Tag Archives: Injustice

Enough is Enough- The cause of Suffering is not a Mystery

4 Dec

Even though recent events in the world of beheadings, mass murder, slavery, forced starvation, kidnappings, assault, domination, war and poverty are not a new phenomenon of the human race, with the newer mass communications these horrific acts created by human beings against each other are now exposed in all of its evil so vividly and graphically for all to see that this is yet another compelling reason for this suffering to end. Of course, this refrain against war and the ‘inhumanity’ of human beings to one another is an old often unheeded refrain, however, now the root causes of this abhorrent behavior is clear to be seen and, therefore, changed and, therefore, extinguished through the knowledge and application of the Buddha’s teachings. For it is now possible and, in an explanatory way, to confirm the truth of the Buddha’s teachings and this support and explanatory teachings  of the Buddha is now available through science. With the application of the Buddha’s teachings as a framework or schema for the science of psychology, personality and the consequent perspective from this, allows the possibility of the ending of man’s inhumanity to each other in a scientific and rational way. Even though the Buddha’s teachings are over 2500 years old, with the new support from the findings of science, these teachings of the Buddha will now provide the framework for the new rational consciousness that will end the suffering which human beings create and have created for each other and other living creatures since civilization began. The quote attributed to Albert Einstein is supportive of this point of view: ‘The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description.’  It is with great anticipation and excitement that we can look forward to our future as a species in which we will be able to create a civilization based on a harmonious relationship between the human race and the other creatures that share this earth with us, as well as our relationship with the earth itself. Even though this vision of harmonious relationship has been promised in the past by religions and other philosophical groups with their own particular identities, the vision created by the understanding of the Buddha’s teachings supported by modern science is radically different and avoids the great pitfalls of the static identification of one group versus another which is at heart, one of the causes of past/current conflicts. Therefore, the Buddha’s teachings are indeed a peaceful revolutionary and radical approach which can and will be successful in the final reduction and elimination of this great suffering that human beings experience primarily because of their own folly of separation from the truth of existence as we experience it and understand it here on this planet Earth. Therefore, there is no time to lose to begin the explanation and expounding of the Buddha’s teaching to the world so that we do not have to continue to create the immense suffering that is now daily experienced and broadcast around the world. This suffering is not only the direct experience of those who experience the perpetration of these horrific acts of violence- psychologically and physically and emotionally and spiritually – but also by the people who are committing these horrific acts. For let us not forget that from the Buddha’s perspective, a person who commits an act of violence and is angry and actively hostile and actively ignorant and actively greedy and actively selfish and actively feeling superior is suffering from a foolish, ignorant, unwholesome mind-set. It is this ignorance that creates the actions which are at the basis of the suffering we see in the world today and which has occurred in the history of humankind.  Let us be very clear about this – the suffering that we continually learn about,  where another human being creates violence not only against others but also against themselves is created through their mind-set which is based in ignorance and once that ignorance is dispelled, the violence, the depression, the greed, the hostility, the selfishness, the uncompassionate feelings both towards others and towards oneself is ended. When one properly understands the teachings of the Buddha and follows those teachings in one’s life, happiness, compassion and wisdom are the result. So now with the rational support and explanation of how the Buddha’s teaching can be explained so that all human beings can understand the psychological basis for their own happiness and for the world’s happiness and the ending of human caused suffering in this world is available now. There’s no reason to ignore the Buddha’s teachings because many think the teachings are some esoteric training or they are thought to be some mystical explanation of the universe and they have no relevance to the common man and the common human experience and, therefore, the Buddha’s teachings have been relegated by many only to be important to the life of obscure monks living in a forest monastery. Now we can see this is a misconception and a great misunderstanding of the significance and foundation of the Buddha’s teachings. The Buddha’s teachings are for everyone and are pragmatic and are rational and are based on empiricism or facts. The Buddha did not indulge in mystical thinking nor did he encourage mysticism or religion as an explanation for human suffering. The Buddha, through years of study of psychological study, understood that the foundation of humanity’s suffering is based on an ignorance, a wrong perspective, a misunderstanding and he taught how to gain a perspective based on a correct understanding and this correct understanding relieves the suffering that is created through anger and greed and hostility and selfishness and other forms of ignorance. The result of Enlightenment is a sense of peace and calm and happiness and compassion both for oneself and for the other living creatures not only  human but all living things on this earth because we are all interconnected and to see us separate is one of the facets of ignorance. So there is an immense and great possibility available to us through the perspective of the teacher Buddha who gave his first teachings over 2500 years ago and it is now possible to show his teachings from a scientific point of view. Therefore, we can see that they are not an obscure esoteric understanding of reality instead they are a pragmatic, fact based understanding of how we as human beings create our suffering not only for ourselves but also for other people when we relate without a correct perspective. So now is a time for the new Renaissance of awareness of our functionality, of our psychology, of our ecology, of our sociology, of our neurology, of our biology, of our physics and astronomy and more supporting the principles of the Four Noble Truths in which the Buddha summarized and made into a framework the essential principles of his insights into humanity. Now is the time for us and opportunity for us to understand the profound and radical Buddha’s teachings from an empirical, pragmatic and scientific point of view which will have radical positive consequences in the future of humanity and now is the time for us to begin that Reformation towards happiness and non-suffering of all beings living on this earth.

