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/leftpol/ - Left Politics

Winner of the 27rd Attention-Hungry Games
/philosophy/ - In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain.

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File: ba40adaa8cbca4c⋯.jpeg (21.96 KB, 259x194, 259:194, 6733B163-5CA3-4104-AA8B-6….jpeg)

 No.22690

Specifically the teaching of Dukkha and liberation from Dukkha. If all attachment is suffering, then political struggle would inevitably be tangled up with suffering — but then again, so would doing nothing at all.

I ask this as both a Buddhist practitioner and a socialist. I am trying to get my local community more engaged with the working class and to move away from the retreat/meditation class model which favors a certain kind of bourgeois spiritual seeker with ample disposable income. The primary obstacle is passivity arising from a fixation on the avoidance of attachment.

 No.22695

>>22690

I have a lot of respect for Buddhist philosophy and practice, and while I don't think it's reactionary, I'm not sure how compatible with politics in general it is, specifically Theravada, since it puts an emphasis on effectively leaving this world, not improving it. I'm not sure why a true Buddhist would become a revolutionary, and not just practice the Eightfold Path.

>I am trying to get my local community more engaged with the working class and to move away from the retreat/meditation class model

What do you mean?


 No.22697

Buddhism and socialism are not compatible. In fact buddhism and politics are only very weakly compatible. Perhaps more so with monarchy or theocracy. Though the concept of bodhisattvas (while not central to Buddhism) might be argued to be socialistic … the same could be said of certian Christian asceitc saints ( ex. St.francis) while these are also not central to the religion, which like all the abrahamics is most certainly centered on a master/slave dynamic. Daosim and politics is also not at all compatible as daoism is peaceful anarchy. There is a reason communists and socialist tend towards atheism.

Also you say that buddism tends to attract the beurgious … but this is certainly in the wester converts you must mean… the vast majority of indigenous Buddhists of the world are not liberal white ladies from the west I can assure you. the same can be said of western socilaism vs worldwide socialism (china, africa) …but a coincidence of attraction in a single demographic does not necessarily denote compatibility of philosophy.


 No.22699

All religion is reactionary, relics of feudalism, a tool of social control which tells you not to worry about your material conditions. In the case of Buddhism this is apparent in how "mindfulness", has become the latest fad for corporate types


 No.22702

>is *x religion* reactionary

it depends entirely on how one interprets it. The japanese anarchist Jun Tsuji had a left-wing interpratation that combined buddhism with Stirner for example.


 No.22775

>>22695

In California, where I live, Buddhism is divided into insular ‘cultural centers’ serving various Asian ethnicities, and export Buddhism taking the form of institutions and temples run by hippie-turned-bougie 70s dinosaurs, where primarily middle class older folk pay money to go to retreats to hear talks in various subjects or attend classes to learn meditation ‘techniques’, often as a means of ‘destressing’ that many HR consultants, counselors and other parasites advocate in a form stripped of all context.

My temple is a mix of the two. Many denominations, like Catholicism, have programs to aid the working poor. Buddhism, either because of its small size or because of its reputation as a somewhat elitist, intellectual and austere religion (a reputation Buddha himself encouraged), has nothing like this.


 No.22777

>>22699

The fact that religion and spirituality more broadly remain appealing to the bourgeois seems to defy the ‘religion is used to control the masses’ thesis, which is pretty kiddie-tier anyway. My coming to socialism was almost a direct result of my experiences within various faith denominations.


 No.22779

>>22695

Also I would add that I am not Theravāda, but sort of Pure Land affiliated. Pure Land allows devotionalism, which is the form religion takes among lower classes.


 No.22860

>>22777

>more broadly remain appealing to the bourgeois

>some rich people are religious so it doesn't count

In my experience, religion is still incredibly popular with the working class, and is a major impediment to socialism, because what's the point of fighting for a better tomorrow on earth when you're already promised paradise in exchange for keeping quiet?


 No.22885

>>22860

Totally wrong. Read William James, brainlet.


