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Buddhism makes more sense than Christianity


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#21 Vapor

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:11 AM

Hippie,

Everything is relative and the context within which the Samurai evolved needs to be considered when evaluating them.

The initial Samurai class had a lot of rough edges. They were not very cultured or particularly educated. They were good at following orders absolutely ( they had no choice ) and at killing. They may have compared to the Viking warriors, Spartans, Beserkers, and similar.

As the class evolved so did a knight hood. These people largely took advantage of the priveledges provided to them in return for their absolute obediance to the Shogun and various lords under him. In this respect they closely resembled what was going on with the Christian knights throughout Europe. In both cases true fuedal systems prevailed with clad in iron class systems.

This second wave of Samuri onwards became some of the most sensitive, spritual, and artistically accomplished people that ever existed. Not to be educated and refined was shuned upon. Many served as beuracrates, diplomates, and dignitaries providing their lords and the society with whatever of their talents were called upon.

Part of the education did require the evolution of a stalwart fearlessness, a willingness to enter the Void at any moment, and a proficiency at killing that can only be considered profound.

For these men it was considered to be in bad taste, and lacking in refinement, to slaughter anyone if they did not have to. It was beneath them to do so. There is a Japanese saying that translates into " Many of the best swords in Japan never left teir scabbards." This is because these many of these people had greatly enhanced people handleing and political skills and they could use these to master and control a situation rather than responding with steel.

If a Samuri was ordered to kill there was no choice. Disobediance would probably result in execution, an invitation to sabuku( ritual self disenbowelment) and quite possibly the execution of that man's entire family. There was no way out of "giri"(duty.) In this respect these sensitive people lived in a totally rigid society. The life expectancy was about 40yrs. If you lived to be an old Samurai you might experience suspision from others, and even embarrasment, unless you had a good reason like " I was so good they just couldn't kill me." The Samurai mind did not want to die in bed of old age. if possible it wanted to experience a "good death." Going down, standing up and facing the enemy, was considered very good. When the body was recovered the wounds, ideally, should be in the front as testimont to the fact that this individual was not retreating at the moment of death.

This may be alien to us but it was supported by Bushido and the other thought systems that historically immersed these people. They cannot be understood outside of this context. It is truely remarkable that they accomplished what they did within the unbendable confines or their society.

They were people. They had good ones and bad ones just like everybody else. Much of what stability did exists in their society depended upon them and their functions. They ran the government, kept the peace within it, fought wars, and negotiated treaties.

There is a lot more about them. Their art still exists in many forms and it is exquisite ( woodblocks, jewelry, metalurgy, poetry, tapestry, the tea ceremony, Zen gardening, the martial arts, etc.) and is worth appreciating.

These people have not recieved justice from the movies and rest of the media that dwells on contorting the picture for marketing reasons. Their culture was rich and is not defined by the sensationalism that portrays it.

The samurai were a remarkable chapter in the evolution of human consciousness and culture.

#22 Hippie3

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:32 AM

i don't buy it.

that's like saying
one must judge the nazis
by the standards of other nazis.

being a refined killer
is no better than being a barbaric killer,
in my view.

if anything it is worse
that so-called educated refined men
neglected their 'duty' to their fellow men
and instead chose a life of an enforcer
in a brutal feudal 'society'.

it was their duty to resist the feudal overlords,
not serve them.

i suppose one can 'admire' their proficiency
as one can credit the german blitzkrieg
without admiring the men or what they stood for.

but much of what you just related
is just spin, hype, myth.

just as we have been sold a bill of goods about
all native americans being mystics
and the code of chivalry of the knights
so too we have been taught many falsehoods about samurai,
all meant to make these brutal killers seem acceptable.

i understand that
heinrich himmler, chief executioner of hitler's SS,
had quite a taste for the fine arts too.

still he sent millions to their deaths
on the orders of his overlords, just doing his duty.

so too the samurai, in performing their duty,
held millions in slavery for centuries.

no good way to spin that, in my opinion.
it is good that they lost all credibility in the last great war.
it's a shame that the myth has become what passes for reality.

