January 12, 2006 at 4:45 pm #9826
Comments that accidentally were not added to End of World Scenarios.
We can see from the article on Iran and US fundamentalists, how we live in very polarized times, with governments led by religious fundamentalists. This type of polarity is a recipe for sudden change and more violence.
I personally think the writer of the article is mistaken about islam not defeating any jews militarily – in one scenario, a nuclear suitcase bomb in tel aviv would do the trick and is technically quite feasible. So pushing violence to extremes is risky endgame in these times.
Taoism interestingly had its own apocalyptic movements – but only when it began taking the form of state approved temple taoism with founding of Celestial Masters in AD 42. They had confession of sins, similar to catholics. And they developed the notion of an earthly religious bureaucracy that matched a celestial religious bureaucracy, and developed EXTERNAL alchemical ritual to effect communication between the two.
The schools of inner alchemy were basically hermit inspired, they generally took the long term view of political shifts as human created problems that would work themselves out over long cycles of time, and didn’t trouble themselves with intervening in what was mostly inevitable.
I think the alchemical spiritual sciences will evolve to become more dynamically involved with social cycles, once the principles are understood and accepted more widely.
michaelJanuary 12, 2006 at 11:41 pm #9827
I have a tentative ‘magical hypothesis’–that focus on (and I don’t mean a media campaign but a meditative practice/prayer) the idea of ‘chivalry’ (which strongly incorporates the feminine archetype), or on deep spiritual warrior codes/traditions in general (e.g., ‘bushido’) is one way to appeal to those caught up in the surges of aggression; in other words, focusing on something with deep mind roots and appeal, that is not too far away from the spirit of those most affected and most likely to do the actual damage in violent times. A call for limits on, for modulation of aggression, where there is reward in the form of closer relationship to conscience. On the middle-eastern front, there is also ‘javanmardi’, which Henry Corbin translates as ‘spiritual chivalry’. So the idea is a slightly more specific version of wishing for the best, for mercy.January 13, 2006 at 12:00 am #9829
Simon, I will be looking for you to enroll the key players in your campaign of chivalry and mercy.
It is lovely way to upgrade the cults that believe in violence, but difficult to implement whiole the USA remains the largest arms dealer on the planet and run by NEO cons who enjoy expressing their aggression.
I am more partial to the Dalai Lama’s approach: get War declared Obsolete.
But I have a question for you about him. In the nature of heaven film, Dalai is quoted as saying he believes in Heaven, but not God. And that beyond heaven is Buddha
. What do you think is his conceptionn of buddha: deity, impersonal field, or an elevated aspect of human consciousness?
mJanuary 13, 2006 at 10:59 am #9831
I have no plans to try and win over the neocons, which is why I said I did not mean to engage in a ‘chivalry media campaign’ (though I’m sure this would provide many with abundant amusement at my expense, and thereby brighten at least somebody’s mood : )) but only offer up a notion of doing a bit of creative meditating in appeal to conscience, which anyone can do. I am well aware that many are very well-entrenched indeed in, and well-financed by, their various forms of deviation. So just a variation on the inner smile directed outward or on the bodhisattva intent, white magic, borrowing the potency of a deep archetype.
I am sorry if this offends anyone, but I think the Dalai Lama–spiritual head of only the Gelugpa sect, not of the others–is a politician first and a yogi second. He is clearly a very nice guy. : ) It is true that he is a dedicated meditator.
Some of the wheelings and dealings of his office have not pleased certain elements of particularly the Kadgyu lineage that I studied with. Alas, I have lost my pleasant naivete around Tibetan buddhist politics.
Study of ancient buddhism (see The Doctrine of Awakening, by Julius Evola) reveals that ‘buddhism’ does not deny a supreme being (as in entity–i.e., I don’t mean ‘the primordial buddha’), only emphasises that there is a state that trumps finding a stasis point in any particular state, without excluding any state (including supreme deity, who is not exempt from the truth of this insight, but who just might well know a thing or two about the whole matter), a kind of ‘hypersubjectivity’, and considers experience based on this insight to yield a superior operative mode to one based on focus on an externalized deity-entity, but there is no denial of such a deity (that would be excluding something…). For the Dalai Lama to say he doesn’t believe in God strikes me as a simplistic assertion therefore, given the precision of the real buddhist distinctions (but I do not know the full context). As in Gnoticism there is a Source, which cannot be directly known or ‘particle-ized’, which eternally precedes the creator deity-entity. The Wuji? The primordial buddha (is not far away).
