Patriotism

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Re: Patriotism

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 4:08 pm

Pink, awesome to see you here!

(And excellent post, btw.)

I guess I see patriotism as more a matter of communing with my neighbors. I've been to enough other countries that I can see how nearly everyhwere, people (with the possible exception of some Germans) derive a certain satisfaction from acknowledging their kinship with their countrymen. So in the broad scheme of things, patriotism isn't necessarily about which country is better. It's about which country happens to be "mine" at this particular moment, and in my experience, that country is the country in which I happen to find myself. So if I'm at Naadam in Mongolia, for example, the superficial object of patriotism is Mongolia, but the underlying substance of patriotism is the same as it might be in any other place. It can be a warm, open, accepting phenomenon. At Naadam, they don't spit on foreigner; they invite them to come and enjoy. At the Fourth of July in the United States, everyone is welcome, and foreigners certainly are, too. There's no shame, no hatred in this type of patriotism. It's a celebration of our common humanity.

Yes, it's still a form of self view. Yes, we're still clowns. Then the next day comes, and we're still faced with all the same issues that we had the day before. Life goes on, but I think it's okay sometimes to recognize beauty when it is present.

Happy Fifth of July.

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Re: Patriotism

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:21 pm

At the Fourth of July in the United States, everyone is welcome, and foreigners certainly are, too. There's no shame, no hatred in this type of patriotism. It's a celebration of our common humanity.



Patriotism can bring out some happiness in people but it still leads to a division and can lead to narrow minded thinking



However ive never really understood Patriotism, why not just be thankful and kind to your fellow man instead of to the idea of country :shrug:


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Re: Patriotism

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:30 pm

Well, even the idea of "your fellow man" can lead to "a division and can lead to narrow minded thinking," as you put it.

Sometimes it seems like we tend to take certain concepts like "religion" and "patriotism" and villify them without regard for nuance of meaning.
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Re: Patriotism

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:35 pm

Well, even the idea of "your fellow man" can lead to "a division and can lead to narrow minded thinking," as you put it.



How so?



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Re: Patriotism

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:43 pm

For example, if one regards "fellow man" as a point of division between oneself and others in manner that narrows perspective rather than broadens it. Use your imagination. Lots of possible hypotheticals.
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Re: Patriotism

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:48 pm

Jechbi wrote:For example, if one regards "fellow man" as a point of division between oneself and others in manner that narrows perspective rather than broadens it. Use your imagination. Lots of possible hypotheticals.



Only if you narrow "fellow man" down to a specific group via country, "race" or religion

If you take fellow man to mean anyone who is human then there are no divisions
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Re: Patriotism

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:47 pm

clw_uk wrote:If you take fellow man to mean anyone who is human then there are no divisions

Only if one regards "fellow man" in a very specific way. Otherwise, certainly the idea of "fellow man" implies a division between "self" and "other." I don't see how you can have a "fellow man" in the conventional sense without having a division between "self" and "other." And you're the one who raised the issue of sakkāya-diṭṭhi. Why wouldn't sakkāya-diṭṭhi apply to the notion of "self" as separate from "fellow man" for some people?
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Re: Patriotism

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:11 am

". . one who is a disciple of the noble ones — thus devoid of greed, devoid of ill will, undeluded, alert, and resolute — keeps pervading the first direction [the east] — as well as the second direction, the third, and the fourth — with an awareness imbued with good will. Thus he keeps pervading above, below, and all around, everywhere and in every respect the all-encompassing cosmos with an awareness imbued with good will: abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will."
AN 3.65


all-encompassing sometimes quoted as "unbounded" i.e. without boundaries.
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Re: Patriotism

Postby Annapurna » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:53 am

genkaku wrote:Every year on patriotic holidays,


Oh, my gosh, I didn't look closely enough and read "idiotic" holidays... :rofl:

I don't even have a flag in my house....in my hometown in Southern Germany, I can see a flag only on the city hall, and the house of some right wing guy who once chased his bloodhounds into a lake where a swans couple was nesting, to get them... :pig:

A lot of little flags are attached to cars when we win in soccer.

That says about all I can add to this topic.

I find national pride odd.

Sorry. Might as well be proud you're....a man? Asian?

