Disparity: People and practice

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Disparity: People and practice

Postby Qing Tian » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:23 am

Wondering...

Why is there often a disconnect between the religions with which people claim affiliation and the behaviour of those people in everyday life?

This seems to be more common in direct proportion to the fervour of the believer. I've personally known people who will festoon every available surface with pictures of HHDL and yet embody none of the virtues of their idol. Similarly I have met people who claim staunch adherence to the Church (Christianity) who will offer harsh reaction to a hungry beggar, and yet think nothing of turning up to the house of their loving Christ in obscenely expensive vehicles.

So, from where does this disparity arise?
“Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate.”
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby Nighthawk » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:30 am

The human flesh is weak.
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby Qing Tian » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:49 am

True that.

Once I used to ask people: so, what do you like about (say) HHDL? And after the stock answer (it really is predictable) concerning world peace and being kind and so on, I would ask how they bring this teaching into their daily lives. This would be met by a lot of hostility. I wasn't really trying to be provocative rather simply interested in meeting people who at least attempted to enjoin with the practice of their chosen mentors. I guess I am unskillful in asking questions along with much else besides.

These days I just observe and don't ask. Actions speak louder and all that.
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby futerko » Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:56 am

Qing Tian wrote:True that.

Once I used to ask people: so, what do you like about (say) HHDL? And after the stock answer (it really is predictable) concerning world peace and being kind and so on, I would ask how they bring this teaching into their daily lives. This would be met by a lot of hostility. I wasn't really trying to be provocative rather simply interested in meeting people who at least attempted to enjoin with the practice of their chosen mentors. I guess I am unskillful in asking questions along with much else besides.

These days I just observe and don't ask. Actions speak louder and all that.


Seems very skilful to me - if you provoke such a reaction then this highlights something about the respondent.

I think in your OP the word "fervour" is particularly striking, and suggests to me an identification which renders any actual practice useless.
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby ClearblueSky » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:25 am

Because humans are flawed, until they are absolutely 100% enlightened and perfect. And statistically speaking, we've probably seen a lot more unenlightened than enlightened human beings. And once we're enlightened, there's no need to practice or aspire to be like those idols and gurus anymore.
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby lobster » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:47 am

So, from where does this disparity arise?


Superficiality.

Most of us are unwilling to find the nature independent of externals. So for example we go for obvious forms of behaviour, kindliness, beauty etc.
As we begin to realise our own superficial assessment of other as reflective of our ignorance, we start to look beyond the limitations of form. In essence we practice without the need for these qualities to be acknowledged, to have a crass form but to be intangible and changeable . . . :woohoo:

. . . and now back to pop corn dharma :popcorn:
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby uan » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:28 pm

futerko wrote:
Qing Tian wrote:True that.

Once I used to ask people: so, what do you like about (say) HHDL? And after the stock answer (it really is predictable) concerning world peace and being kind and so on, I would ask how they bring this teaching into their daily lives. This would be met by a lot of hostility. I wasn't really trying to be provocative rather simply interested in meeting people who at least attempted to enjoin with the practice of their chosen mentors. I guess I am unskillful in asking questions along with much else besides.

These days I just observe and don't ask. Actions speak louder and all that.


Seems very skilful to me - if you provoke such a reaction then this highlights something about the respondent.



the reaction also highlights something about the questioner. This isn't specific to Qing Tian, but in all interactions.
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby futerko » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:57 pm

uan wrote:
futerko wrote:
Qing Tian wrote:True that.

Once I used to ask people: so, what do you like about (say) HHDL? And after the stock answer (it really is predictable) concerning world peace and being kind and so on, I would ask how they bring this teaching into their daily lives. This would be met by a lot of hostility. I wasn't really trying to be provocative rather simply interested in meeting people who at least attempted to enjoin with the practice of their chosen mentors. I guess I am unskillful in asking questions along with much else besides.

These days I just observe and don't ask. Actions speak louder and all that.


Seems very skilful to me - if you provoke such a reaction then this highlights something about the respondent.



the reaction also highlights something about the questioner. This isn't specific to Qing Tian, but in all interactions.


Of course, but if the question asked is simply how they plan on applying the teaching in their everyday life, then a hostile reaction would seem to indicate exactly the lack of applied practice that was enquired about in the first place.

It also depends how you ask, I guess. :jumping:
we cannot get rid of God because we still believe in grammar - Nietzsche
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby uan » Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:11 pm

futerko wrote:
Of course, but if the question asked is simply ...


"If"' is usually where the rest of the story comes in :rolling:
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:06 pm

Qing Tian wrote:Wondering...

Why is there often a disconnect between the religions with which people claim affiliation and the behaviour of those people in everyday life?

