Re: Why so few Western Buddhists?
Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:14 am
We have discussed it once beforebinocular wrote: ↑Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:03 pmBecause harmony is valued above everything else.Subharo wrote: ↑Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:35 pmNo Mind, here is a counter-question for you to ponder (which perhaps will give you a Satori into an answer to your OP):
In Eastern culture, why is critical thinking, and frank debate in a gentlemanly tone of voice, so taboo, especially when people (who are elders) are clearly talking crap (and take great liberty doing so, knowing very well they can get away with it all they want, pretty much)?
And it seems that as long as hamorny is given highest value and pursued (enforced!), everything else can fall into place as well (esp. economic development).
I remember a story I once heard, it goes in roundabout like this: A Hindu man was spiritually very advanced. He had a guru. The man would sometimes visit the guru with his young son. The son quickly noticed that his father's guru was nowhere near as advanced as his father. So the son objected that his father should bow to the guru's feet. But the man said that it doesn't matter who is more advanced, and that what matters is that the order of things be respected -- and that he, as his guru's student, should bow to him.
Let me share it again
No_Mind wrote: ↑Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:14 pmThat is just the way it is.binocular wrote:What do they hope to accomplish with indirectness?No_Mind wrote:On the whole Asians are not very argumentative or direct.
But this may throw some light --
Actually this is better --5. Try to come to terms with the concept of ‘face’ (giving, saving and losing it), which is essential in dealing with Asians. Avoid putting possible clients and partners in ‘yes-no’ situations, and expect oblique answers as part of the process of creating a relationship.
http://davidcliveprice.com/12-commandme ... etiquette/
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=28769&p=413443#p413443It comes down to two different "laws":
The Greeks followed the "law of the excluded middle," which states that if two people are debating, then one of them must be exclusively right and the other exclusively wrong.
The Chinese followed the "doctrine of mean," which states that if two people are debating, then they're probably both partly right and partly wrong - the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
Here's Nisbett on China:
The ecology of China, consisting as it does primarily of relatively fertile plains, low mountains, and navigable rivers, favored agriculture and made centralized control of society relatively easy.
Agricultural peoples need to get along with one another ... This is particularly true for rice farming, characteristic of southern China and Japan, which requires people to cultivate the land in concert with one another.
But it is also important wherever irrigation is required... In addition to getting along with one's neighbors, irrigation systems require centralized control and ancient China, like all other ancient agricultural societies, was ruled by despots. Peasants had to get along with their neighbors and were ruled by village elders and a regional magistrate who was the representative of the king.
The ordinary Chinese therefore lived in a complicated world of social constraints.
Way different than Greece.
The ecology of Greece, on the other hand, consisting as it does mostly of mountains descending to the sea, favored hunting, herding, fishing, and trade (and - let's be frank - piracy). These are occupations that require relatively little cooperation with others. In fact, with the exception of trade, these economic activities do not strictly require living the same stable community with other people.
Settled agriculture came to Greece almost two thousand years later than to China, and it quickly became commercial, as opposed to merely subsistence, in many areas.
The soil and climate of Greece were congenial to wine and olive oil production, and by the sixth century B.C., many farmers were more nearly businessmen than peasants. The Greeks were therefore able to act on their own to a greater extent than were the Chinese. Not feeling it necessary to maintain harmony with their fellows at any cost, the Greeks were in the habit of arguing with one another in the marketplace and debate one another in the political assembly.
Nisbett's argument continues from there.
The geography shaped the way people interacted with one another. The Ancient Greek could decide to move his goat heard with little consideration of what other people thought - unless his livestock invaded somebody else's property. But if the Ancient Chinese were to make the most of his rice harvest, he'd need cooperation from neighbors.
That's where you get the Greek emphasis on the individual and debate, and the Chinese emphasis on the collective and harmony.
The fascinating cultural reason why Westerners and East Asians have polar opposite understandings of the truth