And in your next life you're proud of the oppposite? A woman and blond? :smile: 8-)

....it's impermanent.
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Re: Patriotism

Postby Annapurna » Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:56 am

Jechbi wrote:
clw_uk wrote:If you take fellow man to mean anyone who is human then there are no divisions

Only if one regards "fellow man" in a very specific way. Otherwise, certainly the idea of "fellow man" implies a division between "self" and "other." I don't see how you can have a "fellow man" in the conventional sense without having a division between "self" and "other." And you're the one who raised the issue of sakkāya-diṭṭhi. Why wouldn't sakkāya-diṭṭhi apply to the notion of "self" as separate from "fellow man" for some people?


If we construct a fellow man in our minds, we simultaneously created a non-fellowman.

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Re: Patriotism

Postby clw_uk » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:09 pm

Jechbi wrote:
clw_uk wrote:If you take fellow man to mean anyone who is human then there are no divisions

Only if one regards "fellow man" in a very specific way. Otherwise, certainly the idea of "fellow man" implies a division between "self" and "other." I don't see how you can have a "fellow man" in the conventional sense without having a division between "self" and "other." And you're the one who raised the issue of sakkāya-diṭṭhi. Why wouldn't sakkāya-diṭṭhi apply to the notion of "self" as separate from "fellow man" for some people?



How can you have boundless love for all beings without self and other? the answer is with wisdom

the point i was trying to make however is that respect for every human because they are human is better than patriotism IMO. Of course people have this as well as patriotism but i would argue its better to just have the respect for man and leave out the love of country


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Re: Patriotism

Postby mindfullmom » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:57 pm

I agree with Rhino. We are all seeking certainity and security in the midst of this impermance. I'm from the US and I can tell you that the grassroots campaigns that are now taking over the country here are based in a sort of fear that our leadership is taking the country in the wrong direction. Grassroots groups are standing up and attempting to defend the principles of life, liberty and freedom that this country was built upon and have kept it, for the most part, prosperous for several hundred years now. They are wanting to hold on to (cling) to this wonderful way of life we have built. America started as a 'great experiment" because it was the first country based on freedom of the people and was hoped to be a model for the world to follow, to show all people everywhere that our form of government can work toward lifting all beings out of tyranny.

That being said, I believe true freedom can only come from within, but it does help to have a country operate in a way that allows for the cultivation of that internal freedom. For me, patriotism is a tough thing, because it does create the thought of us vs them but I try to see it differently. I see it as bringing my awareness and attention to the issues of our collective karma here in the US and hope that by working toward creating the conditions for freedom here, it can spill over and benefit all beings everywhere. I believe I am "patriotic" because I support, honor and respect the people of the US but I also understand that all people in all countries want the same things, freedom, happiness, peace, love.
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Re: Patriotism

Postby Annapurna » Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:17 am

I'm from the US and I can tell you that the grassroots campaigns that are now taking over the country here are based in a sort of fear that our leadership is taking the country in the wrong direction.


Sure, with that president.... ;) Imagine that 50 years ago...would have been the end of the world to the whites, huh? "Oh, he's taking us in the wrong direction..."

Actually, it would have been impossible, an Afro American leader.

Amazing development.

I believe I am "patriotic" because I support, honor and respect the people of the US but I also understand that all people in all countries want the same things, freedom, happiness, peace, love.


You say you understand they want the same, but would you grant them the same? Could you say that you support, honor and respect the people from other nations just as much, or does that notion feel a bit creepy? Just curious. :hug: No attack.

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Re: Patriotism

Postby mindfullmom » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:23 pm

[Sure, with that president.... Imagine that 50 years ago...would have been the end of the world to the whites, huh? "Oh, he's taking us in the wrong direction..."

Actually, it would have been impossible, an Afro American leader.

Amazing development.
/quote]

I'm not really sure what you mean. Could you elaborate?

You say you understand they want the same, but would you grant them the same? Could you say that you support, honor and respect the people from other nations just as much, or does that notion feel a bit creepy? Just curious. No attack.

