Why politics doesnt matter

A place to bring a contemplative / Dharmic perspective and opinions to current events, politics and economics.
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Dharmasherab
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Why politics doesnt matter

Post by Dharmasherab » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:13 pm

With reference to the history of Western civilization Lama Jampa talks eloquently about the relationship between politics and religion. The talk focusses on the questions of how it is that politics will always let us down, why we need instead to focus on our own inner reformation, and how in the light of this we should engage with others.

https://soundcloud.com/lama-jampa-thaye ... nt-matter

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fwiw
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Re: Why politics doesnt matter

Post by fwiw » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:03 pm

That sounds interesting.

could you summarize the main points for those of us who don't have the time to go an listen to the entire talk?

That would be much appreciated, thanks
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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Dharmasherab
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Re: Why politics doesnt matter

Post by Dharmasherab » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:53 am

Yes, I hope to type down the words of Lama Jampa Thaye and make a transcript of this talk. Summarising might take the Lama’s words out of context. So I ll make a transcript of the talk and post it in this sub-forum.

Or

I may make the transcript first and then summarise it from the text.

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Why politics doesnt matter

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:49 am

Dharmasherab wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:53 am
I may make the transcript first and then summarise it from the text.
That's the way I would do it. It will be quicker because it means you don't have to quite as careful with getting the transcript exactly right.

:thanks:
Kim

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Dharmasherab
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Re: Why politics doesnt matter

Post by Dharmasherab » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:59 am

Its not that Kim. Its because Lama is giving a talk here so but in written form it can be edited. If we were to read transcripts from famous Buddhist masters we see that the transcripts are not verbatim of the actual speech.

However a summary will be important because a verbatim transcript may be too long.

As for Lama Jampa Thaye he says "why politics does not matter that much".

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fwiw
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Re: Why politics doesnt matter

Post by fwiw » Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:55 pm

I have started listening to some of the beginning, it looks interesting.

However, I have found statements I really disagree with

"The community of monks and nuns volontarily embraces poverty, *absence of private property*"

That is not true

"Buddhism grew primarily though support from the newly rich merchant classes of northern India"

That sounds very materialistic to me

But these are mere details and don't preclude of the quality of the whole. I will listen to it and get back on this thread with more comments when I listen more
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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fwiw
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Re: Why politics doesnt matter

Post by fwiw » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:57 am

Basically, the lama says our focus should be primarily on the practice rather than, say, on politics. I think that's not controversial.

But I disagree with the idea that politics would not matter at all.

If the world around us becomes so unbalanced that Buddhist practice is not possible or even becomes forbidden, then it will be very clear that politics do matter to some extent.

Also some forms of engagement in secular matters like politics can be quite similar to charity, which is encouraged by the Buddhist scriptures.

Saying that politics don't matter because they only deal with the impermanent as opposed to the practice that leads to permanent solutions is problematic because then the exact same argument could be used to say that charity doesn't matter.

:toilet:
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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Nicholas
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Re: politics does not matter much

Post by Nicholas » Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:43 pm

Dawson in 1949 wrote a fine book - Religion and Culture:
The events of the last few years portend either the end of human history or a turning point in it. They
have warned us in letters of fire that our civilization has been tried in the balance and found wanting –
that there is an absolute limit to the progress that can be achieved by the perfectionment of scientific
techniques detached from spiritual aims and moral values. . . . The recovery of moral control and the
return to spiritual order have become the indispensable conditions of human survival. But they can be
achieved only by a profound change in the spirit of modern civilization. This does not mean a new
religion or a new culture but a movement of spiritual reintegration which would restore that vital
relation between religion and culture which has existed at every age and on every level of human
development.
This quote is in Russell Kirk's article "Civilization without Religion". Kirk was not a religious guru, but his ideas are sagely and helpful for this secular era.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of Buddhas.

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Nicholas
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Re: Why politics does not matter

Post by Nicholas » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:06 am

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life: “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.”It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you–and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
May all seek, find and follow the Path of Buddhas.

