What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Individual » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:51 am

Let me put it differently:

If you are a human who acts unskillfully, like Julian Assange, the government will frame you for a crime or assassinate you.

If you act with the wisdom of a Zen master, be like Julian Assange, but not arrogantly and accept the fact that they will torture and kill you. Then, when they torture and kill you, through your noble sacrifice you attain rebirth in higher realms. In higher realms, where the context is more clear, you discover that while you thought it was a one-sided ordeal, in reality they were all idiots. Example: The government were jerks for wrongfully keeping secrets from the public while Julian Assange was equally wrong for wanting to expose others' secrets, all the while being narcissistic about it, not realizing the danger he was putting himself and others in. Politics is really irrelevant because in the grand scheme of things, all you can do is act rightly and hope others see you as an example; you can't use force. You can't help others be free and telling them what to do, not even in subtle ways by gathering into collective forces called "democracies."

And you could also look at things in a broader sense and think, "What's more important? Helping end the suffering of countless people in this realm -- or involving myself in one petty political struggle in one lifetime?" You could choose to be brave and there is benefit from that if you selflessly sacrifice your life for others, but it has to be done intelligently. You should think for yourself -- always -- and not just copy Thich Nhat Nhan's ideas. Instead of trying to make the world a utopia in a single lifetime, accept that it won't be and accept that it's something you can't do by yourself and can't do in a single lifetime.

In other words, no force. The Buddha response to tyranny should be non-tyranny. Tyranny means telling others what to do. Let the tyrants be tyrants, because that's life. But resist the tyranny... slowly... one step at a time, fearlessly.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby clw_uk » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:47 am

zoidberg wrote:
clw_uk wrote:In relation to the OP I think lay Buddhists should step in if they see an oppressive government on the horizon, although I dont share this view of there being a shadow elite thingy


Don't you think that would be unskillful to respond to violence with violence? Didn't the buddha say: "Monks, even if bandits were to sever you savagely limb by limb with a two-handled saw, he who gave rise to a mind of hate toward them would not be carrying out my teaching." (MN 21) According to Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Killing is never skillful and is something the buddha would never condone.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ssage.html



I didnt say use violence in this situation
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Guy » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:49 am

To anyone who associates the word "conspiracy" with tinfoil hats I would say to you: "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me".

I am not claiming (nor would I claim) that any and all conspiracy theories are true, but I wonder why people find it so hard to believe that maybe, just maybe, the most wealthy and powerful people on this planet MIGHT decide to have meetings and discuss how they want to direct the future of out planet? And maybe, just maybe, their desired future might not be the most beneficial for the majority. Is that really so far fetched?
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Hanzze » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:55 am

Kinds of speech to be avoided by contemplatives

"Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to talking about lowly topics such as these — talking about kings, robbers, ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; food and drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip of the street and the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity [philosophical discussions of the past and future], the creation of the world and of the sea, and talk of whether things exist or not — he abstains from talking about lowly topics such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

"Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to debates such as these — 'You understand this doctrine and discipline? I'm the one who understands this doctrine and discipline. How could you understand this doctrine and discipline? You're practicing wrongly. I'm practicing rightly. I'm being consistent. You're not. What should be said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. What you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You're defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine; extricate yourself if you can!' — he abstains from debates such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue."
thanks to retrofuturist on that way for this tool under Right Speech - samma vaca
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Kim OHara » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:47 am

Guy wrote:To anyone who associates the word "conspiracy" with tinfoil hats I would say to you: "Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me".

Hi, Guy,
That, strangely enough enough, is an absolutely reasonable question.
:smile:
Guy wrote:I am not claiming (nor would I claim) that any and all conspiracy theories are true, but I wonder why people find it so hard to believe that maybe, just maybe, the most wealthy and powerful people on this planet MIGHT decide to have meetings and discuss how they want to direct the future of out planet? And maybe, just maybe, their desired future might not be the most beneficial for the majority. Is that really so far fetched?

