Non-Violence and Fiction

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
DonnieRage
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:36 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Non-Violence and Fiction

Postby DonnieRage » Wed Aug 14, 2013 2:51 pm

I've been witnessing violence in fiction my whole life, as has most everyone else I assume. I'm an avid fan of Comic Books, which I collect, read, and I hope to illustrate them for a living as well. I've also been a fan of horror my whole life as well. I admit that horror movies can be shockingly violent sometimes. I'm not really a big fan of gore and slasher flicks but I LOVE psychological horror. I find that psychological horror genuinely makes me think and I usually discover some sort of underlying moral message. Same deal with comics except I can ALWAYS find something there. Superman inspires me, gives a hopeful feeling, and he always reminds me of the compassion I wish to exhibit. Green Lantern's theme of Willpower can be very empowering and remind me somewhat of what I hope to accomplish here with buddhism (control over my cravings and such). Charles Xavier of the X-Men is actually an advocate of non-violence. Then there a those I can just relate to like Spider-Man. My point is through all the violence I can almost always come to some kind of metaphorical conclusion about how I wish to be. My question is this; Can I participate in fiction that depicts violence, yet still practice non-violence?

User avatar
Hickersonia
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:40 pm
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Contact:

Re: Non-Violence and Fiction

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Aug 14, 2013 3:29 pm

I think you can, but it isn't necessarily the most skillful way of practice.

I still partake of Science Fiction novels and TV when such things lean more on the brainy side than the violent side. I won't pretend to have completely eliminated the violence and other less-wholesome entertainments, but I have minimized them to a significant degree.

I don't think anyone is going to say you're a terrible Buddhist or anything like that for your choices in entertainments as long as you can see the possibility that any violence, even fictional, may not on the most wholesome side of things to which we can subject our minds.

Be well, friend. :anjali:
Hickersonia
http://hickersonia.wordpress.com/


"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of
throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned."

SarathW
Posts: 2744
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: Non-Violence and Fiction

Postby SarathW » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:06 am

Please consider:
A) 10 precepts
b)
What is Kamma?
“Volition is Kamma.” – Anguttara Nikāya
Kamma
The Pāli term Kamma, literally, means action or doing. Any
kind of intentional action whether mental, verbal, or physical
is regarded as Kamma. It covers all that is included in the
phrase: “Thought, word and deed”. Generally speaking, all
good and bad actions constitute Kamma. In its ultimate sense
Kamma means all moral and immoral volition (kusala akusala
cetanā). Involuntary, unintentional or unconscious actions,
though technically deeds, do not constitute Kamma, because
volition, the most important factor in determining Kamma, is
absent.
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/buddh ... gsurw6.pdf
:)

barcsimalsi
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:33 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1006

Re: Non-Violence and Fiction

Postby barcsimalsi » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:51 am

Image
Image

User avatar
Ajisai
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:25 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 1001

Re: Non-Violence and Fiction

Postby Ajisai » Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:29 am

Hello,

I"m new to Buddhism but I think maybe it all depends of the message you want to share. Comics can be read by very young readers and influence their values and ways of thinking (you gave many examples yourself). If you are going to be an illustrator (and if this is your wish I hope it comes true), I guess you will have to work on stuff you cannot really chose at first.
But once you have the possibility, why not create a comic of your own and a hero, situations and characters that would be a reflect the teachings of the dhamma? You could both entertain people and spread the dhamma, even though people would maybe not notice it at first.
Even if violence is a big part of comics, I am pretty sure that people would accept something different, if it is well done.

Concerning being the spectator of entertainment itself, maybe it all depends on the feelings you have when you watch or read? Something tells me that thinking "I hope the evil guy gets kicked and dies" is not the same as seing the evil guy acting out of ignorance and being compassionate about him.
I think all forms of entertainment can help us reflect on lots of things. Reading or watching violent stuff does not mean you are violent or are going to be violent. On the contrary, it can help you understand why it is wrong. Obvisouly you like comics for what the teach, not for their violence.

User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 3224
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Which number is larger than 1000 and less than 1002: 6
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: Non-Violence and Fiction

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:18 am

Hickersonia wrote:I think you can, but it isn't necessarily the most skillful way of practice.

I still partake of Science Fiction novels and TV when such things lean more on the brainy side than the violent side. I won't pretend to have completely eliminated the violence and other less-wholesome entertainments, but I have minimized them to a significant degree.

I don't think anyone is going to say you're a terrible Buddhist or anything like that for your choices in entertainments as long as you can see the possibility that any violence, even fictional, may not on the most wholesome side of things to which we can subject our minds.

Be well, friend. :anjali:

I would agree with all that.
My own choice of lighter/escapist fiction includes a lot of whodunnits - classic and newer PI stories, police procedurals, etc, from authors like Ian Rankin, Walter Mosley and Henning Mankell. One reason people are said to enjoy them (and I agree) is that their basic plot is about righting wrongs and correcting injustices in some way: usually a crime is committed early in the book and the main story is that the good guys are doing their best to fix things. That is good dhamma, isn't it?
Comics are similar - the superheroes also bring people justice don't they?

:namaste:
Kim


Return to “General Theravāda discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Google [Bot], Sylvester and 9 guests