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fwiw
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Re: politics does not matter much

Post by fwiw » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:09 pm

Nicholas wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 6:43 pm
Dawson in 1949 wrote a fine book - Religion and Culture:
The events of the last few years portend either the end of human history or a turning point in it. They
have warned us in letters of fire that our civilization has been tried in the balance and found wanting –
that there is an absolute limit to the progress that can be achieved by the perfectionment of scientific
techniques detached from spiritual aims and moral values. . . . The recovery of moral control and the
return to spiritual order have become the indispensable conditions of human survival. But they can be
achieved only by a profound change in the spirit of modern civilization. This does not mean a new
religion or a new culture but a movement of spiritual reintegration which would restore that vital
relation between religion and culture which has existed at every age and on every level of human
development.
This quote is in Russell Kirk's article "Civilization without Religion". Kirk was not a religious guru, but his ideas are sagely and helpful for this secular era.


:thumb:



I think now at last I understand why politics doesn't matter. Because these things are being played above us, without us having any real say them, despite the carefully entertained myth that we do, which I think makes a big difference between the Buddha's time and modern society. Individuals have been brainwashed at school into thinking they live in a system in which they have their say. This myth hits various degrees of wrongness according to the country (100% wrong in USA) and it is rarely true (Switzerland, perhaps? post-2008 Iceland?), but the result is that individuals nowadays grow with the sense that they can do something to change the society they live in, whereas I am pretty sure that at the time of the Buddha anyone other than perhaps the super-wealthy and the ruling families who have thought it was impossible, that the common people had to endure the whims of those whose influence shaped society. I think it's becoming painfully clear that we are back at this exact stage and that, like them, we should avoid thinking we can change anything, which means not engaging in adherence - be it solely psychological - to any political movement. We just uphold Buddhist values, some of which we might find represented here and there, but never to a satisfying extent for a Buddhist. So why bother? We just try to live happily among the unhappy.

That being said, I find it useful to keep oneself informed a little of what goes on in the world, although it is not indispensable on the path, and one has to be careful not to be overwhelmed by resentment that may come as a result of perceiving oneself or others as victims of injustice. One thing I would like to underline though is that if anyone disengages from politics and decides not to pay much attention to it, then they should refrain from commenting on anything political, because they could be easily manipulated and look like fools (for example protesting separation of children at the border under Trump, when they became aware of the problem, rather than under Obama, when it started, which gives fodder to accusations of bias). I think this is the reason why Buddhist leaders should completely refrain from commenting on politicians and their policies.

my 2c
Last edited by fwiw on Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

Presto Kensho
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Re: Why politics doesnt matter

Post by Presto Kensho » Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:14 pm

Dharmasherab wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:13 pm
With reference to the history of Western civilization Lama Jampa talks eloquently about the relationship between politics and religion. The talk focusses on the questions of how it is that politics will always let us down, why we need instead to focus on our own inner reformation, and how in the light of this we should engage with others.

https://soundcloud.com/lama-jampa-thaye ... nt-matter
When it comes to responding to an international pandemic, politics does matter.

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SethRich
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Re: politics does not matter much

Post by SethRich » Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:51 am

Greetings fwiw,
fwiw wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:09 pm
I think this is the reason why Buddhist leaders should completely refrain from commenting on politicians and their policies.
Agreed.... and a good post - I concur with most of it, although as for "we the people", don't count us out just yet.

:candle:
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

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fwiw
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Re: politics does not matter much

Post by fwiw » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:46 am

SethRich wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 3:51 am
Greetings fwiw,
fwiw wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 7:09 pm
I think this is the reason why Buddhist leaders should completely refrain from commenting on politicians and their policies.
Agreed.... and a good post - I concur with most of it, although as for "we the people", don't count us out just yet.

