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The Dalai Lama on violence
Guardian UK ^ | 21 June 2010 | Andrew Brown

Posted on 07/11/2010 9:09:05 PM PDT by Lorianne

The Dalai Lama has sent a message of support for Armed Forces Day, which is next Saturday. In it, he writes of his admiration for the military. That is perhaps not so surprising. As he explains, there are many parallels between being a monk and being a soldier – the need for discipline, companionship, and inner strength.

But his support will take some of his western admirers by surprise, not least when it comes to his thoughts on non-violence.

Attitudes towards violence in Buddhism are enormously complex. There are some traditions that argue aggression, and killing in particular, is always wrong. But there are others which argue that killing can be good, when executed by a spiritually skilled practitioner who can do so with the right motivation. Tibetan Buddhism falls squarely into the latter tradition, and previous incarnations of the Dalai Lama have been such practitioners. The 13th, for example, modernised the Tibetan army.

What the present Dalai Lama argues, in his message of support, is that violence and non-violence are not always what they seem. "Sweet words" can be violent, he explains, when they intend harm. Conversely, "harsh and tough action" can be non-violent when it aims at the wellbeing of others. In short, violence – "harsh and tough action" – can be attitudinally non-violent. So what should we make of that?

(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Eastern Religions; General Discusssion; History; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: ahimsa; armedforcesday; buddhism; buddhist; dalai; dalailama; lama; nonviolence; skillfulmeans; tibet; tibetan; violence
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To: TigersEye

Well, I do not like to state obvious things...

You were born with the decisions between right and wrong. You know that it was inherent that (some feeling) the right thing to do was somehow programed in you and you probably did that most of the time. When you did something wrong, you not only knew it, but felt bad about it. That is called a conscience and it comes from God. That has no relation to the Buddhism or the man behind that cause (Mr. whoever at the time).

You could only come to your conclusions by internal discussions between yourself and you maker...thus, Buddhism had nothing to do with it except bring you closer to your internal beliefs that are there.

I’m sure I am not putting this into a reasonable structure, but I think you will get the idea...


51 posted on 07/12/2010 1:37:05 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

The Golden Rule is more than enough to make moral decisions one would be confronted with. It has nothing to do with any religion.


52 posted on 07/12/2010 1:38:42 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Deagle
You could only come to your conclusions by internal discussions between yourself and you maker...

I tried that for 39 years and it never worked.

53 posted on 07/12/2010 1:39:40 AM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: Deagle
After all, he is just a man and of no significance...

Honestly, not much to me. Check with Richard Gere for someone who cares.

54 posted on 07/12/2010 1:40:28 AM PDT by John Valentine
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To: Deagle

I’m not a syncretist, but there are similarities among major religions. Those who look in the same direction find similar things.

IMHO, among the other religions, buddhism the closest to Christianity in many ways.

I am Christian not Buddhist now. “Mixable”? No. But much of what I learned during my time in buddhism has been valuable in my spiritual, hopefully, growth as a Christian.


55 posted on 07/12/2010 1:40:36 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Then why bother with the Golden Rule? It would make no difference to you!


56 posted on 07/12/2010 1:41:21 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

What do you mean?


57 posted on 07/12/2010 1:42:21 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: TigersEye

Well, I suggest you keep trying - Your just not getting through...


58 posted on 07/12/2010 1:42:43 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle
Well, I do not like to state obvious things...

That is too bad. The consequences of that is to leave others in confusion.

59 posted on 07/12/2010 1:43:03 AM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: Deagle

I have been doing fine since I started practicing the Dharma. 39 years of trying without progress was enough for me.


60 posted on 07/12/2010 1:44:42 AM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: TigersEye

Sorry, but I don’t thing you are confused, just pursuing the wrong course in life... You’ll get there but not by studying Buddhism...


61 posted on 07/12/2010 1:45:45 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: D-fendr

Yes, you’re right...and it is up to you to make the correct decision. Really a pain I know, but it has to be your decision...


62 posted on 07/12/2010 1:47:44 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

You need to bother with the Golden Rule, because your choices made in the present affect your options available in the future.


63 posted on 07/12/2010 1:49:17 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Deagle

I’m not confused in general. Your contradictory posts do confuse what it is you are trying to say though. That was my point. If you don’t state what you think it’s just a guessing game.


64 posted on 07/12/2010 1:51:23 AM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: James C. Bennett

Well, just how does that occur?


65 posted on 07/12/2010 1:51:24 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

You gauge the “cost and benefit” of every decision you wilfully make.