 No.22905

YouTube embed. Click thumbnail to play.

Zizek has opinions on Buddhism if you didn't know.


 No.22930

File: 8d10efa407613df⋯.jpg (86.98 KB, 735x490, 3:2, the_face_of_terror.jpg)

You're right in that western Buddhist practice can border on the escapistic. If you go to a retreat or even regular meditation practice at some dharma center, you'll run into plenty of petit-bourg new age liberal types who think of their practice just as a form of psychotherapy or self-suggestion. They might unapologetically think of what they're doing as learning to be blissfully complacent.

In southeast asia, China, Mongolia & Japan where Buddhism is solidly rooted in local culture, to be a devout Buddhist means specifically to act according to the Buddhist ethical framework and to partake in its traditions. Meditation is just not something the local lay people do. There, Buddhism can be thought of as an elaborate code of conduct, held in common, which provides codified procedures for solving typical interpersonal and social conflicts.

Theravada takes its canon at face value. All engagement with externalities is ultimately unfulfilling and must be abandoned, and this is in itself the goal that all must pursue. If intepreted through a materialist lens, this could be taken to mean that it's our soteriological duty to arrange material conditions so that it's as effortless as possible for people to distance themselves from obligation. That would definitely mean that the elimination of capitalism is a foremost goal. However, it can also be read as muh bootstraps, placing the full responsibility of liberation on the individual with comple disregard for their circumstances.

Mahayana is the extended universe to theravada's canon; way looser in intepretation. It involves rituals, mantras, deities, faith, etc. none of which are present in theravada. These are various ways to involve Buddhist teachings and ethics in the lives of lay people who must also engage in their economic and social interest. Mahayana places greater weight on compassion, charity and seamless coexistence rather than disengagement. This is where some danger lies; the mahayana ethic can be intepreted as liberal sentiment of class collaboration, as the way to liberation being to conform to one's circumstances and to get along with adverity despite conflicting material interests. Inversely, it could also be intepreted as anti-chauvinistic and encouraging the adaptation of the means of liberation to suit the varying needs of differing individuals.

It can be read as either revolutionary or reactionary, but I choose to read it as uncompromisingly revolutionary. If total detachment from externalities and the abandonment of subjectivity is the ultimate goal, materialist effort cannot be discounted, since capitalism, a material force, obviously reinforces its own form of subjectivity. If one abandons the distinction between nibbana-of-self and nibbana-in-general, Buddhist communism is a perfectly complementary pair of positions. Today, there is no bigger distraction from nibbana than capitalism, so overcoming it is the most urgent of all ethical tasks.


 No.22989

Nice… desecration of an eastern practice to bolster your facade of a movement. I hope you fucking draw a warm bath and drag a DE blade across your neck in it.


 No.22991

File: b10f58b288732d1⋯.jpg (1.09 MB, 1800x2186, 900:1093, 1367675825547.jpg)


 No.22993

>>22991

Motherfucker you died- I hope the retort was worth it. Enjoy faggots.


 No.22995

File: 3682993da8721d2⋯.jpg (Spoiler Image, 83.99 KB, 405x401, 405:401, 1342878798103.jpg)


 No.23031

I don’t know specifically about the revolutionary potential of Buddhism. It most Buddhist I know are South East Asians, as the city I am from has a huge refugee population of them. They are rather anti communist as they escaped pol pot.

As for religion itself, the issue is 1) common amongst all religions is a ton of subjectivity, personal interpretation. And 2) elder mentality, people turn off their brains and generally accept what some wise man is telling them.

From my own experience practicing Theravada I think of the religions it’s probably one of the best. The practice of mediation is healthy and seems to have good anti-consumerist tendencies. But the problem is spirituality itself as the motivation to do so, and not a materialist understanding of the conditions by which negative thing like consumerism effect the world


 No.23038

All superstitions should be avoided like the plague, opiate or not.


