shel wrote:Jikan wrote:shel wrote:I never wrote that Zen does not have ethics, Astus. I clearly wrote that Zen ethics are questionable. They obviously are questionable.
It seems to me that Zen ethics, from what we've seen in this thread, are readily comprehensible (precepts...). It's the actions of some Zen practitioners and institutions that I have certain questions about.
Unless I'm mistaken, precepts in Zen are not considered some kind of immutable laws but intentions. Isn't that right? If that is right then you're merely saying that in Zen there are good intentions. Lying to the Nazi's in order to hide Jews, for a classic example, may demonstrate good intentions despite deceiving others. Many consider deception to be ethically questionable. Minorly or majorly contributing to Japanese imperialism may have ultimately resulted in 20 million Chinese deaths, but intentions may have been good. I think we're all familiar with the proverb that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Personally I favor the proverb that hell is full of good meanings, but heaven is full of good works.
I don't know if that's so across the board. Precepts are precepts, upaya is upaya. If it falls apart in the way you describe in one or more schools, then those schools have a serious problem on their hands. And that's what I meant before about institutional problems.
It's very difficult to generalize responsibly about a category of traditions & schools as diverse as Ch'an/Zen, so I'm attempting to choose my words carefully.
I think only a fool would fail to recognize that the disastrous situations some contemporary Zen schools in the English-speaking world have put themselves deep deep in for what they are, so please understand that I'm sympathetic to your perspective if not all your conclusions.