It is strange that we can keep on upholding the notion of the superiority of our own civilization over earlier and currently different forms of society and cultures. And furthermore, it is strange that we find this position to be legitimized by the power that our economic superiority ensures us.
That is why the industrial agriculture and meat industry can exist. It is due to a basic experience of discernment and independence that violence in any form grows. That thinking does not allow us to see ourselves as part of a larger and interdependent whole, but creates a world where we feel separate from other people and everything else alive. It is a thought pattern that appeals to our fears and greed, which has defined the world in purely economic terms, builds on the idea of eternal growth and profit, and which constantly brings us to battle against others and nature.
THE PERFECT TIMEView Post
Some people are beneficiaries of a system that enables certain individuals to amass inconceivable riches while countless others are condemned to lives of squalor and disenfranchisement. And while Buddhism extends its systemic lenses on a much wider framework of human suffering, the in-between area of the immediately near us is sometimes neglected.
The lack of what might be called, as Jung suggested, soul connectedness, to the deeper aspects of our interior world, has become replaced instead with endless distraction and continuous, immediate, bombastic stimulation, and it is exhausting. We are not only constantly struggling with what assaults us daily, by the minute, in fact, but, instead of seeking out another with whom to commiserate, or a field of others to simply enjoy some real human connectedness, we are now trained to seek further stimulation and excitement, only to find it as empty of substance and dry of human touch.
Why do we allow this daily rampage to go on and on? Changing the law, by itself, won’t entirely solve the problem. But praying for peace and wishing for all others to renounce their violent habits and tendencies also will not soon solve the problem. This problem is not solely within our minds, and not solely environmental and cultural, or legal. It is the interplay of all of these: it is our collective karma to live in a society that glorifies the ability to violently defeat others.
Our current dominating ideology is that of the neo-classical economics thinking combined with Darwinist philosophy of survival of the fittest. It teaches us that we are in an eternal battle zone where money constitutes the ultimate goal, and only the fittest survive. To get money, we must work hard. And we must fight others as competitors, and seek to place ourselves in the front, by all means. Besides from the fact that such a strife indeed does inflate our self-focus in quite materialistic ways, it also ties us up in very tight time schedules, leaving little room for self-inquiry.
This is a time for skillful and effective action, informed by meditation practice, inspired by compassion. With the rise of the far right movements emphasizing racism, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, and more, for me, sitting on the cushion, though always vital, is no longer enough.
On behalf of the indigenous people at Standing Rock, a member of the Yaqui tribe in the Southwestern part of United States has yesterday requested help to pacify the situation in North Dakota. In full regalia he made his prayer for a peaceful solution before the Buddhist master and benevolent sorcerer Chokling Rinpoche, and a group of 5000 people from all over the world.
All life has intrinsic value, irrespective of it’s value to humans, Norwegian Philosopher Arne Næss said. He believed that the environmental crisis of the 20th century had arisen due to the lack of acknowledgement in our modern societies concerning the value of the natural world as a whole and through a process of falling in love with the world, the wish to protect the environment itself would come naturally.