:candle:

Hi Paul,

Glad to see we can still agree on something. Although I don't understand where you're coming from with this "we the people" remark

:toilet:
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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SethRich
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Re: politics does not matter much

Post by SethRich » Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:51 am

Greetings,
fwiw wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:46 am
Glad to see we can still agree on something. Although I don't understand where you're coming from with this "we the people" remark
I was referring to this perspective...
Because these things are being played above us, without us having any real say them, despite the carefully entertained myth that we do, which I think makes a big difference between the Buddha's time and modern society. Individuals have been brainwashed at school into thinking they live in a system in which they have their say
I think that had become the norm, but I take a more optimistic stance now in the sense that I think things are becoming more positive as elitism retreats in the face of populism. It started in earnest with the Brexit referendum and Trump's victory in 2016 and the pendulum has been swinging that way ever since, including with the Yellow Vest protests you often speak of...

And, if you'll suspend disbelief momentarily and entertain my belief that Trump is genuinely and vehemently opposed to the globalist deep state (or whatever you choose to call it) rather than an agent of it, then who knows quite how extensively he, as the President of the United States of America, (with all the power, information, authority and apparatus that this entails) could demolish it in an 8 year period.

Image

:popcorn:

:candle:
"He goes to hell, the one who asserts what didn’t take place" (Ud 4.8)
"Let us neither be perpetrators nor victims!" (DN26)

"Transition to greatness" (Donald J. Trump)

:candle: "...his name was Seth Rich..."

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fwiw
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Re: politics does not matter much

Post by fwiw » Thu Apr 09, 2020 8:14 am

SethRich wrote:
Thu Apr 09, 2020 4:51 am
I was referring to this perspective...
Because these things are being played above us, without us having any real say them, despite the carefully entertained myth that we do, which I think makes a big difference between the Buddha's time and modern society. Individuals have been brainwashed at school into thinking they live in a system in which they have their say
I think that had become the norm, but I take a more optimistic stance now in the sense that I think things are becoming more positive as elitism retreats in the face of populism. It started with the Brexit referendum and Trump's victory in 2016 and the pendulum has been swinging that way ever since...
As I have argued above, I now think this is a mistake. Besides the spiritual reasons, because these populist movements are essentially controlled opposition, even when they come to power. Look at what happened in Greece.


And, if you'll suspend disbelief momentarily and entertain my belief that Trump genuinely is opposed to the globalist deep state (or whatever you choose to call it) rather than an agent of it, then who knows quite how extensively he could demolish it in an 8 year period.

You would have to start by defining what you mean exactly by "the globalist deep state" with sufficient detail to make any discussion on this topic possible, because to my knowledge, no such thing exists.


Image


You mean, like this?
On November 18, 2016, it was reported that Trump had agreed to pay $25 million to settle the two class actions and the New York suit.
Which is a formal but tacit admission of guilt, which Trump denied, a strategy that works on his mesmerized supporters, the ones that won't spare us their propaganda-construed rhetoric about how great he is. Such people would better give up on their interest in politics and redirect all that energy to focus on their practice instead. The ones who see through this should also disengage from politics, seeing there is no hope whatsoever to have in this area of life and try to live happy, focused on their practice.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the settlement and payment by Trump, "is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6,000 victims of his fraudulent university."[77] Trump himself said he settled "for a small fraction of the potential award" because he was too busy as president-elect to take it to trial. He added: "The ONLY bad thing about winning the Presidency is that I did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!"

Final payment of the settlement was put on hold, because one member of the class opted out of the settlement to pursue an individual claim.[79] A district court and an appeals court rejected that individual's claim, and Curiel finalized the settlement in April 2018. Former students can now get a refund of up to 90% of the money they spent on courses.[80]

The settlement was paid, not by Trump, but by his Las Vegas hotel business partner, billionaire Phil Ruffin. In February 2019, during a meeting of the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Congresswoman Jackie Speier suggested "a Kansan", later revealed to be Ruffin, had paid $25 million to satisfy Trump's liability in the Trump University judgement. Ruffin admitted to paying Trump $28 million in 2018, but claimed it was for "back-fees" related to Trump International Hotel Las Vegas and unrelated to the Trump University case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trump_Uni ... d_lawsuits
If you were looking for the swamp, you're looking at it right there
... just my opinion, for what it's worth

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