Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth (The Buddhist lie)
Posted: 15 October 2006 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  241
Joined  2006-07-17

This has long been an interest of mine, for a variety of reasons, but I came across agood article that puts all of the information together so I figured I would pass it on.

http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html

[quote:d8ba8810b2]Kim Lewis, who studied healing methods with a Buddhist monk in Berkeley, California, had occasion to talk at length with more than a dozen Tibetan women who lived in the monk’s building. When she asked how they felt about returning to their homeland, the sentiment was unanimously negative. At first, Lewis thought their reluctance had to do with the Chinese occupation, but they quickly informed her otherwise. They said they were extremely grateful "not to have to marry 4 or 5 men, be pregnant almost all the time," or deal with sexually transmitted diseases contacted from a straying husband. The younger women "were delighted to be getting an education, wanted absolutely nothing to do with any religion, and wondered why Americans were so naive." They recounted stories of their grandmothers’ ordeals with monks who used them as "wisdom consorts," telling them "how much merit they were gaining by providing the ‘means to enlightenment’—after all, the Buddha had to be with a woman to reach enlightenment." [/quote:d8ba8810b2]

People in America are under a few misconceptioons about Tibet and Buddhism, which have been intetionally crafted.

Tibet, in reality, was a brutal dictatorship. When the Chinese Communists liberated Tibet the lords of Tibet fled to the West, largely America, and began courting the media and crafting a false story of Tibet as some perfect peaceful place, which was being destroyed by the Communsits. Since this was during the Cold War, the American press ate it up of course.

In addition, they, and others before them, crafted the myth that Budhism is some "religion of peace", and that everywhere Buddhism reigns things are peaceful and perfect.

The reality is that Buddhism is highly oppresseive and that it was spread by war and violence. The myth that Buddhism is a religion of peace is the same as the Christian myth. "Jesus is the prince fo peace", they claim, yeah, and nevertheless the religon has a long history of brutality.

The reality is that Buddhism, like Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, was sprad by violence and enabled massive suffering and oppression and the rule of a minority class over millions of peasants, who were trapped in hereditary slavery.

 Signature 

http://www.rationalrevolution.net

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 October 2006 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15370
Joined  2006-02-14

This seems to me overstated. It is correct to note that Tibet is far from the ideal Shangri-La that is painted by its most fervent supporters, however Buddhism was not, in general, spread by violence. Indeed, one reason why Buddhism was largely eradicated in India following the Islamic conquest there in the 7th to 12th C. CE is that the Buddhists were singularly unwilling to take up arms against the invaders. They also tended to be holed up in quietist convents and monasteries. Most fled to Tibet and China rather than fight. It was partly due to this external pressure that Tibet became Buddhist.

Further, there is no general history of Buddhist conquest as there has been Islamic and Christian conquest.

Also, one ought to distinguish the cultural features that are due to religion from those that are simply due to the surrounding culture. The feudal system in Tibet is terrible, no doubt, but where is the evidence that it comes from Buddhism in particular? It would appear that the feudalism existed prior to Tibet’s becoming Buddhist (again, Buddhism was introduced there in the 7th C. CE ), and has persisted despite Buddhist teachings which ought to have eradicated it.

And it also seems just perverse to acccept the communist Chinese rhetoric and claim that they “liberated” Tibet. Whatever they did, it was no more “liberation” than is the US occupation of Iraq.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 October 2006 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  241
Joined  2006-07-17

I disagree. Indeed the Tibeten Buddists fought against the existing shamanistic religions of the region when it made its way into Tibet.

There are many examples of militant Buddhism in Japan as well.

True the history of violence in Buddhism is less than that of Christianity or Islam, but its still significant.

Worse, however, is the brutality that it unleashes on populations when they accept the religion, as it leads to acceptable of pain and suffering and even legitimizes it and has been used everywhere to support feudal systems and the rule of masters over slave-like serf populations.

Its “pacificism” is really a tool of brutality itself, convincing the populations that they should never raise a hand to oppose their masters. Its the perfect religion to subdue a population into slavery, it enduces people to simply accept slavery, and the effects fo this can be seen everywhere it has dominated. In every place that Buddhism docimanted, the existing social structure is one of masters and slaves.

As for the Chinese, why shouldn’t they be viewed as liberators? The majority of the Tibetens joined them and were glad that they came? Their lives are better now, they have more freedom, they have better educations, and women are now viewed as equals to men.

What’s the problem?

True its not like they live in America, but they are defnately much better off than they were before.

 Signature 

http://www.rationalrevolution.net

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 October 2006 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15370
Joined  2006-02-14

This is theory driven history. The pacifism of most Buddhism is perfectly honest, and not a “tool of brutality”.

