PDA

View Full Version : Pacifism



David Dunn
19th August 2003, 17:13
I'm not sure this should go on a Shorinji Kempo discussion board, but it arises from reading the essays at the Southampton website. Apologies to the author, but this struck me:


Ghandi is an example of this.... So the word spread until peaceful protest was able to free India of colonial rule.

First question. Can you reconcile being a budoka with pacifism?

Second question. India gained independence from Britain through pacifism? Really? What about all them armed uprisings and national liberation movements over the previous decades?

I realise the second question is a debate about history, but it appeared as giving an example of the advocation of Kongo Zen.

John McCollum
19th August 2003, 18:24
Originally posted by David Dunn

First question. Can you reconcile being a budoka with pacifism?




Interview with Aosaka Sensei, in his own inimitable style
"...there are some people who get mad even though you talk to them. So, it's a pain to tell people like that to please stop, so sometimes there's no way around giving out a whack."


Says it all really, doesn't it? We learn from the start about the unity of strength and love. The whole purpose of learning a martial art, in my opinion, is having the strength of character (and the physical strength) to back up your convictions. E-budo's own Sharp Phil wrote an article for his web site which you might find interesting. Normally, I disagree with 99% of what the guy says, but this article (http://www.themartialist.com/pacifism.htm) actually made some sense to me!

I am going to completely ignore your second question, if that's ok. ;)

David Dunn
19th August 2003, 22:26
Probably best to ignore the second question John.

Pacifism is summed up for me by the case of George Harrison and the murderous intruder. The intruder was setting about George with a sharp object, to which George chanted some mantras. Fortunately George's missus set about the intruder with a blunt object.

Says it all, as you say.

tony leith
20th August 2003, 10:34
The above should be intomned in a mock Teutonian sccent for full effect. I've been incommunicado for a while because our old PC finally expired - I've had to acquire a new one, which is one reason I can't afford summer camp this year.

I've been thinking quite a lot recently about Christianity, and it seems to me that the problem with it is not that Jesus himself left much room for ambiguity about the kind of life you should lead, but that so many of his followers have given themselves so much 'wiggle room' (up to and including genocidal warfare). I find much of the positive ethical content of what Jesus had to say admirable, but my own particular sticking point is on pacifisim and turning the other cheek. Pacifism might make sense if you believe in some empyrean realm where all wrongs will be ultimately put to right, but if you believe this world is it, then I don't see that you have any sane option but to resist certain forms of wrong doing actively, by force if need be.

I once gave a howa talk which elaborated on the difference between pacificist and non pacificist traditions in Buddhism, pointing out that the Tibetan adherence to non violent resistance has got them half a century of Chinese rule and to the point where Han Chinese settlers out number them in their own country. The Chinese tried the same number on the Vietnamese, also a Buddhist culture - the Vietnamese fought like bastards, stopped a Chinese invasion cold, and still have a country. I don't know which is the more karmically sound course of action, but I don't think the Tibetans are ever getting their country back.

Tony leith

Kimpatsu
20th August 2003, 11:07
Gassho.
Tony, I know I must seem anal-retentive on this issue, but we have no evidence that Jesus actually said the things attributed to him, or that he even existed for that matter, so you should say, "Jesus allegedly..." More likely, his prophecies were added after the fact by beleivers who wanted to highlight his prophetic powers. Remember, the earliest written account of Jesus was put together about 50 years after he supposedly died. The author wasn't present to record whatever Jesus said anyway.
Kesshu.
PS: Sorry to hear about your PC dying. I hope you gave it a great wake (any excuse!) and a decent funeral.

tony leith
20th August 2003, 13:03
This is hardly the place to debate the historicity of Jesus, but I feel that Tony's argument merits a response. I would entirely agree that much of what the Gospels contain, not least regarding the miraculous, has to be treated with extreme caution. What we call Christianity is largely the invention of its adherents in later generations and centuries. However, the consensus of new testament scholars is that the synoptic Gospels were probably drawing on a common, much more nearly contemporary account of the life of Jesus ('Q'), now lost - IMHO (and that's what it is, please feel free to disagree) if you take away all of the post hoc proofs of divinity, there remains an account of a radical teacher and prophet, devoid of the kind of nauseating piety and murderous sanctimony that characterises much organised religion. Also IMHO if people paid more attention to the man who stood up for an adulterous woman about to be stoned to death by a rabid mob and less to the power structures that accreted aroud his memory, the world might indeed be a better place.