#23 Vapor

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 03:54 PM

Samurai were not Nazis. Many German soldiers weren't either. They were patriotic Germans, scared Germans, forced Germans, but not Nazis. Remember, the great warrior General Rommel and some of his high ranking military associates actually tried to take out the monster, Hitler, with a bomb but failed. These patriots paid with their lives. If Hitler had heeded Rommel's advise earlier in the game this thread would be written in German.
We fire bombed Dresden, a civilian clock making city, with incendiaries and killed 100,000 people. Perhaps there were 5,000 German troops in the town. Were we better than Nazis?
The Nazi analogy doesn't really apply as the Third Reich had no excuses. They were " modern era, " Germany having evolved out of feudalism long ago. They were an industrial nation that had options that could not even be imagined in a epoc locked into conglamorated fifedoms in a world where only feudal societies existed. The world of the Samurai.
The Samuria had little choice but to be what they were born into except to die a horrible death with the possibility of their entire family being wiped out. Those that did rebel and suceeded were able to change their own station in life but not the structure of the society at large. It was not until the Tokogawa Shogunate that root changes began to occur at the level of societal change and this signaled the demise of the very Samurai class that this shogunate had depended upon to gain power.
They were not "just killers" they ran the government of Japan within the context of what had become long established and broadly acceptable social norms. The politics of the times provided them with plenty of potentially deadly enemies both within and outside of the country. Inside their was sophisticated vying for power, ninja clans, bandits, and the general run of criminals. Outside they had to deal with the Chinese court which they emulated and the power it represented as well as with the surrounding countries that they considered, for the most part, backwards and barbarian.
The general belief was that the more dangerous a man became the more breathing space he would have before having to use deadly force in order to protect himself, his family, or the lord that he served. If he was ordered to do so the choice was no longer his but ("giri"/duty) and could not be denied...unless he wanted to pull a Rommel like move and pay the ultimate price if he failed. Quite a bit of such action did take place.
You are judging these people by your world, which is quite tame compared to theirs, and within a context in which they did not exists. If you made an effort to studiously research their culture I think that you might view the class differently.
They were people. Some were good, some sucked. They lived, they loved, laughed, cried, struggled, did their best, and died. There is evidence of a great deal of fucking going on.
You are viewing them in the vacuum of your standards of which they knew nothing as you obviously know nothing of theirs. The perspective isn't balanced nor is it fair. They need to be viewed through their own eyes to be seen at all.
You don't have to "buy it." It is what it is!

I respect you and your considerable contributions to the cause of enhancing human thought and consciousness . In my mind you should go down in history for this web site alone. Not wishing to offend you, I still cannot accept your logic in this matter as it does not apply for the reasons stated above.

#24 Guest_Transition Force_*

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 04:34 PM

one can always make excuses for murder and evil
it does not matter who does it, whether they are an alleged saint or a proud sinner
should luther be excused for his attemps to destroy all of the synagogues in eruope and his wanting to put rabbis to death for teaching their people the religion of their fathers?
should the trail of tears be considered acceptable simply because it was considered acceptable back then?
if this is truly your belief then all you have to do is to make a criminal act common and it is kosher

that is not something i could accept

#25 Hippie3

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 04:45 PM

you obviously know nothing of theirs.


you make way too many presumptuous assumptions, Vapor,
about what i have not studied and what i do not know,
i suppose that assuming that i am ignorant makes your job
of defending these killers a bit easier.
:lol:
but i know a great deal about japanese feudal society,
their warring clans, their history, philosophy and lifestyle.
and i will still judge and condemn them for their crimes.

you can make up all the excuses that you want,
but i will never admire men who killed for profit and prestige,
they are no better than common murderers and robbers in my book.

the judges of Nuremberg ruled that doing one's duty
does not excuse one of crimes against humanity.
they were right to do so.
it is wrong to say that these men had no choice but to obey and serve,
just as that claim did not protect the german prison guard who was drafted to serve,
it does not excuse the samurai who held their fellow men in servitude.
they could have changed the system
but they chose to serve it.