That same theory is leading you to embrace Chinese oppression ... in the name of the communist religion rather than the Buddhist, and the Chinese culture rather than the Tibetan. What we see in Tibet is an attempt at forced cultural annihilation.

One must always be leery of theory driven history. It is not the case that most Tibetans followed the Chinese any more than it is a majority of Iraquis who follow the Americans.

Always beware of radicals foisting theory driven histories. They are at base just as pernicious whether they be fascist or communist.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2006 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  241
Joined  2006-07-17

Not really. Give examples of “progressive” Buddhist cultures, where there has not historically been exploitation as a major aspect of the culture?

India? Indian culture is massively exploitive, both through the Hindus and the Buddhists.

Japan? Japanese feudalism, entrenched in Buddhism, was also massively exploitive, worse than France and Russia.

China? Again, same thing, which is why they had a Communist Revolution, like 2% of the people owned and controlled everything, women were subjects and treated like dirt, and the population of peasant farmers was expected to shut up and keep working.

Tibet, same thing.

Anywhere these people spoke up or tried to change the system, they were tortured and killed, this took place in Japan, India, China, and Tibet.

I’m waiting for examples.

 Signature 

http://www.rationalrevolution.net

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2006 06:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15370
Joined  2006-02-14

Give me examples where Buddhism was spread by the sword through religious conquest.

I am clearly not suggesting that Buddhism has been “progressive” in the 20th century Western sense of the word. For one thing, it has been very male dominated. But you can’t blame the cultures of India, China, Japan and Tibet on Buddhism. That’s silly. For one thing, India and China are very far from being majority Buddhist. Indeed, and I’m not sure you realize this, Buddhism largely died out in India after the Islamic conquest there in the 7th-12th c. So if anything, Indian culture is Hindu and Islamic.

China has a myriad of religions, once again Buddhism is far from a majority there. And in fact, most of it has been confined to monasteries. Most people who criticize Buddhism do so because it tends to be quietist and very far removed from issues of politics and culture.

In Japan, while it is true that Zen culture did influence the Samurai warrior culture there (this has been discussed extensively), first of all Zen is only one of many schools of Buddhism there, and secondly much of Japan is Animist in its religion, not Buddhist at all.

Tibet we already discussed; my contention is that much of the horrible political structure there predated the introduction of Buddhism into the culture. One may, for example, justifiably blame Christianity for the Crusades. But it is not really fair to blame it for the serfdom of medieval Europe ... that would have been there without the religion. The same is true in Tibet.

Further, you are using inflammatory words like “exploitation” without any explanation of what in particular you are talking about. What do you mean “exploitation”? In what way was this Buddhist exploitation? About the only way I can think of is that the monks were expected to beg for food from the surrounding population. That is, I suppose, exploitative in a relatively mild way, certainly mild compared to what many other religions have been foisting on their populace, e.g., religious wars, crusades and the like ...

I’m not claiming that Buddhism is perfect by any means. But we really do have to be much more careful with our treatment of other religions and cultures, and not succumb to knee-jerk disparagement, particularly based on flimsy theory-driven historical narratives. If for no other reason, it makes our other attacks more powerful when we actually have the evidence to back them up.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2006 06:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  241
Joined  2006-07-17

As I said, Buddhism was spread by war in Tibet. The Buddhists had a brutal 200 year war against the local shamen.

And, the problem with Buddhism is fundamental, it tells people that they should be satisfied with having nothing, and that when you do deserve something, you will get it in your next life, thus all of the people who are “on top” are the people who deserve to be on top. If you try to change the order of society, then you are messing with the “cosmic” will of the universe, and thus you need to be smacked down.

Its a comepletely crappy “religion” that has been hyped and idealized by Western liberals who are cluseless about it and have bought into the ruling class propaganda of people like the Dali Lama and his even worse ilk.

These ruling class Buddhists should be despised by progressives and liberals, but instead, due to insane propagda, these people look up to them. It shows you how backwards and corrosive this religon is, tricking people into thinking that its a “good religion of peace”, when in reality it is a religion of slavery and oppression.

“Ahhh, give up worldly posessions, be free of worldly desire, be one with the universe, learn to endure suffering” i.e. accept your fate as a slave and go back to work….

No thanks, I’ll pass… This religion is crap and should be exposed as such.

 Signature 

http://www.rationalrevolution.net

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2006 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15370
Joined  2006-02-14
[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]As I said, Buddhism was spread by war in Tibet. The Buddhists had a brutal 200 year war against the local shamen.

Says who? This isn’t in the article you quoted.

In fact, animistic shamanism in Tibet has been absorbed into traditional Buddhist teachings. Local shamans are considered holy people by the Buddhist teachers in Tibet. It is all too clear that you are looking at Buddhist practice through the colored lenses of Christian and Islamic jealousy. For a Buddhist there is no corresponding notion of being damned to Hell by practicing another religion. There is no god who writes a commandment saying, “Have no other but me.” These are all totally foreign concepts to Buddhism.