I know none of this will probably withstand Tony's standards of proof, but you know, when you study human affairs, more oftent than not you're reduced to educated guesses - you can't put history in a lab.

Tony leith.

sean dixie
20th August 2003, 19:53
Hello,

While not being nearly as eloquent as either Tony Leith or Tony Kehoe I should like to add that there is plenty of evidence for the existance of a man we call Jesus. Bit of an eccentric by all accounts, goes around spouting off about loving one another, being nice to each other and all that. Some daft buggers even claimed he cured them! Told to dump the crutches and get a proper job more like! No,it's no good having people like that around, disturbes the status quo it does, not a good Jew if you ask me, winds the Romans up something terrible he does! Huh! The Romans! What have they ever done for us?......:D

elder999
20th August 2003, 21:00
Originally posted by tony leith
I've been thinking quite a lot recently about Christianity, and it seems to me that the problem with it is not that Jesus himself left much room for ambiguity about the kind of life you should lead, but that so many of his followers have given themselves so much 'wiggle room' (up to and including genocidal warfare). I find much of the positive ethical content of what Jesus had to say admirable, but my own particular sticking point is on pacifisim and turning the other cheek. Pacifism might make sense if you believe in some empyrean realm where all wrongs will be ultimately put to right, but if you believe this world is it, then I don't see that you have any sane option but to resist certain forms of wrong doing actively, by force if need be.


As far as the turning the other cheek thing, he (allegedly)said to turn the other cheek "three times." It's a counsel to be patient,but that patience also should have it's limits in these circumstances.Remember, too, that he (allegedly)routed the money changers from the temple-a fairly violent scene of righteous anger.

Martyn van Halm
20th August 2003, 22:10
Not only that, but to turn the other cheek to a Jew is [allegedly] not a nice/pacifist thing to do, but supposed to be an insult [something cultural, not that the person in question hits like a girl :D], so I wouldn't exactly call Jesus a 'pacifist'.

Kimpatsu
20th August 2003, 23:18
Gassho.
The point about "turning the other cheek" is that the ancient Jews, like the Arabs today, used their right hand to eat and their left hand for the toilet, so the left hand was considered dirty; as a result, being slapped with that hand was the gravest insult. This led to the saying, meaning, even if they slap you right-handed, turn the other cheek and let them use their left hand as well.
Kesshu.

Martyn van Halm
21st August 2003, 00:14
You don't need to post that three times, I got the message the first time around:D

Kimpatsu
21st August 2003, 00:24
Originally posted by Martyn van Halm
You don't need to post that three times, I got the message the first time around:D
Gassho.
Sorry, my PC threw a wobbly. Now I'm going to throw it: out of the window!
Steve Sensei or Anders Sensei: Could either of you delete the two extraneous posts, please?
Kesshu.

Martyn van Halm
21st August 2003, 00:32
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
Steve Sensei or Anders Sensei: Could either of you delete the two extraneous posts, please?

No, don't do that!

It would make my post look, ehm, odd...

Kimpatsu
21st August 2003, 00:39
Originally posted by Martyn van Halm
No, don't do that!

It would make my post look, ehm, odd...
But my explanation as to why is right there!

Martyn van Halm
21st August 2003, 02:19
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
But my explanation as to why is right there!
Yes, but with the intelligence of the readers, that might be misinterpreted... Ah, what the hell, delete those posts. Nobody reads them anyway. Who reads a topic like 'pacifism' on a budo platform anyway? We're not peace-loving hippy beatniks, we're kick-ass martial artist... destined to roam without room, in search of the holy quail.

Kimpatsu
21st August 2003, 02:42
Originally posted by Martyn van Halm
Yes, but with the intelligence of the readers
This is the Shorinji Kempo forum; the "thinking person's martial art".
Don't make me angry, Martin; you wouldn't like me when I'm angry... :up:

David Dunn
21st August 2003, 17:42
Originally posted by tony leith
I've been thinking quite a lot recently about Christianity,

That way lies madness Tony.

Tony K: I think that there is little doubt that Jesus existed, in the line of Davidic kings, and at the time in one of the many movements against the Pharisees and their collaboration with the Roman occupiers. The point is that Jesus failed his objective. Later the early christians in Europe succeeded in allying with Rome, and preventing the overthrow of that Empire. (History lite for the historically illiterate, as I heard said about Simon Schama).

