in the shadow of the dalai lama

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in the shadow of the dalai lama

Postby dude h homeslice ix » Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:46 pm

<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.american-buddha.com/shadow.dalai.htm">www.american-buddha.com/shadow.dalai.htm</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br> Introduction: Light and Shadow<br><br>For centuries after Buddha had died,<br>his shadow was still visible in a cave<br>a dreadful, spine-chilling shadow.<br>God is dead: but man being the way<br>he is for centuries to come there<br>will be caves in which his shadow is shown<br>and we, we must also triumph over his shadow.<br><br>Friedrich Nietzsche<br><br>The practice and philosophy of Buddhism has spread so rapidly throughout the Western world in the past 30 years and has so often been a topic in the media that by now anybody who is interested in cultural affairs has formed some sort of concept of Buddhism. In the conventional “Western” notion of Buddhism, the teachings of Buddha Gautama are regarded as a positive Eastern countermodel to the decadent civilization and culture of the West: where the Western world has introduced war and exploitation into world history, Buddhism stands for peace and freedom; whilst Western rationalism is destructive of life and the environment, the Eastern teachings of wisdom preserve and safeguard them. The meditation, compassion, composure, understanding, nonviolence, modesty, and spirituality of Asia stand in contrast to the actionism, egomania, unrest, indoctrination, violence, arrogance, and materialism of Europe and North America. Ex oriente lux—“light comes from the East”; in occidente nox—“darkness prevails in the West”.<br><br>We regard this juxtaposition of the Eastern and Western hemispheres as not just the “business” of naive believers and zealous Tibetan lamas. On the contrary, this comparison of values has become distributed among Western intelligentsia as a popular philosophical speculation in which they flirt with their own demise.<br><br>But the cream of Hollywood also gladly and openly confess their allegiance to the teachings of Buddhism (or what they understand these to be), especially when these come from the mouths of Tibetan lamas. “Tibet is looming larger than ever on the show business map,” the Herald Tribune wrote in 1997. “Tibet is going to enter the Western popular culture as something can only when Hollywood does the entertainment injection into the world system. Let’s remember that Hollywood is the most powerful force in the world, besides the US military” (Herald Tribune, March 20, 1997, pp. 1, 6). Orville Shell, who is working on a book on Tibet and the West, sees the Dalai Lama’s “Hollywood connection” as a substitute for the non-existent diplomatic corps that could represent the interests of the exiled Tibetan hierarch: “Since he [the Dalai Lama] doesn’t have embassies, and he has no political power, he has to seek other kinds. Hollywood is a kind of country in his own, and he’s established a kind of embassy there” (Newsweek, May 19, 1997, p. 24).<br><br>In Buddhism more and more show-business celebrities believe they have discovered a message of salvation that can at last bring the world peace and tranquility. In connection with his most recent film about the young Dalai Lama (Kundun), the director Martin Scorsese, more known for the violence of his films, emotionally declared: “Violence is not the answer, it doesn’t work any more. We are at the end of the worst century in which the greatest atrocities in the history of the world have occurred ... The nature of human beings must change. We must cultivate love and compassion” (Focus 46/1997, p. 168; retranslation). The karate hero Steven Segal, who believes himself to be the reincarnation of a Tibetan lama, tells us, “I have been a Buddhist for twenty years and since then have lived in harmony with myself and the world” (Bunte, November 6, 1997, p. 24; retranslation). For actor Richard Gere, one of the closest Western confidants of the Dalai Lama, the “fine irony of Buddhism, which signifies the only way to true happiness, is our own pleasure to offer to each and all” (Bunte, November 6, 1997, p. 25;retranslation). Helmut Thoma, former head of the private German television company RTL, is no less positive about this Eastern religion: “Buddhists treat each other in a friendly, well-meaning and compassionate way. They see no difference between their own suffering and that of others. I admire that” (Bunte, November 6, 1997, p. 24). Actress Christine Kaufmann has also enthused, “In Buddhism the maxim is: enjoy the phases of happiness for these are transitory” (Bunte, November 6, 1997, p. 21). Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman, Tina Turner, Patty Smith, Meg Ryan, Doris Dörrie, and Shirley MacLaine are just some of the film stars and singers who follow the teachings of Buddha Gautama.