“Deity” is a key aspect of dzogchen tantra–ego inside out, in tune with Source; ego’s qualities in service of, in tune with, deeper mind, the Natural Light (you can’t escape the Tao!).
“My view is higher than the sky,
My actions finer than grains of sand”
SimonJanuary 13, 2006 at 2:49 pm #9833
Do you hate evil?
Much of humanity doesn’t. But if you embrace Judeo-Christian values, you must.
A core value of the Bible is hatred of evil. Indeed, it is the only thing the Bible instructs its followers to hate — so much so that love of God is equated with hatred of evil. “Those who love God — you must hate evil,” the Psalms tell us.
The notion of hating evil was and remains revolutionary.
The vast majority of ancients didn’t give thought to evil. Societies were cruel, and their gods were cruel.
Nor did higher religions place hating evil at the center of their worldviews. In Eastern philosophy and religion, the highest goal was the attainment of enlightenment (Nirvana) through effacing the ego, not through combating or hating evil. Evil and unjust suffering were regarded as part of life, and it was best to escape life, not morally transform it.
In much of the Arab and Muslim world, “face,” “shame” and “honor” define moral norms, not standards of good and evil. That is the reason for “honor killings” — the murder of a daughter or sister who has brought “shame” to the family (through alleged sexual sin) — and the widespread view of these murders as heroic, not evil. That is why Saddam Hussein, no matter how many innocent people he had murdered, tortured and raped, was a hero to much of the Arab world. As much evil as he committed, what most mattered was his strength, and therefore his honor.
As for the West, with notable exceptions, Christians did not tend to regard evil as the greatest sin. Unbelief and sexual sin were greater objects of most Christians’ animosity. Over time, however, many Christians came to lead the battle against evil — from slavery to communism. And today, it is not coincidental that America, the country that most thinks in terms of good and evil, is the country that most affirms Judeo-Christian values.
In the contemporary Western world, most people who identify with the Left — meaning the majority of people — hate war, corporations, pollution, Christian fundamentalists, economic inequality, tobacco and conservatives. But they rarely hate the greatest evils of their day, if by evil we are talking about the deliberate infliction of cruelty — mass murder, rape, torture, genocide and totalitarianism.
That is why communism, a way of life built on cruelty, attracted vast numbers of people on the Left and why, from the 1960s, it was unopposed by most others on the Left. Even most people calling themselves liberal, not leftist, hated anti-communism much more than they hated communism. When President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire,” liberals were outraged — just as they were when President George W. Bush called the regimes of North Korea, Iran and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq an “axis of evil.”
Ask leftists what they believe humanity must fight against, and they will likely respond global warming or some other ecological disaster (and perhaps American use of armed force as well).
In fact, the Left throughout the world generally has contempt for people who speak of good and evil. They are called Manichaeans, moral simpletons who see the world in black and white, never in shades of grey.
As the leading German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel, recently wrote: “Mr. Bush’s recent speeches have made no retreat from the good vs. evil view of the world that the Europeans hate.”
Patrice de Beer, an editor of the leading French newspaper, Le Monde, wrote that in the European Union: “The notion of the world divided between Good and Evil is perceived with dread.”
Entirely typical of the Left’s view of good and evil is this series of questions posed on the leftist website Counterpunch by Gary Leupp, professor of history and of comparative religion at Tufts University: “Questions for discussion. Was Attila good or evil to invade Gaul? Saddam good or evil to invade Kuwait? Hitler good or evil to invade Poland? Bush good or evil to invade Iraq? Are ‘good’ and ‘evil’ really adequate categories to evaluate contemporary and historical events?”
Western Europeans and their American counterparts loathe the language of good and evil and correctly attribute it to religious — i.e., Judeo-Christian — values. Among those values is fighting evil and “burning evil out from your midst.” And to do that, you have to first hate it. Because if you don’t hate evil, you won’t fight it, and good will lose.
Dennis PragerJanuary 13, 2006 at 5:13 pm #9835
Uh, I kept waiting for the punch-line on this.
Was the above post a parody or honest?