This seems to be more common in direct proportion to the fervour of the believer. I've personally known people who will festoon every available surface with pictures of HHDL and yet embody none of the virtues of their idol. Similarly I have met people who claim staunch adherence to the Church (Christianity) who will offer harsh reaction to a hungry beggar, and yet think nothing of turning up to the house of their loving Christ in obscenely expensive vehicles.

So, from where does this disparity arise?



Spiritual materialism, dissatisfaction with oneself, and an attempt to create a better "spiritual version" of that self. Trying to mold the world into something it's not.

The rest of it is just Samsara I think, it's really hard to check our own motivations behind things, sometimes exhausting, and I think it's easy to just give up in favor of the fantasy version.

I've seen some of the most sanctimonious garbage come from "religious" people, on here, other forums, in person...I do it myself commonly too i'm sure. Sorry to be so blunt but yeah, with a few really inspiring exceptions, most religious folks don't impress me with their ethical discipline, especially as regards the simplest day to day interactions...not that the non-religious impress too much either, mind you.

The kindest people i've known (this is just subjective experiences so don't jump on me) have been people who have kind of been through the ringer and came out stronger, with different priorities, heavy mental illness, addiction, abuse, facing death etc. I have know a few really inspiring, genuinely good and gentle people that fit this description, i'd say they were "religious" in the most important meaning of the word as they certainly had some kind of revelation about what is important, and what isn't that I think most of us have hard time seeing in daily life.

For the most part, failure to practice what we preach is the norm I think, maybe that's all the more reason to work towards consistency.
"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
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby uan » Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:56 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:The kindest people i've known (this is just subjective experiences so don't jump on me) have been people who have kind of been through the ringer and came out stronger, with different priorities, heavy mental illness, addiction, abuse, facing death etc. I have know a few really inspiring, genuinely good and gentle people that fit this description, i'd say they were "religious" in the most important meaning of the word as they certainly had some kind of revelation about what is important, and what isn't that I think most of us have hard time seeing in daily life.

For the most part, failure to practice what we preach is the norm I think, maybe that's all the more reason to work towards consistency.



I think in large part people lack a high degree of empathy, or empathy is not as strong in human beings as we like to believe. While I think empathy is innate, how it's applied (and who it is applied towards) is learned. We learn to direct our empathy towards certain people or situations, etc. A very broad example, in the US, is how much people empathized with the victims of the Boston bombings. Yet many of these same people don't give the victims of similar bombings in other countries (and carried out by our own government!) a second thought. Unless we are taught at an early age, it seems we lack the imagination to put ourselves into the role of the other until we experience their situation for ourselves. So until we are divorced, robbed, lose our jobs, are betrayed, have major health issues, etc. we don't feel the suffering other people go through. On a larger scale, we identify with our tribe, school, town, state, country. We can go to war and kill people against "outsiders" because they are not one of us. We don't even see them as human beings.

Then there is cognitive dissonance. We know we "should" feel a certain way, but we don't (see above), so to resolve the dissonance we justify how we behave with what we say we believe.

Basically it's human nature. It's probably results from life being so full of suffering, from the very beginnings for homo sapiens, if we were to really feel it, we'd be unable to function. That would not be a very good survival trait for a species. You don't see a lot of angst amongst the herds on the Serengeti after one of their own becomes dinner for a pack of lions - in some ways we're just a another herd :lol:
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby greentara » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:52 am

clearbluesky, "And statistically speaking, we've probably seen a lot more unenlightened than enlightened human beings" Statistically speaking ...let me remind you how rare enlightenment is; perhaps in the crush of 7 billion people there maybe a handful of fully enlightened beings and most of us wouldn't know or recognise a fully awakened person if we tripped over one!

Uan, We all need sympathy. Real sympathy is largly lacking amongst the religious and secular as far as I can see. Unfortunately consume is the buzzword, money is the passport to fickle status, a better life, a happy life and consequently for many people there's not much energy left over for deeper and more meaningful matters.
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby ClearblueSky » Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:15 am

greentara wrote:clearbluesky, "And statistically speaking, we've probably seen a lot more unenlightened than enlightened human beings" Statistically speaking ...let me remind you how rare enlightenment is; perhaps in the crush of 7 billion people there maybe a handful of fully enlightened beings and most of us wouldn't know or recognise a fully awakened person if we tripped over one!

You're reminding me by agreeing you're saying? I assume that's what you mean, but yep, a handful in 7 billion, and that's just one realm of Samsara! So rare in fact, that even those lucky enough to have a picture of the Dalai Lama, disparity or not, could be said to be somewhat fortunate in this life.
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby Thrasymachus » Wed Oct 23, 2013 9:10 pm

Qing Tian wrote:...