it's unacceptable today
and it was unacceptable even then.

the samurai's own buddhist philosophy taught them that much,
just as the christian knights were taught love and tolerance,
and just like the christian knights did,
the samurai just ignored it .

they burned and waged war at the whim of their feudal masters,
they served no greater cause than to enrich and empower themselves
and those whom they served,
at the expense of every poor man, woman and child.

and they are why
the whole world laughed at the japanese
when american naval vessels sailed into port
and found a nation still living in the Dark Ages
in the nineteenth century.

#26 Doctor D

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 04:56 PM

but i know a great deal about japanese feudal society,
their warring clans, their history, philosophy and lifestyle.
and i will still judge and condemn them for their crimes.


I will admit to being ignorant of medieval Japanese history, but please tell me how their brutality was any worse than that of the European monarchies a thousand years ago.

The world was a brutal, dangerous place just about everywhere you went.

#27 Vapor

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:12 PM

I don't assume that you are ignorant...I am not defending killers...I hate slavery.
These people were born into a world of "what is" at that time. they worked with it. The peasant class was overlorded. There was no concept and therefore no possibility of anything else. i don't think that these folks considered themselves eveil. In more modern times my political ancestors in America dominated millions of human beings in outright oppression involving unlimited Nazi like behavior. The Japanese peasant was far better off than the American slave generally speaking. The American masters were not feudal people. They existed broadly in the North as well as in the South. There was no excuse for this except that human bondage served the interests of these people, some of whom were our founding fathers. Is this O.K? Were they better than the Samurai? W
Were all people of this time who were not slaves evil?

Come on! We're talking about the human race. It wears different faces at different times.

I recommend Bushido:The Soul of Japan,..Hakaguri...The Book of Five Rings for insight into the Japanese experience.

Hippie...I apologize for presuming anything about you because I don't know you. I do respect what I've seen of you in writting over the years.

My closing shot. Not only the Naziz were Naziz. Not only the Saints are saints. We've all got all of this within us and we need to guard against it becoming destructive. We need to point ourselves in the right direction and try to live by this. IMHO. It would be great if we could view ourselves as a family of humankind...a good family...and to act that way.

The following suck: War, Human sacrifice, slavery, hunger, desease, living in fear, oppression, brutality, and closed minds.

I find it difficult to accurately judge ancient people through the ingrained outlook of modern thought.

#28 Doctor D

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:20 PM

and they are why
the whole world laughed at the japanese
when american naval vessels sailed into port
and found a nation still living in the Dark Ages
in the nineteenth century.


Zing! Ouch. Well that's certainly true.

#29 Hippie3

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:21 PM

it is not a contest of who was worse,
a bank robber cannot plead mercy by pointing to a killer's crimes.
the crimes of european and later, american, slavers are irrelevant
to the issue of the crimes of the samurai.
one evil does not excuse another's.

the samurai already had their time to be admired within the context of their own time and society
but that time has now passed and so they must now bear the scrutiny
of modern man and our civilization's values.

we call genghis khan and attila the hun
as we see them now- brutal warlords who laid waste to the civilized world.
the fact that their own people loved and honored them is no longer the yardstick by which they are measured.

so too the samurai should be stripped of their mythology
and held to the light of modern standards
so that people might know what is right or wrong now.

the damage the samurai did to japan should not be glossed over
and replaced with some glorified myth that does not even come close
to describing the everyday reality of life under the shogun-ate.

#30 Doctor D

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 05:37 PM

so too the samurai should be stripped of their mythology
and held to the light of modern standards
so that people might know what is right or wrong now.

the damage the samurai did to japan should not be glossed over
and replaced with some glorified myth that does not even come close
to describing the everyday reality of life under the shogun-ate.


It does seem as if the Japanese nation as a whole has a difficult time owning up to the atrocities committed in its past. I'm referring specifically to Nanjing, but other WWII events come to mind. I guess you could argue that the romanticizing of the samurai is just one more example of this.