..on the chance that its honest, you’re saying that Jesus taught hate and you’re calling for religious war.. based on Judeo-Christian ethics. No, you must be kidding, very clever parody.
You almost had me going.
Good one!January 13, 2006 at 5:20 pm #9837
I am not afraid of the concept of evil, and see its place as a valid way of pointing at behaviour and world forces.
Well there are different shades of evil aren’t there? And there is a range in terms of how conscious you are of your wrongdoing. Generally it is the more conscious wrongdoing that is considered more reprehensible–at least, that makes sense to me.
I have encountered truly depraved and violent behaviour in my life. I began to study martial arts as a child because I was not satisfied with the feeling of fear evoked by bullies. I have also encountered very convoluted sets of ‘moral motivation’ which at bottom turned out to be fear wrapped in selfishness wrapped in ambition wrapped in manipulation. To call it evil is fine with me. But words are slippery. There is that which is just plain bad, and which is so caught up in its badness, and convinced of the rightness of that badness, that it does in fact need to be fought against, lest it go ahead and destroy you and what you love and call that victory, toasting its friends with thousand dollars a glass wine.
Coopting honest men-at-arms for an outward cause that is on some fronts truly a fight against evil–very deviant behaviour that is too far gone to stop in any other way, like an advanced cancer, because other softer measures were not taken earlier–but in doing so advancing your own deep form of deviation, is evil, a very old and oft repeated evil.
SimonJanuary 14, 2006 at 4:14 pm #9839
You open a pandora’s box in your comments defining Christianity, conveniently glossing over the evils committed in the name of Christianity – e.g. the millions of women killed and tortured for being herbalists (witches), numerous religious wars, etc.
That’s why the Europeans are leery of that good-evil distinction – they have a longer memory of history than their naive fundamenetalist Americans.
Your gloss on Eastern religion is entirely superficial, relegating it to escapism. Yes, some certainly forms are, but poiintless to lump hinduism, buddhism, and taoism into one.
So, without knowing if you, as Keith put it, ar parodying Christianity, or are attempting to reveal one face of it as defensible and radical, I would ask you define Evil so we could take this discussion further.
michaelJanuary 16, 2006 at 2:37 pm #9841
First, let me clear up a misunderstanding. I am not the author of the piece, Dennis Prager. He is a columnist, writer, talk show host (also a practicing Jew, not one of those Christian Fundamentalist)
The crusades and inquisition are no doubt a stain on Christianity, but pale in comparison to deaths caused by the secularist of the 20th century (Hitler, Mao, Stalin are some of the favorites).
The only thing Europeans learned from war, was not to fight. Unfortunately for the world, the French learned it before WWII. Had they engaged Hitler upon his military occupying the Rhineland, tens of millions would not have died.
Your reference to the Dali Lama seeking the obsolesce of war was ironic. To bad he did not talk to Chairman Mao before the invasion of Tibet.
MikeJanuary 16, 2006 at 3:52 pm #9843
Thanks for the clarification, Mike. The piece looked too well researched to be off the top of the head. But the author is really playing loose with the facts and his accusations who tolerates what.
The main difference between modern mass killings and the Inquisition, etc. is that the technology improved. Probably better (as historical comparison) to judge the intensity of the evil as intent vs. the results in numbers killed.
I do not find Jesus’ main teaching to be “hate evil”. He says to Love Thine Enemy, and teaches forgiveneess.
This hate evil is more the jewish, Old Testament approach, and Elaine Pagels has researched this thoroughly. It is clear this God that is invoked often orders the mass killings of enemies, that they be slain in the name of Godl. It is an Angry and Vengeful God.
So the problem may be that humans are duped by the term “God”, which may simply be a deitiy operating at a higher level of consciousness than humans but mannipulating them for its own ends.
They project themselves as “God” the Absolute, but they aren’t. This is how humans get duped into religious wars against followers of other “Gods”.
nastry business, these Wars in Heaven that get played out here on Earth.
You become ultimately what you hate. Extreme hate and extreme love can lead to the same extreme behavior. Closer to truth and collective virtue to embrace the Tao and bring all extremes to the middle.
michaelJanuary 18, 2006 at 1:12 pm #9845
I wrote the following post in another forum and thought that it would be interesting to throw it into this cauldron of discussion:
Last night I watched a program on TV called “The Root of All Evil?”, it was presented by the famous evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins. I think this was part one of a three part documentary. The premise of the program is that religion causes most of the evils of the world and stops people thinking.
