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Zen Buddhism, The Other Angle

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 13, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    "If ordered to march: tramp, tramp or shoot: bang, bang. This is the manifestation of the highest wisdom of enlightenment. The unity of Zen and war ... extends to the farthest reaches of the holy war now under way."

    The New York Times offers a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/11/arts/11ZEN.html">grim look</a> at a horrifying and deeply shameful part of the recent history of Zen Buddhism.

    During the Second World War Zen Buddhist luminaries were deeply complicit in the <a href="http://www.darkzen.com/Articles/zenholy.html">dark work of the Imperial Japanese war machine</a>, and by association, with its gruesome massacres and atrocities.

    This would, of course, come as a big surprise to enthusiastic Zen practitioners ignorant of its wartime history, especially since Buddhism enjoys a reputation for peace lacking in most other major religions. In fact, while Japanese groups have issued sporadic apologies after the war for the religion's bad behaviour, it would take the landmark publication of the book Zen at War to prompt the Zen leadership to issue a major apology for its wartime conduct. Which leaves one to wonder:

    Which sacred cow will be the next to go?
  2. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Christian tolererance? <small>hehehehehehe</small>
  3. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    Christian intolerance has been a documented historical fact for centuries. The Crusades was not terribly noble and it was not as much fun as Monty Python would lead you to believe.
  4. Biker

    Biker Administrator Staff Member

    At least not until they came upon the rabbit. ;)
  5. jamming

    jamming Banned

    He had a mean streak a mile wide!
  6. Aria

    Aria All shall love me&despair

    Look at the bones! rofl (sorry, I had to :))
  7. Domh

    Domh Full Member

    The birth of Zen, like the birth of all faiths, was purely spiritual, an answering cry to the call of the infinite in all of us - no different than the birth of christianity and the first teachings of Jesus, or the birth of Islam.

    In the hands of a skilled orator with a poltical agenda, faith can be bent and twisted to suit the interest of state or church as they seek social control.

    Religion is the opiate of the masses - few faiths are free of this abuse.

    The heart of Zen, like the heart of the Word of Christ and the teachings of Muhammed, is pure.
  8. Sacchiridites

    Sacchiridites Banned

    Vanity! Vanity! All is Vanity!

    "Holy War": the people fighting it believe that there is a spiritual parallel to this place and to themselves and are led by a spiritual commander for a spiritual cause. Otherwise, it's just war. You mean a WHOLE bunch of Zen Buddhists thought that? Oh My!

    Um, I def think there's a spiritual parallel and my responsibilities seem to be to fight my own demons and contribute to my immediate environment as much as possible.

    Now I'm gonna go watch a movie and hide my head in the sand for a while.

  9. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    LOL! I get the point but not many, or hell, most people think that there ARE religious folk that are genuine and follow their religions.

    Since Zen Buddhism is mostly about yourself and not others, this was a short, sweet lesson in history.

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