Patriotism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Jechbi
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Patriotism

Postby Jechbi » Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:58 pm


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Re: Patriotism

Postby clw_uk » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:50 pm

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Re: Patriotism

Postby genkaku » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:49 pm

Every year on patriotic holidays, I hang the American flag in front of the house. If you asked me why I should do such a thing, I would admit to you that I don't honestly know.

As close as I can come is this: Not to acknowledge and say thank you for the place in which you find yourself is a big mistake. So perhaps hanging out the flag that represents the country I am responsible for is just a way of reminding myself to pay attention and take responsibility. Whether anyone else hangs out the flag is not something to worry about ... it's like being a Buddhist: There's no inherent virtue in it, but if you choose to do it, then do it with attention and care.

My wobbly take.
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Ben
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Re: Patriotism

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:42 pm

Good for you, Adam!

Happy fourth of July to all our American members!
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Patriotism

Postby Jechbi » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:28 pm


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retrofuturist
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Re: Patriotism

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:41 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Patriotism

Postby Individual » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:00 am

Pride is a fetter to enlightenment -- that is, liberation from life and death, and from causality itself -- but it can also be a supporting factor for good deeds.

No one would regard self-esteem as a fetter because it is "pride"; the same goes for self-respect, dignity, honor, etc.. Instead of narrowly judging reality according to technical terms, notice: Pride can be the cause of arrogance or foolhardiness, but it can also be a support for positive things.

And the same is true of patriotism.

Patriotism can be jingoism, a fuel for war, xenophobia, discrimination, and belligerent diplomacy, but it can also be a source of personal self-worth, confidence, and faith, which supports right living.

As another example that comes to mind, because most of Buddhists -- let's be honest here -- are leftists, most of you would likely approve of multiculturalism. But when a person is proud to be black, hispanic, or Asian, is this not simply a form of sub-nationalism? What is it about being proud of one's own country that is necessarily harmful, but pride in one's racial heritage is not?

One can clearly see examples of racial nationalists that are harmful, like the Nazis, KKK, Nation of Islam, etc.. Even radical Muslim terrorists today are motivated by a kind of religious nationalism. But on the other hand, there are also clearly cases where nationalism has, for instance, bolstered a minority student's academic and post-academic success or encouraged charity.

Pride itself is never outright harmful unless it's coupled with something else, like hatred or fear. But pride can also be coupled with good things, like compassion and lovingkindness. Now, if a person is proud of doing good things, and this pride supports their actions, is that not a good thing?

The important thing is what it is a person's pride is based on and what it supports. A person should not be patriotic arbitrarily or ignorantly, but if a person is "proud" that their nation supports peace, freedom, and prosperity worldwide, that's a good thing.
The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: Patriotism

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:05 am

Greetings Individual,

Your post reminds us that the aversion associated with self/racial/sexuality/national loathing is no more productive than the greed and delusion associated with patriotism.

:thumbsup:

Again... the middle way awaits.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Patriotism

Postby Individual » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:16 am

Last edited by Individual on Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
The best things in life aren't things.


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Re: Patriotism

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:16 am


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Re: Patriotism

Postby Individual » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:18 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Ben
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Re: Patriotism

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:24 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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Re: Patriotism

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:30 am

Greetings Ben,

I understand your point.

The way I actively understand it personally as a form of wise-reflection is as follows....

Is there any reason for my interests to be treated as more important than the interests of anyone else? No.

Is there any reason for the interests of folk in one arbitrarily defined region (street, suburb, city, state, country, planet, galaxy...) to be treated as more important than the interests of those in a different region? No.

Being thankful to others is certainly a good thing... very meritorious, very positive and if people need patriotism or other arbitrary classifications in order to achieve that, I would certainly not begrudge it (given its positive outcome), but I think that as Buddhists we should be able to see past this, knowing that it is actually a form of wrong view as pointed out previously.

(After seeing all those Michael Jackson pics/videos, I'm awfully tempted to respond with John Lennon's "Imagine" right about now... :tongue: )

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: Patriotism

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:50 am

Retro I couldn't agree more!
I think we should investigate patriotism and see it for what it actually is.
To quote Adam: pay attention and take responsibility.
And for a lot of people it is imbued with conceit and personality view. Granted.
For some people, lets say having a sense of social gratitude, can be a vehicle for positive mindstates. And as Buddhists I think we should take advantage of the occassion to foster those positive mindstates, just like we should utilise the occassion of Christmas to develop metta and practice dana.
Kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

Individual
Posts: 1970
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:19 am

Re: Patriotism

Postby Individual » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:55 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Jechbi
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Re: Patriotism

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 1:53 am


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Re: Patriotism

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:03 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Patriotism

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:18 am

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Re: Patriotism

Postby pink_trike » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:11 am

Patriotism is a figment of our egoic hunger for solidity and certainty which are both irrational, impossible concepts that we crave in our delusionary state of ignorance. We live on a tiny clump of molten rock, soil, and atmosphere whirling around a larger burning clump at 65k miles an hour, and the terrestrial clump we live on is subject to periodic, devastating, enormous change as a result of the movements of the heavens and the intensity of the burning clump. How absurd is it to think that specific areas (nations) of the the clump we live on are in someway superior to other clumps of this planet when all clumps of the planet are subject to destruction and regeneration by forces larger than our host clump? There will be another "Fall" and we'll all be primitive again...our false sense of patriotic superiority won't be worth a bent penny then. What clowns we are...
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Patriotism

Postby Rhino » Sun Jul 05, 2009 3:24 pm

With best wishes

Only in a vertical view, straight down into the abyss of his own personal existence, is a man capable of apprehending the perilous insecurity of his situation; and only a man who does apprehend this is prepared to listen to the Buddha's Teaching.


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