Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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No_Mind
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by No_Mind » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:16 am

SteRo wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:16 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:32 pm
Can having strong political views co-exist with serious pursuit of Buddhism?
No because "strong views" of any kind are likely to be self-identity views. Thus cultivating such views is cultivating self-identity views which undermines serious pursuit of dhamma.
But that changes one to a vegetable. Except for ascetics living in caves (who learn which fruits are safe to eat and can live years in the wilderness) everyone needs to live in a society (even Buddhist monks .. and just a passing thought .. Buddhist monks have greater need of a supportive society than other monks .. say Hindu and Catholic).

If there are changes in society that I find unpalatable - be it tax cuts to the wealthy or free pass to illegal migrants (not USA .. India too has a pressing illegal migrant problem) .. should a Buddhist not voice it?
Caodemarte wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:30 am
Buddhism cannot tell you what political views are correct. It does teach that intention is what matters. If you support kindness to all, wish to help all, reflect compassion and non-hatred, AND ACTUALLY DO then you are on the right track. If the opposite, well, that is the wrong track.
Wishing to help all is a rather dangerous rider. At end of the day my needs, my family's needs, and welfare is most important. Life and intentions cannot be entirely unselfish.

There are scarce resources and infinite demand. Wanting to help all is not possible.

There are ugly outcomes that cannot be avoided even if one has the purest heart.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

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DooDoot
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by DooDoot » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:07 am

Ceisiwr wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:59 am
We should have kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity towards Nazis, white-nationalists and anti-Semites.
Unlikely we can have sympathetic joy (mudita) towards Nazis, white-nationalists and anti-Semites unless we believe their ideology is wholesome (kusala).
Ceisiwr wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:59 am
If we are to be political I feel that involves being tolerant of them, which brings us to classical liberalism in terms of our politics.
Politics is about governance for society. The suttas already explain what Buddhist governance is; such as the duties of a Universal Monarch (in DN 26) and the advice to the Vajjis (in DN 16).
Ceisiwr wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:01 am
Strong political views, or views in general, are a factor of the path? Doesn’t sound like Dhamma to me.
Right view is a factor of the path. The path is not about "no views". Ajahn Sumedho once said: "Don't be so empty so your mind/brain falls out" or similar. The Path incorporates Right Speech, Right Action & Right Livelihood plus other teachings, such as found in DN 31 (such as dhammic relations between employers & employees), which define the politics of a Noble Buddhist.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by Ceisiwr » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:31 am

Unlikely we can have sympathetic joy (mudita) towards Nazis, white-nationalists and anti-Semites unless we believe their ideology is wholesome (kusala).
You can have sympathetic joy for a Nazi without supporting their ideology. A Nazi is more than their ideology. The same for everyone else.

Politics is about governance for society. The suttas already explain what Buddhist governance is; such as the duties of a Universal Monarch (in DN 26) and the advice to the Vajjis (in DN 16).
Very basic outlines given by the Buddha for those who can’t stop being political. Lots of variation within.


Right view is a factor of the path. The path is not about "no views". Ajahn Sumedho once said: "Don't be so empty so your mind/brain falls out" or similar. The Path incorporates Right Speech, Right Action & Right Livelihood plus other teachings, such as found in DN 31 (such as dhammic relations between employers & employees), which define the politics of a Noble Buddhist.
When did I say we should adopt no view? Straw man.
Last edited by Ceisiwr on Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
“Lust is a maker of signs. Aversion is a maker of signs. Delusion is a maker of signs.” MN 43

"Rooted in desire, friends, are all phenomena; originating in attention, are all phenomena”
— A. v. 106

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DooDoot
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by DooDoot » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:33 am

Ceisiwr wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:31 am
When did I say we should adopt no view? Straw man.
U said: Strong political views, or views in general, are a factor of the path? :roll:
Ceisiwr wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:31 am
Very basic outlines given by the Buddha. Lots of variation within...
:strawman:
Last edited by DooDoot on Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by Ceisiwr » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:35 am

DooDoot wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:33 am
Ceisiwr wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:31 am
When did I say we should adopt no view? Straw man.
Strong political views, or views in general, are a factor of the path? :roll:
Ceisiwr wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:31 am
Very basic outlines given by the Buddha. Lots of variation within...
:strawman:

My apologies. My post should have read “strong views in general”.
“Lust is a maker of signs. Aversion is a maker of signs. Delusion is a maker of signs.” MN 43

"Rooted in desire, friends, are all phenomena; originating in attention, are all phenomena”
— A. v. 106

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by Ceisiwr » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:36 am

Very basic outlines given by the Buddha. Lots of variation within...
:strawman:
[/quote]



How is that a straw man?
“Lust is a maker of signs. Aversion is a maker of signs. Delusion is a maker of signs.” MN 43

"Rooted in desire, friends, are all phenomena; originating in attention, are all phenomena”
— A. v. 106

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DooDoot
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by DooDoot » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:36 am

Ceisiwr wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:35 am
My apologies. My post should have read “strong views in general”.
"Right View" as a factor of the Path is held very strongly, i.e. totally. :ugeek:
Ceisiwr wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:36 am
How is that a straw man?
Its unsubstantiated foo foo. :smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

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Ceisiwr
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by Ceisiwr » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:40 am

"Right View" as a factor of the Path is held very strongly, i.e. totally. :ugeek:
That doesn’t sound like safeguarding the truth.