Once I used to ask people: so, what do you like about (say) HHDL? And after the stock answer (it really is predictable) concerning world peace and being kind and so on, I would ask how they bring this teaching into their daily lives. This would be met by a lot of hostility. I wasn't really trying to be provocative rather simply interested in meeting people who at least attempted to enjoin with the practice of their chosen mentors. ...


Alot of what people know about the Dalai Lama is a marketing image. For example, recently in the Tibetan exile community in India, one five year old girl was raped and the perpetrators went free:
Phayul wrote:Tibetan minor allegedly raped in Mungod Tibetan settlement

...

Sources further said that the father of the minor initially wanted to report to the police but later declined to do so after discussions with the camp administration which suggested that the matter be internally resolved as "it would bring bad name to the Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama."

...


So two Tibetan rapist pedophiles will go free to salvage the image of Tibetan society as the Shangri-la created by Western Romantics in the 19th Century and carried into this day by religious Western Neo-Romantics. Essentially this is the negotiating position of the Tibetan government in exile: this false false Shangri-la depiction of Tibetan society with Dalai Lama as the spiritual saint who can do no wrong, and no wrong can be done in his name. He even threatens Tibetans that he will die earlier, from time to time. They know what impact this will have, as their entire negotiating strategy with China as an exile community depends on his personality cult. So rapists go free, and dirty laundry, stays dirty, to uphold an image that lacks substance.
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby Wayfarer » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:06 pm

I observe such disparities in myself. They're the ones that really disturb me.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby greentara » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:12 pm

Thrasymachus, The Dalai Lama is caught between a rock and a hard place. Trying to keep the small Tibetan enclave afloat in India which is a hotbed of corruption and 'negotiating' with the hostile Chinese is a supreme juggling act. All say he is the spiritual leader but he is both a spiritual and political icon, very like Mahatma Gandhi.
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby Thrasymachus » Wed Oct 23, 2013 11:33 pm

The Tibetans and their Western supporters have a childish Saint-Bodhisattva image they created out of the Dalai Lama. And the Chinese on the other side have a childish demonization. The truth of the actual man himself, is forever murdered between the two extremes. From the documentary "10 Questions for the Dalai Lama," you can see that the Tibetan authorities carefully vet who gets a chance for an interview or to produce a documentary or book involving the Dalai Lama™. Needless to say if anyone asked inconvenient questions, they would be blacklisted, under the guise of censorship for the Tibetans & Western buddhists own good via "right speech". Two commenters on the news article I previously published, sent this in:
Bodgirl(UK), stherchin(Dharamasala) wrote:Bodgirl, Tibetan community:
Just to paint glossy community look to the world, all the criminals are always made to go scot free whether it is rape, theft or any kind of abuses. Just add Dalai Lama's name and victims are emotionally blackmailed to follow the village head orders or else they will be shunned by the community. If these two men are not given harsher punishment, there will be more cases like these in the future. Covering the crime is also a crime and using H.H name in covering up crime is completely wrong. No wonder we lost our country.

stherchin, Should be handed over to police
Do we really want to encourage such heinous crime at the cost of fearing negative publicity? Settlement office, or for that matter even CTA does not have mechanism and right to decide on such crimes….We are what we are and shouldn't shy away from projecting the truth. The camp administration is being hypocritical with comments like “it would bring bad name to the Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama." If they really cared about His Holiness image then they would have taken her to nearby hospital and reported to the police station. Because that’s what a law abiding resident does. Would the camp administration give the same comment if this had happened to their daughter or sisters? I don’t think so. This isn’t the first time that rape cases have happened in our community. It’s just that we don’t have practice and guts to go to police. If today we decide for internal resolve fearing over exaggerating by Indian media then tomorrow there will be more of such crimes, perhaps even murders. In fact we already have murder cases and lots of stabbing cases right from north Dharamsala to south Mundgod. If we live in India then we must follow Indian law. We can’t be like animals ‘ramalook’. Remember, withholding information or not reporting such heinous crime is also a crime. Let this incident be a medium to put fear on wrongdoers in our community. My support and sympathy to the victim. Those monsters should be punished as per the law of the land


It seems more Tibetans know more about this type of nonsense and are fatigued that it is still going on, compared to the Western religious romantics with their more outdated, obsolete image upheld largely intact from their 19th Century Romanticist antecedents. This probably due to proximity: the Tibetans in exile are experiencing this type of hypocrisy and image construction at their expense, while the distant Western have the luxury to uphold the hypocritical image that will not impact their life one bit, other than giving them an ideal they would like to believe in.
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Re: Disparity: People and practice

Postby disjointed » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:53 am

The disparity comes from mental afflictions having select objects.

Mental afflictions aren't active in those people when they express admiration for wholesome qualities.
When they're dealing with possessions and beggars the mental afflictions are actively distorting their reasoning.

Unfortunately you can't kill mental afflictions with just admiration of the wholesome.
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