66 posted on 07/12/2010 1:52:20 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: TigersEye

Sorry, I really did think that my points were clearer... Maybe it’s just that I assumed that Christianity was the default and did not have to elaborate... Was not trying to be obtuse...


67 posted on 07/12/2010 1:53:37 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: James C. Bennett

Well, yeah, that is life isn’t it? That also pertains to your character... Every decision you make reflects on your character and is exposed to those that are close to you...


68 posted on 07/12/2010 1:58:04 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

OK then. Have a good night.


69 posted on 07/12/2010 1:59:01 AM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: TigersEye

You too... Thanks for the conversation...


70 posted on 07/12/2010 2:01:21 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

Exactly.

You need to worry about what other perceive of you, precisely because how they perceive you, affects your choices again.

The Golden Rule, and that’s all there is.


71 posted on 07/12/2010 2:01:30 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

No, the difference is that you do the right thing without worrying about what anyone thinks about you! You do see the difference don’t you? If you really go through life trying to please others, you will only fail in pleasing yourself (as they say). Pleasing yourself is the MOST important thing - by doing the right thing, you will be happy and the heck with what everyone else thinks... In the end, all will love you for being yourself and true to your self - (honest, and truthful).


72 posted on 07/12/2010 2:05:03 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: James C. Bennett

And no, this has nothing to do with the Golden Rule that you seem to love... It is about being honest and true to yourself! You will be surprised how much those around you will care about you if you are truthful and “YOU”... You will be way too popular for our own good...heh...


73 posted on 07/12/2010 2:07:50 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle
No, the difference is that you do the right thing without worrying about what anyone thinks about you!

When the other people aren't there to worry about what they think about you, you invent a "personal god" to play that role for you, in your life.

74 posted on 07/12/2010 2:10:56 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

Ah... you missed the point entirely! YOU are the one to be pleased by doing the right thing. That is the satisfaction that only comes to those that do the right thing with no one around... ie, for yourself. It has nothing to do with anything other that you - you have to finally understand that making the right decisions are inspiring to YOU...


75 posted on 07/12/2010 2:14:53 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

Yes, but when you feel pleased for “doing the right thing”, does that end just there? When you “do the right thing” do you not do it in the hope that it will also please your personal deity, if you are religious?


76 posted on 07/12/2010 2:18:07 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

Heh... Well, many decisions in life have little to do with your “deity” as you say... Really, you need to get over that part of it...God will help you if you believe, but if you are struggling, do things on your own. The difference at this point is that you do what is right and work toward the other - which you do not want to go right now...

Either way, there is right and wrong in most daily decisions. They may be only job decisions or they may be decisions that relate to Right or Wrong. You will know the difference and make the correct choice. Even on Job decisions, you can make the correct decision with help (praying helps).

Really what I am talking about is your day to day life. Live it honestly and speak honestly, and you will find a real difference in how you are accepted. Tell the truth even if embarrassing... Your co-workers will respect you and accept you. You will build connections that will last a lifetime if you get the reputation of honesty...


77 posted on 07/12/2010 2:29:56 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: James C. Bennett
you invent a "personal god" to play that role for you, in your life.

I don't believe Buddhism negates all reality of God, or concepts we might use to communicate that reality, personal or otherwise. One could call the underlying reality of the universe, compassion or generosity, "God" for example.

And compassion nourishes every thing. Non-duality doesn't negate a personal experience of compassion either. It calls us to a more accurate realization of wholeness or connection. But then so do some experiences of the divine.

78 posted on 07/12/2010 2:32:39 AM PDT by D-fendr (Deus non alligatur sacramentis sed nos alligamur.)
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To: D-fendr

I wasn’t being specific about any particular religion, but yea, I agree with most of what you’ve said.


79 posted on 07/12/2010 2:33:46 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Deagle

Try and name some of those decisions which you make, where you do so, completely ignoring how they might affect the relationship between you and your “personal deity”, and are simultaneously completely independent of the Golden Rule.

This is getting interesting!


80 posted on 07/12/2010 2:36:27 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

Sorry, but it is really easy... just do the right and honest thing. Yes, that means telling your interviewer that the job does not fit, or that you really don’t want that type of job... You are one of those that I would not have hired because of your attitude... and probably dishonest about it at that...

Have done so in the past and even in retirement continue to try to be as honest as I can...


81 posted on 07/12/2010 2:40:44 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: James C. Bennett

It’s only interesting to you because it is a foreign thought... That should actually disturb you a bit...