Of course, I wouldn’t want to claim that during a thousand year history there wasn’t any trouble at all ... but this strikes me as wildly overblown.

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]And, the problem with Buddhism is fundamental, it tells people that they should be satisfied with having nothing, and that when you do deserve something, you will get it in your next life, thus all of the people who are “on top” are the people who deserve to be on top. If you try to change the order of society, then you are messing with the “cosmic” will of the universe, and thus you need to be smacked down.

This isn’t Buddhist teaching. This is simple nonsense. Where did you get it?

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]Its a comepletely crappy “religion” that has been hyped and idealized by Western liberals who are cluseless about it and have bought into the ruling class propaganda of people like the Dali Lama and his even worse ilk.

Hmm… as far as religious folk go, the Dalai Lama looks pretty good to me. He even looks good to the guy who wrote that article you quoted from! As he said, “[T]he criticism posed herein is not intended as a personal attack on the Dalai Lama.” (Of course, that appears to be largely based on the fact that the Dalai Lama had some nice things to say about communism. rolleyes ).

[quote author=“rationalrevolution”]“Ahhh, give up worldly posessions, be free of worldly desire, be one with the universe, learn to endure suffering” i.e. accept your fate as a slave and go back to work….

This philosophy you quote is basically identical to the Stoicism that Paul Kurtz finds is the best sort for atheist humanists to have.

The actual Buddhist philosophy is that life is painful, that pain comes from desire for things which are in fact unattainable, and that there is a release from this pain that comes from a certain sort of stoicism linked to deep meditative practice. This is otherwise known as the “ Four Noble Truths ”.

There is a lot I don’t accept about Buddhism, in particular the notions of karma and reincarnation. The notion that we can become enlightened may also be more than a little utopian. And there is a lot of nonsense around certain Tibetan and other Mahayana versions of Buddhism ... But the basic aims are quite laudable.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 October 2006 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  226
Joined  2006-04-07

My problem with Buddhism is its reincarnation . It can lead some to be callous, claiming that one deserves her fate ,because of evil in a past life and reincarnation is false anyway :?:  .Some see Buddhism as atheisic and others ,like a former prime minister of Japan, as polytheistic. Some Dilats- untouchables - are converting to the religion in India. And Hinduism has the same problem of reincarnation . :?:  :?:

 Signature 

Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2006 01:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15370
Joined  2006-02-14
[quote author=“skeptic griggsy naturalis”]My problem with Buddhism is its reincarnation . It can lead some to be callous, claiming that one deserves her fate ,because of evil in a past life and reincarnation is false anyway :?:  .

I think you mean to say you don’t like the notion of ‘karma’. Karma is the mechanism that rewards you for good deeds and punishes you for bad. There certainly is the possibility that one might fall into the trap you mention, but the notion of karma would say that someone behaving in a callous manner towards the unfortunate would be getting bad karma for him or herself. One helping the unfortunate would be getting good karma. So I don’t think it’s quite so liable to produce callousness as you suggest.

As a motivator to good action, I think karma also makes a lot more sense than the notion that some supreme being would give you one lifetime and then potentially damn you to hell for eternity, or install you in heaven forever. At least karmic punishments and rewards are limited in scope and duration.

The largest karmic reward in Buddhism, of course, is considered enlightenment, when one escapes the ‘wheel’ of birth and death. If you don’t become enlightened you are subject to basically gaining karma until you become powerful and then doing horrible deeds and falling into very grave punishments for them. That’s the ‘wheel of samsara ’; it is not considered a good thing to spend an eternity revolving around this wheel.

All that said, clearly the fatal problem here for Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. is that there is absolutely no evidence for karma, and no even potential mechanism for its functioning. Buddhists don’t believe that karma is allotted intentionally by some god, but rather that it is a law of nature, that just automatically rewards and punishes for past behavior. So they see the karmic law as something akin to gravitation. But this is no more than fantasy.

Clearly, reincarnation has the same basic problem. There is no evidence for it, and no proposed mechanism for how it might work.

[quote author=“skeptic griggsy naturalis”]Some see Buddhism as atheisic and others ,like a former prime minister of Japan, as polytheistic. Some Dilats- untouchables - are converting to the religion in India.

The problem is that there isn’t one form of Buddhism. There are many. Most Buddhists nowadays are so-called “ Mahayana ” Buddhists, who basically believe in a large pantheon of supernatural Buddhist creatures. This form of religion has certain differences from classical western polytheism (it isn’t clear that these gods are everlasting, for instance), but basically it is a form of polytheism. Insofar as they make “Buddha nature” an important part of their practice, they seem a bit like the Catholic church, in imposing a central deity and a huge pantheon of demigods.

