texts of these are also devoted to a great extent to worldly siddhis as well, our sadhanas don't resemble the root tantras much. As for metaphorical views of these I'm sorry but tons of them are just obvious low magic, many can be viewed metaphorically, many cannot i.m.o. Of course the craft is used for " self ", so is going to work and paying the bills, so is eating, breathing, it's also for benefit and healing for others, realations with the natural world and unseen beings in it, elements, etc. this is simply external practice, it will not liberate one. I have had this explained by my teacher and given cycles with some of their external practices. I.m.o. it is not largely ignored but completely ignored within the community, it is a no no to even bring it up, when it is brought up it is just disregarded, people believe and hear what they want to. I don't feel I have to defend anything here because this issue is so blatantly obvious to anybody who takes a peek into such texts, I just have always found it funny how it is ignored.
Still the question remains regarding some hypocrisy, as well as a moral dilemma........there are tons of violent rites in the tantras, my teacher said this is resolved because though there is witchcraft in the tantras we are Buddhist witches ( tongue in cheek ) and so our motivation must always be white regardless if the practice is red or black. Of course ones own karma is ones own karma and with power comes responsibility, I guess it's just a fork in the road where one has to make ones own decision on the matter and accept responsibility wichever way one proceeds, but one would do well to look into our preconceptions of yogis throughout history and our ideas of them as "saints " etc. because certainly they have not all been what we would consider " saintly " people all in white, quite the opposite in many cases, if many hindu sadhus / yogins are known for this certainly there have been many " dark " tantric Buddhist sadhus in history, and they didn't have to look elsewhere for their practices.
The nonexistence of the transcendence of suffering
is what the protector of the world has taught as the transcendence
of suffering.
Knots tied on space
are untied by space itself.

May I never be seperated from perfect masters in all lives,
and delightfully experiencing the magnificent dharma,
completing all qualities of the stages of the paths
may I quickly attain the state of Vajradhara
Tarpa
 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:20 am
Location: Apache Junction, Arizona

Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:08 am

Tarpa wrote:As for metaphorical views of these I'm sorry but tons of them are just obvious low magic, many can be viewed metaphorically, many cannot i.m.o.
That's because you are looking at everything through smoke coloured glasses.
Of course the craft is used for " self ", so is going to work and paying the bills, so is eating, breathing, it's also for benefit and healing for others, realations with the natural world and unseen beings in it, elements, etc. this is simply external practice, it will not liberate one. I have had this explained by my teacher and given cycles with some of their external practices. I.m.o. it is not largely ignored but completely ignored within the community, it is a no no to even bring it up, when it is brought up it is just disregarded, people believe and hear what they want to. I don't feel I have to defend anything here because this issue is so blatantly obvious to anybody who takes a peek into such texts, I just have always found it funny how it is ignored.
Let's take Dzambhala for example. He is a wealth deity, right? But do you think you can do Dzambhala practice to win the national lottery? If you subscribe to witchcraft you may believe this, but in reality... Until you pay off your karmic debts via Dzambhala practice you cannot expect to accrue anything. It's like going to a bank and asking for money when you still have an overdue loan. "Sure!" the bank manager will say smiling broadly "we'll give you money, as soon as we deal with this little issue over here" and he will point to a huge drooling fanged monster chained in the corner of his office. And, once again, they are not completely ignored, my teacher (for example) gives the practices (and practices himself) for the relative level of "benefit". So please stop your nonsensical persistence.
... certainly there have been many " dark " tantric Buddhist sadhus in history, and they didn't have to look elsewhere for their practices.
Name one.
:namaste:
"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
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Jun 27, 2012 11:10 am

Kindly stay on topic everyone. :smile:
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Jikan » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:17 pm

I wonder if a slight paraphrase of the question might be productive:

Is violence ever really appropriate?

Depending on what is meant by violence, then I'd say yes, but only as an exception to the rule. For instance, let's say my uncle David is a narcotics addict who is attempting to detox and come clean; if he doesn't, he'll be dead within the year. He is going through an outpatient program, and has asked me to stay with him in his home at night for a time to ensure he's safe. Further, he's asked me to prevent him from harming himself in any way, even if that means I need to physically restrain him or taze him or whatever it takes short of a gunshot. And let's say he gets violent on the first night and demands I let him out to go get some dope. Words don't touch him. Can I resort to violence to keep him in the house, preventing him from relapse? I think violence is really appropriate in that situation.

Can upaya manifest violently when necessary? I think it can, and I don't just mean the grandmother rather roughly pulling a child away from the stove to prevent her burning her fingers, or resorting to the "fast way" to remove a band-aid.
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Re: Is violence ever really justifiable?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:46 pm

Hi Jikan, thanks so much for that reply and the thought of rewording the name of the thread.
The example you made does make a lot of sense. I really didn't consider options like that.

Now I'm not really sure that would be "violence" in the way I was thinking. (me thinking is not so good sometimes :lol: )
As in the action you described, you are creating merit by truly helping another, even if it means harming them to restrain them. But the intention is a very positive one, not in any way wrong.

I read something recently that stated if you kill someone who was going to kill an Arhat you gain merit.
But wouldn't you still suffer the Karmic consequences?

I guess in my mind any action with ill intent is not proper. So in each situation, if there's time to decide, one must really look at the intention.


As to the trolley example I've seriously thought about this. How is that considered the person at the switch being violent as that person did not tie the people to the track. That example is a moot point in this thread. It may be a great example for thought in a thread about "which would bring the lesser non-positive Karma" or even in that case "would one gain more merit than non-positive Karma".
But that's not the topic here. :oops:
Everyday problems teach us to have a realistic attitude.
They teach us that life is what life is; flawed.
Yet with tremendous potential for joy and fulfillment.
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If your path teaches you to act and exert yourself correctly and leads to spiritual realizations such as love, compassion and wisdom then obviously it's worthwhile.
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