further reflections on Israel/Palestine

11 Aug
While I wrote this six years ago the issues are the same as well as continued settlement expansion, etc.  I include these reflections now, 2015,because history as written on my posting six years ago and the current situation in that region just reminds us how the words of politicians have had no significant meaning for any positive resolution for that situation. Sad. Sad
Feb 5 2009

As an American I continue to reflect on the treatment of Israel on the Palestinians and now especially Gaza. As a result of my reflections, I am horrified at the callousness and mean-spiritedness of the Israeli government. Even if one accepted the position of the Israeli government for the “disproportioned” attack on Gaza to stop rocket fire on Israeli towns, now there is a ceasefire and hopefully a continued peace effort by all involved. Despite this fact that almost all hostilities have ceased, the Israeli government refuses to allow the necessary border crossings to be opened to allow a reconstruction of the massive damage it inflicted on the population of Gaza.

It is a well documented fact that before the attack on Gaza the blockade and occupation of Gaza had made life there terrible in the most basic ways. Yet now, after the very destructive attack on Gaza, the blockade continues and life in Gaza is many times more miserable because of the suffering and injury and death of the residents, extensive damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure of the Gaza strip.

Why? Why does the Israeli government continue to punish the people of Gaza. Why don’t they allow the necessary aid that is ready and available to help the people of Gaza rebuild  go into Gaza? Why don’t they allow international observers assist them in monitoring the flow of aid into Gaza?

To answer these whys one must conclude that the Israeli government is discriminating against the Palestinians. The Israeli government has a vendetta against these people. They must want these people to suffer greatly. It has been common practise in the past that after a war the societies damaged by the war if not directly helped, at least, were allowed to rebuild their shattered lives.

These are the obvious yet true conclusions that any objective person must conclude.

So where does that leave a peace process? No-where. There must be a will to resolve the conflict. In conflict resolution, a win-win attitude is necessary for both parties to believe they are getting something out of a conflict resolution process. There is no win-win mentality on the Israeli side. Only I win- you lose. There will be no peace in Palestine under those conditions no matter who goes to try to mediate a peace. Only words will be the result and no action for resolution. This is the history of the conflict.

Israel is the dominate force here not Palestine. Israel continues to ignore International law and it lacks a “good will” to resolve in any win-win situation.

Therefore, my reflection on the Israeli governments actions – not words- continues to show me that Israel is not intent on resolving this conflict in a just manner, in accordance with international law and humane standards, but instead it wants to persecute, humiliate, and discriminate against the Palestinian people and frankly make them suffer.

Therefore, let’s stop the charades and really put pressure on Isreal to engage in a meaningful peace process. Actions speak louder than words. Let the world community make Israel act in a responsible way for peace. If they don’t sanctions or other means that are available to the world’s governments must be used to make Israel act as a responsible country that exists in a world community.

Continued reflections on Israel-Palestine

11 Aug

 

Jan 28, 2009

As an American I have been truly unaware of the sinister Janus approach of Israel regarding peace with Palestine -until recently. Because of the largely one sided news coverage in the USA, while most Americans truly wish for peace and justice in the region, we keep believing Israel’s promises that Israel wants the same.

However, now I don’t believe that anymore. Instead I believe there are other fundamental(ist) conservative forces in Israel that really don’t care or want a just peace. I have recently been blogging and researching about the consequences of this -what I call Racism and also nationalism- of the majority of Israeli people/government.

The EU and USA have continued to not forceably challenage this lie. For example, if the settlements are- and I believe for now will be- allowed to continue- Israel breaks International Law and the Palestinians will not accept the settlements in a peace agreement.

So why does Israel insist?

Because they only want the peace agreement their way and that is to keep Israel’s expansion in Palestine.It now seems so obvious.