Its unsubstantiated foo foo. :smile:

That isn’t what a straw man is.
“Lust is a maker of signs. Aversion is a maker of signs. Delusion is a maker of signs.” MN 43

"Rooted in desire, friends, are all phenomena; originating in attention, are all phenomena”
— A. v. 106

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Bundokji
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by Bundokji » Thu Dec 19, 2019 8:32 am

I think Buddhism teaches skillful use of views through understanding kamma and how views based on greed, hatred and delusion will only lead to suffering.

As constructs, worldly views (including political ones) can be right or wrong based on the conditions, context, premises and assumptions used in constructing the view. These are usually not limited to abstract reasoning, but also human values based on the fact that humans experience pleasure and pain, which translates into right and wrong, A skillful use does not necessitate certainty, nor necessitates confusion.

If what you mean by "strong views" is attachment or identification with views, then this can't be conducive to the practice. If what you mean by "strong views" is clarity of vision, then there are no virtues in confusion or unwarranted conclusions.

Ideally, the individual practitioner should be able to set his/her priorities. If engaging in political views/arguments serves as a distraction, then the practitioner should be able to recognize that.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

SteRo
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by SteRo » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:52 am

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:16 am
SteRo wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:16 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:32 pm
Can having strong political views co-exist with serious pursuit of Buddhism?
No because "strong views" of any kind are likely to be self-identity views. Thus cultivating such views is cultivating self-identity views which undermines serious pursuit of dhamma.
But that changes one to a vegetable.
I do not share that view that progress on the path and working on abandoning fetters changes one to a vegetable.
No_Mind wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:16 am
If there are changes in society that I find unpalatable - be it tax cuts to the wealthy or free pass to illegal migrants (not USA .. India too has a pressing illegal migrant problem) .. should a Buddhist not voice it?
you have asked about "serious pursuit of Buddhism" which I have interpreted as "serious pursuit of the Eightfold Path". I think the limbs of the Eightfold Path are very clear about what is compatible with the path and what is not compatible.

sentinel
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by sentinel » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:55 pm

Only arahant manage or able to handle Mara , nazis , white supremacist and anti Semites with peace .
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” -Buddha

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No_Mind
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by No_Mind » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:02 pm

SteRo wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:52 am
No_Mind wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:16 am
If there are changes in society that I find unpalatable - be it tax cuts to the wealthy or free pass to illegal migrants (not USA .. India too has a pressing illegal migrant problem) .. should a Buddhist not voice it?
you have asked about "serious pursuit of Buddhism" which I have interpreted as "serious pursuit of the Eightfold Path". I think the limbs of the Eightfold Path are very clear about what is compatible with the path and what is not compatible.
We are broadly in agreement that one who pursues Buddhism seriously cannot have strong political views.

I have changed back to not having a strong view a day after I started having a strong view.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

Caodemarte
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:23 am

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:16 am
......
Caodemarte wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:30 am
Buddhism cannot tell you what political views are correct. It does teach that intention is what matters. If you support kindness to all, wish to help all, reflect compassion and non-hatred, AND ACTUALLY DO then you are on the right track. If the opposite, well, that is the wrong track.
Wishing to help all is a rather dangerous rider. At end of the day my needs, my family's needs, and welfare is most important. Life and intentions cannot be entirely unselfish.

There are scarce resources and infinite demand. Wanting to help all is not possible...

Wishing to help all or good will towards all is certainly possible; being able to materially do so in every case is a different matter. We can only do the best we can according to our circumstances. You do not have to wish harm on others or hold anger in your heart towards others to benefit yourself or your family. In fact, doing so will harm yourself. Look into why you hold any strong political view. Are you letting your passions and delusions control you? If so, start again. When you oppose others are you “hating the sinner or the sin” (in Christian terms)? If you hate the sinner, start again.

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Kusala
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by Kusala » Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:34 am

No_Mind wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:32 pm
Can having strong political views co-exist with serious pursuit of Buddhism?

excess details below can be skipped

I have avoided politics of my nation for about 18 months but now I need to have a view due to prevailing circumstances.

By absolutely liberal terms of reference it is right wing view. But it is not right wing in my opinion.

Rather the strongly right-of-center government has decided to stop appeasing Muslims in a very calibrated way and I don't think they are wrong. I am not Islamophobic but little fed up of the secular liberals and their gluteus-kissing of Muslims for 70 years.


:namaste:
Yes. The Dalai Lama, for example...



https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 37221.html
"He, the Blessed One, is indeed the Noble Lord, the Perfectly Enlightened One;
He is impeccable in conduct and understanding, the Serene One, the Knower of the Worlds;
He trains perfectly those who wish to be trained; he is Teacher of gods and men; he is Awake and Holy. "

--------------------------------------------
"The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One,
Apparent here and now, timeless, encouraging investigation,
Leading to liberation, to be experienced individually by the wise. "

SteRo
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Re: Political Views and Buddhist Practice

Post by SteRo » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:27 pm

Kusala wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:34 am
No_Mind wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:32 pm
Can having strong political views co-exist with serious pursuit of Buddhism?
Yes. The Dalai Lama, for example...



https://www.independent.co.uk/news/worl ... 37221.html
The question referred to strong political views. While The Dalai Lama utters political views every now and then, how is one able to assess whether these are strong views provided we can agree on what 'strong' in the context of political views possibly means?
I have interpreted strong political views as being necessarily self identity views. But maybe others won't interpret 'strong' this way :shrug:

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