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I was randomly reading through (this).
And I think that buddhism doesnt allow killing, rather, it allows the “perceived other self” to carry out acts which result in its inviability as a active component of the whole system of the earth.
That is to say.
There is a story in buddhism about a murderer in hell that a buddha walks close to and hears his cries from the hell (Thats actually at the bottom of a well, funnily enough, if i remember correctly) and Buddha creates a spider that spins a thread down the well and the murder starts to climb up.
The others start to climb too and the murder cuts the rope under him to stop them from climbing and at the same time the rope above him is cut.
I believe that is why in buddhism, Murder is not permitted, mostly because from a karmic view point it is impossible to do (who is this you that I believe I am killing/Who is this I that you believe you are killing)?
So. Buddhism says no to murder. HOWEVER i believe we should not be focused on buddhism, but “Bodhisattvaism…” Which readily accepts murder as a possibility. As it has more practical applications for difficult moral and cultural dillemas that need actual solutions, not pie in the sky solutions.
Dunno, felt like this might be of use to someoneone somewhere in some form and i hope it helps with what feels like a very difficult buddhism like transitory period based on the tone of the article. I feel that it is on to something interesting though so not commenting to criticize, commenting to point out that I believe for most Boddhi, Not Buddha ism might be a better alternative altogether?
How about a religion called Boddhi-ism? Where no one is intentionally aiming for Buddha status as that is inherantly impossible without all others acheiving it as well so all buddhahoods are always internal while all boddhi-hoods are always external, though thats only a random thought i might have.
If none of this makes sense, then just ignore everything! K thx, Bai!
And LL on your journey. Also some RNR and possibly some GNR =)
We ARE taught that killing is wrong and that we shouldn’t do it. And you’re right. We step on bugs/insects all the time without knowing. If you unintentionally kill such as stepping on insects or killing bugs when you’re driving, then that completely different. We shouldn’t feel bad about something we can’t control. And about killing in self defense. Buddhism is also taught about self preservation. If your life is threatened and there is NO way out of a deadly situation, then it is OKAY to terminate whatever threat is present.
I guess it’s all about what you believe.
Oh come on. Buddhist are killers , because the fake dream filled Buddhist eat meat as long as someone murdered it. Besides the fact that the fake non existence Buddha historically more or less confessed to being a serial killer himself to 999 Knuckles while approaching him before 999 Knuckles killed his mother. saying he once too harmed life before his enlightenment, which gives me the impression he was refering to serial killing mixed with the murder of other animals.
Buddhist don’t care if they step on animal insects, they probably go out of their way to do it to prove a point, which is really the point they are above everything through enlightenment, which is a fraud, and the world is their enlightened world, we are just living in it. Baby cows are dragged away from their mothers in the dark of eye sight crying, their mothers wail, the babies necks are broken, they slowly die crying to their moms, for a few hours before they die so humans can steal the milk, Buddhist sit down and delight themselves with a glass of milk, but they didn’t break the neck. We evolve, we are all animals, the science is therethe Dna is there. There is nothing except proof. Buddhism is another foul excuse for ever eating.
It might astound many people, including many Buddhists, to learn that one of the arhats, or enlightened saints, was a serial killer. This killer was named Angulimala, whose name means “Finger Garland,” due to the garland composed of the finger bones of his 999 victims that he wore around his neck. According to the commentarial tradition, he was on the verge of killing his own mother when the Buddha intercepted him. The tradition also states that all of this was done at the behest of his spiritual teacher who had demanded a garland of 1,000 finger bones as payment for teachings that would enable him to be reborn in heaven. So this mass murderer was motivated by blind faith and religious fanaticism. In our day, he would doubtless have become a terrorist, perhaps even a suicide bomber. And yet Angulimala would become a saint, and even a performer of healing miracles after his encounter with the Buddha. How did this happen?
How did this happen? He changed.
That is the point of Buddhism—you can change. Everything can change, because nothing has an eternal essence.
What you said it is not the truth, the five precepts are only the base of hinayana buddhist. However even in Theravan buddhist you can find justification to kill and violence.
In the texts of the Pali canon, the Buddha gave the recommendation of trying to use diplomacy, intimidation and then only after violence to resolve conflicts.
Mahayana texts claim that virtue is the practice of non-ignorance, non-attachment and non-hatred, and killing in a free state of negative emotions would not be in disharmony with the Mahayana teachings . Despite that commit taboos actions will probably create some obstacles for those who did not reach some level of accomplishment.
The difference of Vajrayana texts is that they consider that negative emotions can be used in the path, but only the self-attachment must be cut.
May be of interest mention some Taoist texts that consider a butcher as a example, by being able to kill in a state of wu wei: not action. A state in which the person would be in harmony with the great Dao and would be free of clinging, so common in people’s actions.
You may search for Patrul Rinpoche’s text ‘Nine Consideration to Help Other’, it justify killing and the break of the precepts in some situations, but it also says that a beginner should avoid to do any taboo actions.
But you see, the exception for each vow is in reality always a way to do some major good. This is Spinoza, opting for the minor evil in the face of a major evil is good.