82 posted on 07/12/2010 2:45:08 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: James C. Bennett

If you’re honest, the Golden Rule will be abided without any thought...


83 posted on 07/12/2010 2:52:43 AM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

Yes, ‘right thing’ and ‘honest thing’ are all fine and good, but you haven’t yet provided a scenario where doing either is completely independent of the Golden Rule.

You mentioned the point about the job interview. Even there, you choose to refuse to take up the job after having realised that you’d be a misfit, BECAUSE you are either afraid your incompetence will be found out, and get punished, or because you might cause serious damage to the company and its people, by making a mistake, both of which are completely governed by the Golden Rule even if you do not wish to acknowledge the same.


84 posted on 07/12/2010 9:31:36 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Deagle

What I hoped would be interesting was that I was expecting to get from you a situation where the Golden Rule failed. Nothing for me to be disturbed about, really.


85 posted on 07/12/2010 9:35:44 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

Actually, the Golden Rule would always suffice also...so, relax and be nice to your friends... They are complimentary.


86 posted on 07/13/2010 9:03:42 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

Exactly. I’d still continue to emphasise that it solely suffices, when it comes to moral choices one is confronted with.


87 posted on 07/13/2010 9:28:56 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

Heh, well it still depends upon your friends and what they thing is the Golden Rule... Seems it just might depend upon interpretation rather that doing what is right... Oh well, it almost always works... I think you are right in “your” decisions - it’s just that when you have to depend upon others, things go astray... Have a good one...


88 posted on 07/13/2010 10:47:15 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: James C. Bennett

When you have to depend upon yourself to make the moral choice, you can always make the wrong decision... There has to be a higher authority than yourself...


89 posted on 07/13/2010 10:51:03 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

I am honestly trying to find a situation where what you said applies. If you can come up with one, please share it with me, so that I can test if the Golden Rule can work on it, or fails completely.

Have a great day!


90 posted on 07/13/2010 11:18:13 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Deagle

I am honestly trying to find a situation where what you said applies. If you can come up with one, please share it with me, so that I can test if the Golden Rule can work on it, or fails completely.

Have a great day!


91 posted on 07/13/2010 11:18:13 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

It really does not matter (You are making a decision upon your beliefs of the Golden Rule) - you can NOT make those moral decisions on your own, otherwise we have a wild mix of decisions made by different people depending upon their own beliefs, yes? That is ultimately why moral decisions have to depend upon higher authority...


92 posted on 07/13/2010 11:35:22 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

The Golden Rule strongly tends to influence judgment towards the direction of altruistic behaviour, without providing much room for ambiguity. To that end, decisions made by applying the rule will not be too varied, if at all.


93 posted on 07/13/2010 11:40:37 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

Sorry, that is way too optimistic. It will never be a universal standard and I think that you understand that. Think of applying the same rule in Iran? Enough of this banter... You and I both know that anytime people make the rules, it can never be sustained. Feel free to apply your logic to other discussions...


94 posted on 07/13/2010 11:46:05 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

The problem with Iran is precisely the fact that its people are ossified with a barbarian theology that prevents them from applying the Golden Rule both amongst themselves, and with others.

The fault in their ideology is that it is stuck on Old Testament morality, where archaic, tyrannical rules are allowed to dominate over any application of the Golden Rule. Hence such barbaric punishments as stoning, amputation and decapitation. It took Jesus to change that in the Middle East, with a basic philosophy which was the Golden Rule.

That said, I agree this has been a long, winding discussion amounting to not much.

Good day!


95 posted on 07/14/2010 2:30:01 AM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: James C. Bennett

Yes, you are right there... and wrong on the validity of the discussion (you made many great points). It was a valid and interesting discussion. The outcome of both methods seem to be the same as long as civilized people are involved.

Thanks for the your input... Cheers...


96 posted on 07/15/2010 5:48:46 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

Your insights were informative, too.

Thanks for the discussion!


97 posted on 07/15/2010 7:42:06 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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To: Lorianne

98 posted on 07/15/2010 7:44:07 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: James C. Bennett

Thanks for that... you could have been much more definitive..heh... Have a great time with your philosophy..(not bad as it goes...wish all would abide actually)...

Enjoyed our discussion and wish you the best...


99 posted on 07/15/2010 7:50:10 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: Deagle

Thanks, and the same to you too, Deagle!


100 posted on 07/15/2010 10:37:09 PM PDT by James C. Bennett
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