Older forms of Buddhist practice (e.g., Early Schools , Nikaya , Hinayana or Theravada ) are more expressly psychological in their motivations, and do not believe in any overarching godlike person. Zen (originally Chinese “Ch’an”) is similar but a bit more complex, since Zen is based upon an almost intentionally confused metaphysical system, in which things are both asserted and denied at the same time. One can argue this is done for psychological ends, but it makes it very difficult to know precisely how to interpret the mass of Zen writings. (Although as a matter of simple history, Zen is a form of Mahayana Buddhism, it is closer in practice to Theravada). As to whether these are atheist religions, I suppose this will depend on the particular school or practice, and also on one’s interpretation. But they are about as atheistic as religions get.

Historically, untouchables have tended to convert to Buddhism because Buddhism doesn’t recognize the Hindu caste system. To a Buddhist all humans are essentially the same.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2006 03:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  226
Joined  2006-04-07

Doug , we are priviledged to have you as moderator and great poster! Thanks for making my points clearer . The bad karma was in reference to one woman describing a paraplegic or whatever .

 Signature 

Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2006 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  241
Joined  2006-07-17

Granted there is nothing “scriptural” in Buddhism that induces one to war, or encourages war, just the opposite, it preaches against it, but nevertheless, it has been spread by violence on occassion. It is, of course, very difficult to get any details on this because the Buddhists deny it and try to cover these facts up. Tibet, actually is probably one of the worst places of Buddhism, and this is ironically why its so popularly known there.

Quite simply is just a highly oppressive religion, and Tibeten Buddhism is probably the single most oppressive form of it.

From wikipedia:

  1. Suffering: Birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.
  2. The cause of suffering: The desire which leads to renewed existence
  3. The cessation of suffering: The cessation of desire.
  4. The way leading to the cessation of suffering: The Noble Eightfold Path;

Essentially the fundamental message of the religion is to completely elimate all your desires, and if you are suffering it is because YOU haven’t eliminated your desires good enough yet, so its your fault because you want too much.  The more you suffer, the more its your own fault.

Its quite easy to see why this is a religion of slavery, that led to complete servitute and misery everywhere it went.

Another good article on Buddhism in Tibet:

http://www.counterpunch.org/leupp02022004.html

Tibet for some is a Shangri-La, an earthly paradise ravaged by cruel Chinese predation, whose religieux heroically maintain their pure faith in the face of persecution and occupation. Maybe. What I saw in Tibet was great poverty, terrible hygiene, nave faith inclining herders from the boondocks to sell all they had upon arrival in Lhasa to gift the monks of Jokhang Temple and purchase yak butter to burn in front of temple images. I recall the prostrating faithful in the Jokhang Temple courtyard smacking their foreheads on the pavement or on pillars until the blood flowed (a practice I’ve seen in no other Buddhist context), while all around the inevitable hawkers offered jewelry to the tourists with un-Buddhist pushiness. I recall, too, the beggars at the airport, and how riotously they responded when a Newsweek journalist, thinking he was doing a good deed, started distributing photos of the Dalai Lama among them. (Must be a really objective journalist, I thought to myself.) Anyway, while I’m not knocking it, Tibetan Lamaism’s not my personally preferred variant of Buddhism.

And its pontiff is not among my heroes. The Dalai Lama (or, as the mainstream media invariably calls him, as though desperate to posit some [Orientalistically exotic] hero, “His Holiness the Dalai Lama”) is, I understand, a likeable man. I personally find his writings philosophically parochial, comparatively speaking, rather like those of His Holiness the Pope. On the really mundane side, one point about his career little noted among the fans is that during the 1960s his operation received $1.7 million from the CIA every year to arm, train and pay military forces in Tibet to militarily confront the People’s Liberation Army (New York Times, Oct. 1, 1998). The Dalai Lama himself received an annual paycheck of $180,000 from the U.S. You don’t usually think of Tenzin Gyatso, avatar of Avalokitesvara, as a CIA operative heading up a Contra-type operation, but that’s one aspect of his career. While he no longer promotes Tibetan independence, many of his adherents in Tibet do so, risking torture and death. Reports of Tibetans “tortured for their faith” seem to me implausible; Beijing doesn’t much care about Tibetan religious practices per se, and I’ve even seen Lamaist masses featured on Chinese television. Political opposition to the status quo is another matter.

I still find it funny that American leftists buy into the agenda of the CIA and its puppet, the Dalai Lama. I remember during the 1970s and 1980s when these shows came on pushing how great the Daili Lama was. It was probably CIA propaganda!

 Signature 

http://www.rationalrevolution.net

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 October 2006 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  226
Joined  2006-04-07

I would like to see criticism of religions other than the Abrahamic three. It is not as though if one shows those three as baseless , one has shown all as such.

 Signature 

Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

Profile