However, there are LOTS of Lamas acting hypocritically and doing all sorts of minor or major evils or just conforming to their countries and not really helping others, even by example.
I’ve studied a little under a former Namkhai Norbu’s sang-yum and she thinks she’s enlightened and can teach by making sex with many of her students, but she’s just acting compulsively (to make a long story short) and in a very egocentric way, using their students as fruits she eats and then throws the bagasse out and none of the students she did this were really benefited.
For a couple of years, she also liked to smoke crack stones with maryjuana and call this “wrathful offering”, but was just acting out, because this never helped anybody, was just mumbo-jumbo on her part, because she was not really able to deal with disgust (I tested this myself).
So I kinda agree with Vegan: these exceptions seem just some excuse to indulge oneself. Veeery rarely you find someone able to really break a vow to do a major good through a minor or major evil…
Monks live a life of extremes, mainly because attaining enlightenment is extremely difficult. Monks live a life where defensive killing is so incredibly unlikely to ever come up as a part of their lives the just right off all killing as wrong. This is a problem because we all learn Buddhism from Monks. This is where a lot of corruptions of the Buddha’s teachings come, monks making things easier on themselves and then pushing it as the ethics for all Buddhist. The Buddha was the most progressive religious leader for thousands of years on the issue of women, monks undid almost all of it because they blame women for their lust.
Pacifist are protected by other people carrying shields and weapons and then shit talk the people protecting them.
Monks present the Sutras as black and white on the subject of killing, ignoring all of the counter arguments. A big one for me is the story of the mother and father stuck in a desert who kill their child for nourishment in order to be able to survive. Why would someone who thought killing was an absolute wrong use such an analogy?
The question about killing isn’t whether or not you go to hell, heaven and hell are not the goal of Buddhism. The question is whether or not you can attain enlightenment while being willing to kill defensively. I don’t know the answer to this, I’ve never read anything from anyone who did know the answer, except the original Sutras and the are ambiguous.
What I believe is that every moral situation has a morally correct solution. You are never forced to choose a lesser of two evils or a mix of dark and light Karma. I also believe if you can find one exception to a rule it’s more of a guideline. If someone made a virus that could kill all life on earth and you need to kill someone worse than Hitler to keep it from being released, would it be correct to let this evil person kill everyone? Of course not, hence killing is sometimes correct.
A couple of points, the overwhelming majority of people will never have to kill someone, even the vast majority of cops in high crime neighborhoods never kill anyone. The issues involving eating meat and dairy products are far more relevant to people lives than defensive killing. If you are in the military it is your moral duty to refuse to fight if your country has started an unjust war or your commander is giving an unjust order, even if it means your death. Don’t volunteer for the US military.
I really liked your article.
A side not to a couple of the commenters. Judge Buddhism based off of what the Buddha taught not off of the failings of ordinary people. The Path is hard, very few of us live upto it. When reading about Buddha remember not everything was actually said by him, many people have used his name to push their own agenda
You have to judge each sutra based on the overall message of the sutras, listen to what the scholars say is mostly likely authentic and mainly listen to the love in your heart, if you can find it.
Buddha taught that the value of life is a progression plants as the least valuable, still valuable, then insects, thongs get more morally significant as they get bigger. Now we would say the ratio of brain size to body mass determines the level of moral value. Insects probably are not sentient, you shouldn’t try to kill them but there is little moral harm if they are.
One last comment. Many people get very defensive about their own religions and moral systems compared to Buddhism. The Buddha taught a perfect moral system that none of the other religions come close to and few people live upto. Instead of acknowledging this some people feel compelled to make extreme and nonsense accusations against Buddhism to defend their own ego. Reducing your ego is something Buddhism teaches you to do. Instead of telling lies to attack Buddhism, become a Buddhist.
I really enjoy these articles as a non-buddhist, but I do want to challenge the idea expressed by some commenters that pacifists are “cowards”. Most self-identified pacifists are probably not activists, but “Active” pacifists (who refuse military service, or take other non-violent direct action to prevent war) have faced hardships and danger due to their beliefs or their activism, and faced them courageously.
“Active” pacifists have been killed, murdered, executed and assassinated: they have served short sentences and long sentences in prison: they have been violently arrested: they have been targeted by police spying: they have been tortured and raped in prison: they have been attacked: they have been vilified: their families have disowned them. They have also taken risky actions: members of the anti-nuclear Committee of 100 conducted mass trespasses on nuclear bases and stole top-secret military documents. The Catonsville 9, D.C 9 and Milwaukee 14 stole and destroyed military draft records during the American war in Vietnam. The Pitstop Ploughshares damaged a US military plane that was sitting in an Irish airport to try and prevent US military use of Ireland.
Pacifism in theory and practice has many flaws, but you cannot say all pacifists are cowards. I think “active” pacifists are actually good role models for “vampire Buddhists” - their conscientious refusal to take a violent action they believe to be wrong, no matter what, is the flipside of “vampire” conscientious agreement to take a violent action they believe to be right.
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