 No.23113

>>22690

The Buddha is explicit in pointing out that Dukkha arises with desire. It is desire we must extinguish to erase Dukkha and achieve Nirvana. However, the Buddha recognises that not all desire necessarily causes bad karma or can be extinguished by any other means than achieving the desire. The most prudent example is the desire for Nirvana itself: to desire to be free of Dukkha is motivation to extinguish desire in the first place. It is therefore not only a fire to maintain, but one to fan and feed.

This is especially important when we enter the political: we need to correctly understand the Buddha's encouragement of passivity. Much of the Buddha's teachings are aimed at those closest to Dhamma, its scholars (Buddhist 'monks'). It is this group of people that can afford to abstain from politics and concern themselves entirely with the path towards Nirvana - or can they?

In truth and history, the answer is opposite: many Buddhist scholars would engage in politics regardless (look no further than the infamous Buddhist burnings). These scholars were well aware that, while a complete and utter dedication to Nirvana is paramount, it is exactly this dedication which in itself can cause an opening for Dukkha to arise anew. As such they would engage in politics when necessary, exactly to maintain or create a quietness necessary to fully adhere to the Buddha's teachings.

Thus: the Buddha does not teach us unrelenting passivity, but does warn us of the Dukkha that arises from engagement with politics. As a revolutionary, this should not require further explanation: to want to facilitate change is to suffer relentlessly under that ideal. However, we know that our suffering is worthwhile - we do it to create a better world for everyone.

We should dedicate ourselves to the Revolution, not out of a misplaced idealism, but to undo Dukkha. There is no better Karma than extinguishing desire!

>I ask this as both a Buddhist practitioner

Study the teachings, the philosophy, first, not the rituals. Otherwise you end up like so many western "Buddhists": bogged down in trying to define and achieve a vague 'mindfulness'. The Buddha's teachings is what give the rituals and symbols, the religion, meaning; treat Buddhism as a philosophy and subject it to the same scrutiny you would any other.

As for your complaints about the (petty) bourgeois seeking out Buddhism: it was part of a fad when "Eastern" mysticism became mainstream. This interest by the general populace didn't go much much further than a superficial interest in rituals and practices based on poor translations and exploited by casuistry merchants. The actual interaction with philosophies like Buddhism, Shinto, let alone the plurality of 'Hinduism', was brief, if present at all. ("Yoga" and its enduring popularity is the best example: do those engaging in yoga contemplate Dhamma? I doubt it.)

Maybe most crucially for you: you do not need an institution to practice Buddhism. Read the Tripiṭaka, acknowledge the three marks of existence, and, most importantly, cause good Karma.


 No.23114

>>22695

>>22697

Communism and Buddhism are highly compatible, particularly Pratītyasamutpāda and the three marks of existence; Anicca, Anattā, and Dukkha. ( >>22930 is also of note)

We first have to acknowledge that, while the Buddha considers Nirvana the highest obtainable goal and one that all humans should aim to achieve, the Buddha also recognizes that not everyone is in a position to do so. It is exactly those people that the scholarly Buddhist should aim to assist and educate. To the Buddha, those that can not dedicate their lives to Nirvana can still benefit from following the teachings. (See also >>23113 )

The question, then, is not: "Can the Buddha's teachings assist the Left?", but "How can the Buddha's teachings assist the Left?" This is a question I am not fully equipped to answer, and will instead refer to the collective writing under Dhammic socialism. What I can do, however, is explain how the Buddha's teachings and Marxist and Marxian philosophy are connected.

Let us first examine the three marks of existence, beginning with Dukkha.

Dukkha is suffering which originates from desire and pervades our lives. To those familiar with writing both from the Left and from the Buddha, the connection is immediate: capitalism not only causes unnecessary desire (commodity fetishism!), but its very ideology is contingent on unnecessary desire. To want capital, is to desire endless increase of value, is to extend Dukkha eternally. Capitalism not only conflicts with the path to Nirvana, it also offends Anicca.