I find the scenario improbable for a few reasons, the main one being good ol' human nature. People like you're talking about are (generally) greedy, selfish, unprincipled and egotistical to a degree few of us have ever contemplated. That's how they got to be where they are, but that is why any long-term collaboration between them is so unlikely.
I'd say more but I haven't teh time just now.
:namaste:
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby andre9999 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:13 pm

Individual wrote:Tyranny means telling others what to do.


No it doesn't.

Edit: Traditionally, and currenlty in political science and history disciplines, tyranny is the forceful taking over of government, especially when aside from what the populace wants. Currently, it pretty much just means dictatorship.

We are in neither, which is where I think my knee-jerk reaction to this thread has come from.
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Re: What should be the Buddhist response to tyranny?

Postby Hanzze » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:24 am

Maybe that sample is useful:

Before the American war ended, an excess of 2,750,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Cambodia, more than the total tonnage dropped by the Allies in all of World War II. Cambodia is a tiny country, about the size of Washington state. An estimated 600,000 Cambodians were killed in the American bombing campaign.
As the war escalated from 1970-75, Cambodia was engulfed in violence and fully engaged in the war. In 1970 a military coup took place after which the monarch was replaced by a pro-American government.
Every day he listened to news from Cambodia on the radio, and was beset by anguish.
His meditation master advised him to concentrate on his spiritual practice – to foster peace within his own heart – and to wait for the right time to return to his people.
“It was in Thailand, in a place of safety, that he first heard about the outbreak of fighting in Cambodia. He learned that his parents and all his brothers and sisters had been murdered. He was told, over time, of the death of many of his fellow monks and nuns. And of course, he said, he wept for so many losses. He wept for his country. He wept, he said, every day and could not stop weeping. But is teacher urged him to stop. “Don’t weep,” he was told, “Be mindful.”
“Having mindfulness,” his teacher said, “is like knowing when to open and when to close your windows and doors. Mindfulness tells us when is the appropriate time to do things…you can’t stop the fighting. Instead, fight your impulses toward sorrow and anger. Be mindful. Prepare for the day when you can truly be useful to your country. Stop weeping, and be mindful!”
Ghosananda sat for a long time and reflected upon the killings, and upon what his teacher had said. He realized that the dead were dead. They were in the past. Gone. All his family, all his friends, were gone. He thought about the future, and saw that it was totally unknown. He decided to do the only thing that he could do, which was to take care of the present just as well as he could. “The present is the mother of the future,” he said. “Take care of the mother. Then the mother will take care of the children.” So he went back to practice, back to his breath. For, as he said, “Breathing is not past or future. Breathing is now.”
The weeping stopped. “There is no sorrow in the present moment,” he explained. “How can there be? Sorrow and anger are about the past. Or they arise in fear of the future. But they are not in the present moment. They are not now.”
For nine more years he went on with his practice in the Thai forest, secluded in a hut, and there he gained the clearly and stability of mind, the understanding and the love, that are the fruit of very deep meditation. [6]
Maha Ghosananda heard the news that the Khmer Rouge took control of Phnom Penh on April 17, 1975. The leaders of Khmer Rouge envisioned themselves as the saviors of the Cambodian nation-state, capable of reviving Khmer national identity in pristine form, that is, shorn of foreign influence, capable of creating a militant and mobilized peasantry to guard against foreign domination, capable of approximating the agricultural feats achieved during the Angkorean period, and, finally, capable of restoring national grandeur to Cambodia.” [7]
As Khmer Rouge forces entered the city, Supreme Patriarch Hout Tat went onto Phnom Penh radio and asked the military to lay down their weapons. Huot Tat was one of Ghosananda’s teachers as a young monk. “The war was over”, Hout Tat said. “Peace had come to Cambodia.” After the radio address, he returned to his temple at Wat Unalom where he was taken into custody by the Khmer Rouge and falsely accused of keeping a wife and children in Paris.
The next day he was taken to Udong Mountain, the ancient royal capital north of Phnom Penh, and killed, reportedly by being crushed under a bulldozer.
A bust of the patriarch is on display at the Ounalom temple. It was retrieved from the Mekong River in 1979, where it had been thrown by the Khmer Rouge.

from the Buddha of the Battlefield

_/\_
with loving kindness
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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