#31 Hippie3

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 06:22 PM

the romanticizing of the samurai is just one more example of this.


point.
:bow:

#32 rajajuju

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 09:58 PM

IMO, the ninja are much more admirable in the sense of who they were, what they accomplished, and their overall strategy

various ninja clans and families played shoguns against each other, often working for opposing provinces, and generally doing so right under their noses and contributing to the collapse of the provincial structure and class system itself under the guise of helping one or another shogun at a time

orginally shinto monks, mountain mystics, ascetics and other people who did not take kindly to samurai rule, they carved out their own place and were able to go about their own business in private, (thru subterfuge and guile) - one facet of which was the practice of mikkyo buddhism, which also lent a great deal to the genesis of the principals of ninpo and so on

in terms of a greater social dicthomy, they were one of the most successful examples of political rebel in a hostile oppression, although its not nearly as clean cut as that as they were specifically implicit in a number of activities from shogun to shogun, military base to military base, palace to palace, and so on - being as they were hired guns, spies, etc. etc. .. they took advantage of a shitty situation and also pushed it towards resolution

#33 Doctor D

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:02 PM

Yes, but ninjas were just mere shadows in comparison to the Korean masters of Sinanju.

#34 rajajuju

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:05 PM

would you care to qualify that comment with some kind of actual data?

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#35 rajajuju

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:16 PM

also - on another note.. im not exactly sure why there is so much desire to combine christianity and buddhism, as there are a large number of conflicting principals involved - in particular the idea of impermanence, i.e. that all worlds, and beings (gods, aliens, people, animals, ghosts, spirits, etc. etc.) arise and pass away and do not exist forever in a changeless state... and the fact that buddhism does not recoginize any sovereign "God" whatsoever, much less some kind of "one true god" as that professed in christianity... in fact the closest "higher power" or "overriding principal" would be something like shunyata, which is very different than some kind of amorphous being or creator being

its not that im personally against this kind of mix-and-match spirituality... as i myself enjoy many like dzogchen, tantra, taoism, sufism, shamanism, etc. etc. ...its just something i have always found odd about christianity - if you are going to try to mix it with something else, you really have to throw out alot of each traditions key points in order to make them truly merge in some kind of way

it might be better to go back to the earlier forms of gnosticism and mithraism and mystery rebirth cults instead

#36 Hippie3

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:25 PM

hmm, his statement is clearly a matter of
opinion
and as such it requires no evidence.
;)

#37 rajajuju

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:30 PM

"nothing is required, everything is permitted"

:dead:


#38 Doctor D

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:32 PM

would you care to qualify that comment with some kind of actual data?
http://mycotopia.net...=1&d=1167363540

Seems you beat me to it! I take offense to it being listed at a website called "badmovies.com", though. It wasn't THAT bad of a movie. Especially not for Destroyer fans.
:)

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#39 Hippie3

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:35 PM

...its just something i have always found odd about christianity - if you are going to try to mix it with something else, you really have to throw out alot of each traditions key points in order to make them truly merge in some kind of way

it might be better to go back to the earlier forms of gnosticism and mithraism and mystery rebirth cults instead



in truth
only by absorbing and incorporating other mythos
did early christianity prosper,
many "christian" symbols, holidays and even dogma
was freely 'borrowed' as needed to convert heathens to the church.

#40 rajajuju

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 11:19 PM

of course it borrowed heathen holidays and ideas - it needed converts.. in many ways it was the last thrust for world domination by the dying Roman empire

probably the most noted examples are christmas, which was based on the original pagan solstice holiday.. and valentines day which was a pagan fertility festival

but im talking more about the kind of hardline dogma that typifies modern christianity.. the "one true god" the "sinners" .. "eternal damnation" .. bible as literal truth... things like this

it hasnt been "early christianity" for some time now - things are much different these days

im aware of things like the unitarian church and such.. but it still doesnt really explain how they resolve all these conflicting concepts - it seems more like a move based on comfort and security rather than spiritual exploration




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