But when Tony Blair shakes hands with Netanyahu, us poor mortals, who try to believe in the wisdom of our leaders, think Ok these guys must have some long term plan or inside information we don’t know.

But I don’t believe that anymore. Here is the article. Make up your own mind.



Likud allow settlement expansion

The leader of Israel’s right-wing Likud party, Binyamin Netanyahu, says he would continue to expand settlements in the West Bank, but not build new ones.

The remarks to Mid-East envoy Tony Blair come in the run-up to Israel’s general election next month which Likud is favourite to win, polls suggest.

Settlements in the West Bank and Golan are considered illegal in international law, though Israel disputes this.

Past Israeli governments have backed “natural growth” of settlements.

Correspondents say the statement may be an attempt to placate the international community before the arrival of George Mitchell, the newly appointed US envoy to the Middle East.

“I have no intention of building new settlements in the West Bank,” Netanyahu told Mr Blair in quotes carried by Haaretz newspaper.

“But like all the governments there have been until now, I will have to meet the needs of natural growth in the population. I will not be able to choke the settlements.”

Intensive

The expansion of Jewish settlements violates the internationally-backed peace plan known as the roadmap, which has served as the basis for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that resumed in 2007.

Palestinians cite Israel’s settlement activity on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war as a major obstacle to a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict.

However, past Israeli governments have rejected the international legal arguments and in peace talks have sought to keep their big settlement blocs in East Jerusalem and the West Bank which house hundreds of thousands of Israelis.

Mr Netanyahu also reiterated his pledge to shift the focus of talks with the Palestinians to economic development rather than statehood.

He reportedly told Mr Blair he would deal with the Palestinian issue “very intensively.”

Mr Blair’s reaction to Mr Netanyahu’s statement is not recorded. During a visit to Ramallah on the same day, he welcomed Mr Mitchell’s appointment as US envoy.

“I see this as a partnership between America on the one side and the international community on the other… to make sure that we get the help to people in Gaza, then that we set about revitalising the process toward negotiation, leading to (Palestinian) statehood,” Mr Blair said.

Reflections by an American on Israel-Palestine

11 Aug

 Jan 23, 2009

I had grown up in the USA watching the movie Exodus, respecting the proud Mosha Dayan, honoring Golda Meir as a strong and just woman, honoring Israel’s technological success in turning the desert into fertile land, a bit confused about Isael’s socialist almost communist agendes, eg. kibbutz since the USA was in the cold war against socialism. However, this was the image of Israel that was given to the Americans as Israel became a nation. Arabs were little discussed and it seemed fair to Americans that after the holcaust in Europe, Jews be given a nation where they could be secure and not persecuted. It was said it wasn’t a lot of land for Israel and the Arab population would have their own land – less of course, and the Arabs could live as their own nation as the same for Israel.

Ok, this was the story told the American people and supported by Hollywood, the government and newsmedia. Remember this was way before the internet or even sophisticated satellite communications.

When Arab nations attacked Israel this was seen as unfair to Israel and America supported Israel’s right to exist. And this story continues to be told.

I believed this story. I believed that the Iraeli people were a just people wanting to be fair yet firm with thier Arab neighbors.

However, now, I see that story as a myth. Now I see after reading reports from credible international organizations, reports from Israel, and the actions of Israel in it’s attacks on Gaza now and before, Israel is a nation in the grips of anti-Arab racism and it is de-sensitized to the suffering of the Palestinian people. While this is, of course, not the only reality in the complex situation which has unfolded over the past fifty years or so, it is, I believe, a major variable in the present conflict.

Today there is the news about the Palestinian doctor whose three daughters were killed in their home. This man had worked tirelessly to build bridges between Israel and Palestine. Even as this man was being interviewed, in his grief and shock of having lost his only three children, some Isaerlis shouted at him to go back to Hamas, etc.

My story of Israel has been re-written. I now see the dark side of Israel clearly. It is not a new dark side for nations – racism- but it is a horrible darkside because the people who are disciminated against are seen as sub-human, evil, worthless except for contempt or worse.

We in the USA know of Racism and it’s ugly manifestation and consequences. But, fortunately, we have had the strength of some to help us understand and fight against this ignorance. And in the soul of America, there has been a response of confirmation to those calls to stop racism.

However, right now, I don’t see that happening in Israel and the consequences are an almost total destruction of way of life of a people living in what is called Palestine.

I don’t believe the old story anymore. A new disturbing story has become clear. Now, for us who are disturbed by such things as injustice and racism, we must continue to tell the accurate story of what is going on in Israel.