waterchan wrote:tiltbillings wrote:Give us an actual quote.
He wasn't a monk, but wasn't it Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki who used the Zen Buddhist concept of emptiness to justify Japan's militaristic expansion efforts in the 1940's?
His reasoning went along the lines of: once you reach enlightenment, you find that there's no self, and so whatever action you commit, ethically pure or not, is not yours. So when you kill someone, it's not you who's doing the killing. Rather, at some point during the cosmic dance of the knife, your enemy's face just happens to fall on its tip.
The trouble is probably that Japanese Buddhism had become somewhat cut off from the broader Mahayana. There are many warnings in all schools of Buddhism about what you describe. As far as DT Suzuki goes, his fault is a matter of controversy. See, for example, from the wiki page:
Kemmyō Taira Sato states that Victoria's criticism of D.T. Suzuki is misplaced, since Suzuki did not support the Japanese militarism in his writings:
In cases where Suzuki directly expresses his position on the contemporary political situation—whether in his articles, public talks, or letters to friends (in which he would have had no reason to misrepresent his views) — he is clear and explicit in his distrust of and opposition to State Shinto, rightwing thought, and the other forces that were pushing Japan toward militarism and war, even as he expressed interest in decidedly non-rightist ideologies like socialism.
Victoria himself quotes critical remarks by Suzuki on the war and the support given to it by the Zen-institutuins:
[T]hey diligently practiced the art of self-preservation through their narrow-minded focus on "pacifying and preserving the state"
There is also a detailed article on the subject discussed here: http://www.tricycle.com/feature/fog-world-war-ii