Metta,


I apologize if I was unclear. When I said I support, honor and respect the people of the US and understand people in other countries want the same things, I meant that to me there is no difference between an American and people of any other nationality. Nationalistic descriptions are just words used in a conventional sense so that we may understand one another but all beings are the same for me no matter where we live. That is why the word "patriot" is difficult for me. It's like a paradox. My intention is not to favor one group over another but to recognize all as separate entities in a conventional sense within the same "one". For me, we may seem separate but we are not. Does that make sense?

No, it does not feel creepy for me to support, honor and respect anyone. Could you give me your perspective :)
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Re: Patriotism

Postby Macavity » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:00 pm

clw_uk wrote:Greetings

Does anyone here think patriotism in any form can have a place as we try to apply the Buddhadhamma in our real lives?


No since patriotism is sakkāya-diṭṭhi, the first fetter


Which of the 20 kinds of sakkayaditthi does love of one's country fall under?

None of them, so far as I can tell.

Since loving one's country is a kind of passion or an attachment, whereas sakkayaditthi is a distortion of cognition at the root epistemic level, I don't believe there is even any necessary connection between them, let alone the two things being identical. One might be subject to sakkayaditthi and indifferent to one's country, or one might (as a stream-winner) be free of sakkayaditthi and yet still attached to one's country, perhaps simply due to an habitual fondness for what's familiar.
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Re: Patriotism

Postby clw_uk » Sun Jul 12, 2009 5:36 pm

Macavity wrote:
clw_uk wrote:Greetings

Does anyone here think patriotism in any form can have a place as we try to apply the Buddhadhamma in our real lives?


No since patriotism is sakkāya-diṭṭhi, the first fetter


Which of the 20 kinds of sakkayaditthi does love of one's country fall under?

None of them, so far as I can tell.

Since loving one's country is a kind of passion or an attachment, whereas sakkayaditthi is a distortion of cognition at the root epistemic level, I don't believe there is even any necessary connection between them, let alone the two things being identical. One might be subject to sakkayaditthi and indifferent to one's country, or one might (as a stream-winner) be free of sakkayaditthi and yet still attached to one's country, perhaps simply due to an habitual fondness for what's familiar.
Regards,
Ciarán




Patriotism is, as you said, an attachment. Attachments lead to sakkayaditthi or re-inforce it


If one is a stream-winner then one is free of sakkayaditthi yet still has subtle attachments that lead to conceit


Perhaps however, on reflection, patriotism would go more with māno than sakkayaditthi

Either way its something that doesnt help growth in Dhamma


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Re: Patriotism

Postby Annapurna » Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:08 pm

mindfullmom wrote:
[Sure, with that president.... Imagine that 50 years ago...would have been the end of the world to the whites, huh? "Oh, he's taking us in the wrong direction..."

Actually, it would have been impossible, an Afro American leader.

Amazing development.
/quote]

I'm not really sure what you mean. Could you elaborate?

You say you understand they want the same, but would you grant them the same? Could you say that you support, honor and respect the people from other nations just as much, or does that notion feel a bit creepy? Just curious. No attack.

Metta,


I apologize if I was unclear. When I said I support, honor and respect the people of the US and understand people in other countries want the same things, I meant that to me there is no difference between an American and people of any other nationality. Nationalistic descriptions are just words used in a conventional sense so that we may understand one another but all beings are the same for me no matter where we live. That is why the word "patriot" is difficult for me. It's like a paradox. My intention is not to favor one group over another but to recognize all as separate entities in a conventional sense within the same "one". For me, we may seem separate but we are not. Does that make sense?

No, it does not feel creepy for me to support, honor and respect anyone. Could you give me your perspective :)



Thank you, mindfulmom.

I was referring to President Obama. I understood your post in this way, that there is a movement that thinks: "He is taking us into the wrong direction....".

Perhaps a misunderstanding.... :shrug:

all beings are the same for me no matter where we live. That is why the word "patriot" is difficult for me. It's like a paradox. My intention is not to favor one group over another but to recognize all as separate entities in a conventional sense within the same "one". For me, we may seem separate but we are not. Does that make sense?

No, it does not feel creepy for me to support, honor and respect anyone. Could you give me your perspective :)


Yes.sure. I feel the same way. I'm curious to meet people from other nations and religions. :smile:

I'm happy when I see that we get along even though we're coming from different parts of the world and backgrounds.

That is a great experience.

:group:

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