Anicca is the assertion that nothing is permanent. To the Buddhist, everything will arise and cease to be. This has far reaching consequences, as we will see when we discuss Anattā, but its connection to Dukkha should not be understated. Anicca informs us that nothing is eternal, including our desires and objects of desire. It is this knowledge which allows us to recognize Dukkha is transient and help us detach from unnecessary desire. To the revolutionary: is capitalism stable?

Finally, Anattā, the non-self, holds that there is no such thing as a soul. While benign or obvious at first sight, the effect of this doctrine is that Buddhism is materialist. Yes, despite such lofty concepts as Dukkha, Nirvana, and Pratītyasamutpāda, to the Buddhist it is the physical which foremost causes our suffering; it is the physical reality we must venture to understand to understand our state of being. This is why Buddhist scholars ask physicists to teach them about topics like quantum physics, why they engage with academics the world over to better understand the reality they find themselves in. This alone makes Marx highly relevant to Buddhists.

The connection between these three concepts is most neatly captured in Pratītyasamutpāda. Pratītyasamutpāda holds that all things are in constant co-dependence on one another; poetically explained as "this arises, that arises; this ceases, that ceases". How else can I extinguish my desire for food then by sating my hunger?

More important is its relation with capitalism and the Revolution. Pratītyasamutpāda reminds us that, as dharma are in constant co-dependence, we must be precise in what to undo. If we wish to undo of the class hierarchy we are subject to, we must go further than to merely dispose of the bourgeoisie - what is to stop another ruling elite from arising? Instead, we must look at what gives them their position of power in the first place - (accumulation of value via) exclusive ownership of the means of production. Therefore, class struggle itself is contingent on exclusive ownership of the means of production. To undo one, is to undo the other.

To seize the means of production, is to undo Dukkha, is to follow Anicca, and is to adhere to Anatta. By undoing the crooked hierarchy that chains us, we not only undo class struggle, we extinguish the Dukkha associated with it and get a little closer to Nirvana.

In conclusion: the Revolution is not only prudent to Buddhist labourers, but to Buddhists of all strides. To the Buddhist labourers it is the means of obtaining access to the path to Nirvana, while for Buddhist scholars it is of woefully understated importance to the great project of Buddhism: collective Enlightenment. The latter is impossible to realise as long as we have achieved anything less than full communism.


 No.23115

>>22905

This video has been a bugbear for me for a while - or more specifically: its use as criticism of Buddhism as a philosophy.

Contracted, Zizek argues that Christianity ultimately lead to enlightenment thinking, and Protestantism to German idealism. To Zizek, it is a mindset laying within Christianity (which itself may be a priori to Christianity itself), which caused or resulted in the philosophies that followed. In contrast Zizek refers to, not just Buddhism, but all philosophies in Asia as originating a more passive modus operandi.

Zizek is very clear, outright says so at multiple points, that he is not criticising Buddhist philosophy, but the culture and practices it spawned. Not only do I think this is an apt analysis, I think it is important for both Buddhists, Marxists, and everyone in between, but I am spend and will leave you to muse on this by yourself.


 No.23131

>>23114

>While benign or obvious at first sight, the effect of this doctrine is that Buddhism is materialist.

Eh, you left out how they believe in reincarnation, and how they have to explain how consciousness is transferred from one being to the next without a soul.

Anatman is one of those concepts to this day Buddhist don’t all agree on, and others reject


 No.23133

If you think Buddhism is in any way compatible with Socialism or Communism then I guarantee you are a white middle class cunt from the west coast

Its reactionary, it has been used as justification for war and murder just like Christianity. You fetishize it because its foreign to you and you haven't seen its ugly side


 No.23139

>>23131

As you point out: no Anatman to reincarnate. Reincarnation is clearly a cultural artifact and a misplaced one at that.

(Not to mention that mind-body duality is not in itself non-materialist and Buddhism is monist at that.)

>>23133

>Its reactionary, it has been used as justification for war and murder just like Christianity.

Pure ideology, look no further than Historical Materialism in the Soviet Union.

