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View Diary: I sucked at Buddhism last night (257 comments)

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  •  Certainly on a practical level i know (0+ / 0-)

    That Buddhism isn't incompatible with a desire for social change and with working for social change. I can't deny that given the fact that I've worked on social justice issues with Buddhists and am aware of the Buddhists in other countries who have sacrificed and worked for justice. On a day to day basis I think Buddhist methods including meditation can be incredibly useful and I myself benefit from them. My issue is with the basis of the philosophy/religion on a deeper level.

    First, I know the suffering that comes from compassion and empathy, I feel it most days. And I know what causes suffering, expectation. That says to me that compassion and empathy must be expectations and that expectations then must not be bad because I can't believe that compassion and empathy are bad.

    I certainly don't dismiss the Buddhist tradition nor the many insights to be gained from it, but what it lacks is an understanding of the interaction between the individual and the community. Community is based on shared suffering. There are other aspects to it, celebrations and changes etc. But at the core of any community is the common suffering.

    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

    by AoT on Thu May 02, 2013 at 08:13:23 PM PDT

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    •  Not at all (0+ / 0-)

      That seems a very dystopic view of community.  Certainly community can arise out of love and compassion as well.  Now, you may suffer from your empathy, but that does not mean that it must always do so. The suffering arises not from your compassion and empathy but rather from the ideation a and desires you create from it.  In turn, it is clinging to those ideas that causes suffering.  There is no particular need to be attached that way.  Thus, compassion and community and quite compatible with nonattachment.  Consider for a moment the Dalai Lama and his position as an example of what is possible in walking that path.  Just because you personally take a given approach does not mean it is the only one.  Does that make sense?

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

      by Mindful Nature on Fri May 03, 2013 at 01:23:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course it's not the only one (1+ / 0-)
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        marina

        I didn't mean to present it as such.

        And it isn't really distopic, it's realistic and useful in my eyes. Without suffering there is no compassion or empathy and those two things are how community is built. And solidarity in action opposed to imposed suffering.

        Now, you may suffer from your empathy, but that does not mean that it must always do so.
        If suffering is inevitable then I will suffer. Certainly I can see people being happy and that's good, but the suffering far overwhelms any of that. I'm certainly not trying to convert anyone. I'm not under the impression that I've got a super happy view of the world. I sometimes jokingly call myself a futilitarian. It's all futile but we've got to try and fix shit anyway.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:16:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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