Well, okay, I'm not at the beach yet, but I'll take a crack at this, L56.

Your moral relativism and Buddhist equanimity - in other words, your willingness to see "both sides" of most situations - is admirable in its intent, but more dualistic than you seem to realize at times.

To wit -

There is no opposite of love. There is only the absence of love (at times in some people). There is no opposite of good, only the absence of it. Hate is a function of fear. Evil is a function of emotional numbness.

What I am saying about social diseases like racism or militarism, etc., etc., is that they cannot be understood apart from the whole body of whatever group they infect, no more than an illness can be understood separately from the physical body it is infecting. I know that this is not the "western" way, but you seem to be gravitating toward eastern philosophy, so I presume you are attempting to understand the Yin and Yang and non-dualism.

For example, to say that law enforcement as a whole is diseased, even though there are good cops, is not the same as trying to say that a police force is good because there are some good cops. One is a non-dualistic description of reality, the other is an idealized projection and denial of reality. A healthy body doesn't have a sick "part," and a sick body doesn't have a healthy "part," except to a mind that sees things dualistically - classic western medicine's viewpoint. A healthy body is healthy. A sick body is sick. For a police force to be healthy, whatever attracts or allows for sick cops to be part of the force has to be addressed and healed or the body of law enforcement is sick.

Regarding your thoughts about guns, affirmative action, etc., at this point, I can only say generally, right now, something similar to what I already said - seeing both sides of every situation as having equal weight on the scale of reality is not what the spiritual philosophies you're reading about are saying. The deep messages in these great teachings are about seeking The Truth and The Way, not your truth versus mine, or your way versus mine.

To be frank about it, L56, you and Rick, because of your egos, imagine that I am using my blog to espouse some personal ideology that will inflate my ego and prove that I am "right." Of course you think that because you don't believe that there are universal truths that we can all seek, let alone all find. But there are.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

PL: A healthy body doesn't have a sick "part," and a sick body doesn't have a healthy "part,"...

By this definition every single institution, group, profession, including, yours and mine... is "sick". Inevitably there's at least a percentage of people in every field that are corrupt, greedy, etc. therefore according to your non-dual approach the whole lot of it is bad. What you're essentially saying is that all of humanity is f#@$ed up. Should we then just pack our bags, head for the hills, pop 4 dozen Asprin and head to the great show in the sky? Where's the optimism in that? Or is optimism naive?

And why can't you say a body is sick AND healthy at the same time? Why does it have to be one OR the other?

Buddhists don't believe in clarity. They believe in seeking the truth, but not clarity. I think there's big a difference

"The absolute position, when isolated, omits human details completely. Doctrines, including Buddhism, are meant to be used. Beware of them taking life of their own, for then they use us." - Robert Aitken Roshi (Author and Buddhist)

Moral clarity is not something that Buddhism is interested in. Your idea of assigning a body as simply either healthy or sick is an example of attempting to achieve clarity.

And PS I hope you don't think that I (or Rick) am trying to trap you into saying you're wrong. Quite the contrary, I'm enjoying the debate as it's forcing me to find out more about and refine what I believe in. I've done more research on morality, ethics, Buddhism etc. than I ever would on my own. I'm certainly not out to change your mind. I could really care less about your ego, or mine for that matter. And if I didn't think there were truths to be found, I wouldn't be wasting my time.


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