The major theme of this first installment was about the concept of “faith”. Faith by definition means ‘not thinking’ – it implies that there is no need for consideration.
Personally I really dislike Richard Dawkins, although undisputedly he’s a brilliant man in his field, he’s just as stuck as the dogmatic religions – he’d be the pope of Evolutionism if there was such a thing. I think he touched on something very important, but has focused his efforts against religion too much. I reccon *blind faith* and *dogmatism* are the ‘root of all evil’ where as religion is the *result* of them.
Whats the difference between these two: “I trust my president had my best interests at heart when he started a war” and “I trust the Pope had my best interests at heart when he ruled out the use of condoms during sex”. One statement is based on the blind belief in the infallibility of the pope and one on the infallibility of a president – one has religious basis and the other doesn’t , but the effect is the same, and the cause is the same: *blind faith*.
I think that any institution that promotes blind faith causes ‘evil’ – be it the law courts, economics, government, education, religion and even some branches of science.
The problem for us is that blind faith is the ultimate tool for the ‘ruling elite’. If they didn’t control our blind faith, society in the way that we know it would be no more. Imagine if people stopped their faith in ‘money’, or they stopped believing in international borders, or in the infallibility of law courts. All of it is controlled by a ruling minority, and even though these things are completely made up, because most people blindly believe all of it – that’s the way it’s gonna stay.
back in the day, land and resources were the main comodity that the ruling elite controlled. These days as well as land and resources they control our reality and our faith. We as a culture have an undying faith in consumerism – if I buy that cream my life will be better – if only I had that car maybe i could be like that guy off the TV. Many people know that true happiness can be achieved if you look young, have a plasma telivision, drive a merc have a fantastic crib, drink champagne and travel to fabulous locations around the world. This reality is drilled into us daily – we’re told that this kind of thing is the peak of human achievement – so get going with earning enough money to afford all that shit. 😀
anyhoo – sorry for the rant, a few things tend to trigger my ranting reflex… blind faith is one of them.January 19, 2006 at 2:33 am #9847
evil is necesary for the manifestion of creation. it’s a dual world. yin and yang. a universe of opposites. we need evil. that doesn’t justify any given person being evil or choosing evil as a way of life. but it has to exist. living on the razor’s edge, you’re neither good nor evil, but beyond, and will be judged in the minds of your observers. good if you suit them, evil if you dont.January 19, 2006 at 6:51 am #9849
Japanese consider nobility as those who are possessed.
‘there is somebody living inside you’
‘alone’ (i.e. me and the god)’I am exhalted’
This is from ninja tradition.
Nobilities rule. When one is overthrown, becomes dimmed.
Beasts and the survival in earth.
Or as Jews say. Elohim. The gods.January 19, 2006 at 1:05 pm #9851
personaly I dont believe there is such a thing as good and evil in the objective sense. i.e. evil as well as good is very subjective.
G.W.Bush thinks that the war he started is ‘good’ – the people suffering as a result of his actions think it’s ‘evil’ – so which one is it ‘really’, who is ‘right’?
If you hate ‘evil’ then you are hating some subjective (very individual) notion attached to that word – as in the example above you might hate G.W.Bush because he’s evil or you may hate the Iraqis because they’re evil – so which one is right?
Your notion of evil can be very different to someone else’s notion of evil, and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ notion – so it generaly doesn’t pay to think in those terms.January 19, 2006 at 7:07 pm #9853
ff, I agree with you that the notions of good and evil are subjective, ie determined by the individual.
My feeling is that as judgments they simply reflect the state of a polarized mind.
For example, some ‘evil’people, are renouned by their friends as being VERY loving, friendly etc. One can’t exist without the other.
Another example may even be supporting a sporting team. “My” team is good, and EVERY other team is bad. (I heard the toronto fans were booing vince carter the other day, they LOVED him when he was playing for them)
This frame work applies to everything from the perspective of a deeply polarized mind/outlook. ‘my…… is good, your/that……is bad, and on and on it goes.
As one begins to encompass duality, the notion of good and evil within oneself (and other polarities) lose their mutual charge on each other.
Then, one can percieve clearlly,from the center.
All opposites returning to their origin…………………..
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