Anyway, at risk of being dragged off and burned (I'll go out like Ollie Reid), here is an interesting folk song, that may possibly be more history lite that I managed :D


Stand Up For Judas

* (Leon Rosselson)

Chorus:
So stand up, stand up for Judas and the cause that Judas served
It was Jesus who betrayed the poor with his word

The Romans were the masters when Jesus walked the land
In Judea and in Galilee they ruled with an iron hand
And the poor were sick with hunger and the rich were clothed in splendour
And the rebels whipped and crucified hung rotting as a warning
And Jesus knew the answer
Said, Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, said, Love your enemies
But Judas was a Zealot and he wanted to be free
Resist, he said, The Romans' tyranny

Jesus was a conjuror, miracles were his game
And he fed the hungry thousands and they glorified his name
He cured the lame and the lepers, he calmed the wind and the weather
And the wretched flocked to touch him so their troubles would be taken
And Jesus knew the answer
All you who labour, all you who suffer only believe in me
But Judas sought a world where no one starved or begged for bread
The poor are always with us, Jesus said

Now Jesus brought division where none had been before
Not the slaves against their masters but the poor against the poor
Set son to rise up against father, and brother to fight against brother
For he that is not with me is against me, was his teaching
Said Jesus, I am the answer
You unbelievers shall burn forever, shall die in your sins
Not sheep and goats, said Judas, But together we may dare
Shake off the chains of misery we share

Jesus stood upon the mountain with a distance in his eyes
I am the way, the life, he cried, The light that never dies
So renounce all earthly treasures and pray to your heavenly father
And he pacified the hopeless with the hope of life eternal
Said Jesus, I am the answer
And you who hunger only remember your reward's in Heaven
So Jesus preached the other world but Judas wanted this
And he betrayed his master with a kiss

By sword and gun and crucifix Christ's gospel has been spread
And 2.000 cruel years have shown the way that Jesus led
The heretics burned and tortured, and the butchering, bloody crusaders
The bombs and rockets sanctified that rain down death from heaven
They followed Jesus, they knew the answer
All non-believers must be believers or else be broken
So put no trust in Saviours, Judas said, For everyone
Must be to his or her own self - a sun

Steve Williams
21st August 2003, 20:29
Originally posted by David Dunn
That way lies madness Tony.

Tony K: I think that there is little doubt that Jesus existed,

Oh, there is a lot of doubt that Jesus existed.......


You should read a book called:

"The Jesus Mysteries" subtitled: "Was the Original Jesus a Pagan GOD".
by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy.


It is really good, relly thought provoking...... TonyK read it now and I am not really religious in any way (although I did go to church when I was a child).

Kimpatsu
21st August 2003, 23:06
Originally posted by David Dunn
That way lies madness Tony.
Gassho.
I think that's obvious in my case, don't you?
Kesshu.

tony leith
22nd August 2003, 10:35
At a remove of some 2000 years, short of the invention of practicable time travel the 'truth' about then historical Jesus ism likely to remain forever inaccessible. All I have offered is my understanding of the available evidence - it is undoubtedly true any biographical material about an actual historical personage in the gospels is pretty much buried under later accretions. Certainly all the stuff about Christ having been born in midwinter, most of the attendant detail about the nativity, and more worryingly for Christians, most of the pertinent details about the resurrection seems to have been lifted wholesale from the contemporary cult of Mithras. There is also almost as much taken from emperor worship as from Judaism in (catholic) Christianity - the title pope derives from 'pontifex maximus' (an honorific held by the emperor), a dioscese was originally an administrative unit of the Empire etc etc.

As to Dave's rabble rousing folk song, well, I've already admitted that my hearts with the rebels. However it should be noted that a few more decades of insurrectionary violence eventually go the Romans so annoyed that they scattered the Jewish nation all over the known world, destroying the seat of Jewish culture in Jerusalem in the process.

Tony leith

Kimpatsu
22nd August 2003, 13:59
Gassho.
Tony, the earliest gospel was written half a century after Christ, and all the New Testament shows signs of plagiarism from Egyptian myths (the Trinity, death and resurrection, etc.).
I still say, the Romans killed Jesus, so worship the Romans!
Kesshu,