Refer to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62PjBEdhJjs

More concisely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0gkx5_m84o


 No.23160

File: 1e1d27812d07dcf⋯.jpg (22.56 KB, 341x390, 341:390, 1e1d27812d07dcf2acba2433b8….jpg)

>>23133

Westerners treating Buddhism as if it's not just another religion shows that they reject it fundamentally on the grounds of being foreign, not of their own, and following it is never anything more than a form of protest; it's Satanism for those too pussy to be Satanists.

>>23114

> Anattā, the non-self, holds that there is no such thing as a soul. While benign or obvious at first sight, the effect of this doctrine is that Buddhism is materialist.

Jesus fucking Christ. That's creationist tier apologetics. Fuck off and die.


 No.23212

>>23133

Absolutely all ideologies have been used as justification for war and murder, including our own. How many groups and people have cynically used socialism or communism in order to gain power and kill opponents? It's not about whether someone has used an ideology as justification or not, but whether that ideology actually justifies it. Buddhism absolutely does not and cannot.

>>23160

>Westerners treating Buddhism as if it's not just another religion shows that they reject it fundamentally on the grounds of being foreign, not of their own, and following it is never anything more than a form of protest; it's Satanism for those too pussy to be Satanists.

You should try educating yourself before you give ignorant opinions. Buddhism at its core is clearly not another religion, it's more similar to Ancient Greek schools of philosophy that are about living a good life.

>Jesus fucking Christ. That's creationist tier apologetics. Fuck off and die.

You're a really shitty shitposter and you need to stop posting until you have something to contribute.


 No.23444

>>23133

MOVE YOUR SJW BULLSHIT OUT OF HERE


 No.23625

tired: you'll never make samsara better.

wired: there is nothing but your own mind, (You) make it into either samsara or nirvana.

gtfo mahayana/hinayana, that's for babies. do tantra. dorje shugden ftw.


 No.23696

Buddhism is reactionary. It's a world religion. To leftists who seek a decolonized world, ethnic religions centred on polytheism and animism should be held up as superior. Buddhism is an ideological form of imperialism as much as the monotheisms like Islam and Christianity that replaced religious diversity everywhere they infested.


 No.23699

>>23696

>Religious diversity is good

Spooks my dude

>>22697

To add to this, a lot of majority Buddhist countries historically practiced slavery on a mass scale, and used Buddhism to justify it (e.g. "They deserved it for their karma from past lives."). Examples include the Khmer Empire, Yuan Dynasty, Tibet, Siam, etc.


 No.25117

>>23113

>This interest by the general populace didn't go much much further than a superficial interest in rituals and practices based on poor translations and exploited by casuistry merchants

Not OP, but can you recommend good translations, and where to start? I think I might have severely screwed up by starting with Zen and focusing on meditation.


 No.25119

>>25117

OP here, I would start with a good translation of the Pali canon. Two books I found fruitful are What the Buddha Taught and The Truth of Suffering and the Path yo Liberation. Dharmaseed is a decent source for Theravada talks and meditations — I personally recommend listening to Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield (not sure what’s up with Jews and Buddhism)


 No.25153

>>25117

accesstoinsight.org, very comprehensive Pali Canon site. Changed my life.


 No.25179

>>25153

>>25119

thanks anons.


 No.25262


 No.25294

this whole thread:

haha those liberal boogers over there have enough money to afford these fancy buddhist retreats in their pretentious efforts to alleviate their own suffering

haha I am so glad I'm not like those cunts at this same retreat I myself am at haha, nope I am so much more enlightened lelelel XD

I am a revolutionary socialist *and* a buddhist, god I am so swell and nothing like those flippant hippy liberal california people

literally if you are posting here, you are bourgeoisie


 No.25433

>Engaged Buddhism refers to Buddhists who are seeking ways to apply the insights from meditation practice and dharma teachings to situations of social, political, environmental, and economic suffering and injustice. Finding its roots in Vietnam through the Zen Buddhist teacher Thích Nhất Hạnh, Engaged Buddhism has grown in popularity in the West.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engaged_Buddhism


 No.25435

>>22860

>religion … is a major impediment to socialism

Not all religion. Buddhism is inherently anti-consumerist, and Gnosticism, for instance, is anti-authoritarian.


 No.25437

>>25433

>The term "Engaged Buddhism" has since been re-translated back into Chinese as "Left-wing Buddhism" (左翼佛教) to denote the left emphasis held by this type of Buddhism. The term has also been used as a translation for what is commonly understood in China and Taiwan as "Humanistic Buddhism" (人間佛教).


 No.25444

>>25435

Gnosticism is inherently elitist, are you retarded? It’s literally the doctrine of secret knowledge (that obviously only a privileged few can understand). This is why fascists like Evola are drawn to it


 No.25445

>>25294

Do you even know what the bourgeoisie is?


 No.25447

>>25444

I think MOST people can experience gnosis, not just an elite few. But we are ruled by godless fools, metaphorically referred to as the Archons in Gnostic mythology.


 No.25448

>>25445

Bourgeois means ‘understands memes’


 No.25450

>>25447

As long as you’re not a woman, according to the gnostic gospels.


 No.25452

>>25450

Good thing Gnosticism is inherently anti-orthodoxism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kingdom_of_God_Is_Within_You


 No.25453

>In 1998, while on retreat in Bodh Gaya, India, …the Dalai Lama told those of us who were participating in a Buddhist-Christian dialogue that sometimes, Buddhists have not acted vigorously to address social and political problems. He told our group, “In this, we have much to learn from the Christians.”[5]


 No.25462

>>25445

>Do you even know what the bourgeoisie is?

everything that I don't like


 No.25666

File: 689ad6fd1f7a7f7⋯.jpg (55.25 KB, 900x900, 1:1, photo.jpg)

>I ask this as both a Buddhist practitioner and a socialist.


 No.25690

>>25666

Satan detected.


 No.25721

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhvlnC-oKEw

The Dalai Lama identifies as a Marxist, fwiw


 No.25728

>trying to have a discussion about religion in post-2018 leftypol

why even bother


 No.26020

File: 0b97b315ced7b0e⋯.jpg (944.84 KB, 840x1200, 7:10, 03b5eff5740d16736c1ec112df….jpg)

>>22690

No it is not reactionary, you are attaching, there is no attainment. Don't try and engage your sangha in politics, you are attaching. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not following the 8 fold path.


 No.26034

>>22775

>California

>Buddhism

So you aren't a real Buddhist in any sense of the term. Got it.

BTW its reactionary and you and every other Spooked faggot needs to get off this board


 No.26037

>>26034

Buddha was the anti-Stirner, no wonder he triggers you guys

Anatta my dude, the self is a spook, your worldview is literally the most spooky shit there is


 No.26048

>>22699

>a tool of social control

There's literally nothing wrong with social control. The Soviet Union did plenty of that, as did Maoist China and rightly so. Social disorder is a trait of capitalism, whose very premise is deregulated markets and certain "personal freedoms" and "rights" which allow people to indulge themselves in morally abhorrent behavior, pollute and waste valuable resources (consumerism) while skimming away from any sort of obligation to the well being of society.


 No.26076

File: 3ec4ccb9b8578c4⋯.jpg (190.57 KB, 1600x1600, 1:1, serveimage2.jpg)

>>22690

>Buddhism

>not Christcuckery on steroids

disgusting.

>reactionary

the word, if it had any meaning, is completely devoid of it now. not only is marxism (or socialism) not compatible with buddhism, but LIFE ITSELF isn't compatible with buddhism


 No.26623

>>26037

Stirner was the poor man's buddha, and collectively speaking continental philsophy is a cheap facile of the eastern tradition. No Western thinker to date has to surpass the older teachings.


 No.26664

>>23160

>Calling Buddhism a religion


 No.26675

>>26664

>Calling a group of ideas which talk extensively about Devas (higher spiritual beings) Asuras (demons), and reincartion “not a religion”

WEW LAD




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