<br><br>The press is no less euphoric. The German magazine Bunte has praised the teachings from the East as the “ideal religion of our day”: Buddhism has no moral teachings, enjoins us to happiness, supports winners, has in contrast to other religions an unblemished past ("no skeletons in the closet”), worships nature as a cathedral, makes women beautiful, promotes sensuousness, promises eternal youth, creates paradise on earth, reduces stress and body weight (Bunte, November 6, 1997, pp. 20ff.).<br><br>What has already become the myth of the “Buddhization of the West” is the work of many. Monks, scholars, enthusiastic followers, generous sponsors, occultists, hippies, and all sorts of “Eastern trippers” have worked on it. But towering above them all, just as the Himalayas surpass all other peaks on the planet, is His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Timeless, gigantic, respectful, tolerant, patient, modest, simple, full of humor, warm, gentle, lithe, earthy, harmonious, transparent, pure, and always smiling and laughing — this is how the Kundun (the Tibetan word means “presence” or “living Buddha”) is now known to all. There is no positive human characteristic which has not at one time or another been applied to the Dalai Lama. For many of the planet’s inhabitants, even if they are non-Buddhists, he represents the most respectable living individual of our epoch.<br><br>Many believe they have discovered in the straightforward personality of this Buddhist monk all the rare qualities of a gracious and trustworthy character that we seek in vain among our Western politicians and church leaders. In a world full of evil, materialism, and corruption he represents goodwill, the realm of the spirit, and the lotus blossom of purity; amidst the maelstrom of trivialities and confusion he stands for meaning, calm, and stability; in the competitive struggle of modern capitalism and in an age where reports of catastrophes are constant he is the guarantor of justice and a clear and unshaken will; from the thick of the battle of cultures and peoples he emerges as the apostle of peace; amidst a global outbreak of religious fanaticism he preaches tolerance and nonviolence.<br><br>His followers worship him as a deity, a “living Buddha” (Kundun), and call him their “divine king”. Not even the Catholic popes or medieval emperors ever claimed such a high spiritual position — they continued to bow down before the “Lord of Lords” (God) as his supreme servants. The Dalai Lama, however –according to Tibetan doctrine at least — himself appears and acts as the “Highest”. In him is revealed the mystic figure of ADI BUDDHA (the Supreme Buddha); he is a religious ideal in flesh and blood. In some circles, enormous hopes are placed in the Kundun as the new Redeemer himself. Not just Tibetans and Mongolians, many Taiwan Chinese and Westerners also see him as a latter-day Messiah. [1]<br><br>However human the monk from Dharamsala (India) may appear, his person is surrounded by the most occult speculations. Many who have met him believe they have encountered the supernatural. In the case of the “divine king” who has descended to mankind from the roof of the world, that which was denied Moses—namely, to glimpse the countenance of God (Yahweh)—has become possible for pious Buddhists; and unlike Yahweh this countenance shows no wrath, but smiles graciously and warmly instead.<br><br>The esoteric pathos in the characterization of the Dalai Lama has long since transcended the boundaries of Buddhist insider groups. It is the famous show business personalities and even articles in the “respectable” Western press who now express the mystic flair of the Kundun in weighty exclamations: “The fascination is the search for the third eye”, Melissa Mathison, scriptwriter for Martin Scorsese’s film, Kundun, writes in the Herald Tribune. “Americans are hoping for some sort of magical door into the mystical, thinking that there’s some mysterious reason for things, a cosmic explanation. Tibet offers the most extravagant expression of the mystical, and when people meet His Holiness, you can see on their faces that they’re hoping to get this hit that will transcend their lives, take them someplace else” (Herald Tribune, March 20, 1997).<br><br>Nevertheless — and this is another magical fairytale — the divine king’s omnipotent role combines well with the monastic modesty and simplicity he exhibits. It is precisely this fascinating combination of the supreme (“divine king”) and the almighty with the lowliest (“mendicant”) and weakest that makes the Dalai Lama so appealing for many — clear, understandable words, a gracious smile, a simple robe, plain sandals, and behind all this the omnipotence of the divine. With his constantly repeated statement — “I ... see myself first as a man and a Tibetan who has made the decision to become a Buddhist monk” — His Holiness has conquered the hearts of the West (Dalai Lama XIV, 1993a, p. 7). We can believe in such a person, we can find refuge in him, from him we learn about the wisdom of life and death. [2]<br><br>A similar reverse effect is found in another of the Kundun’s favorite sayings, that the institution of the Dalai Lama could become superfluous in the future. “Perhaps it would really be good if I were the last!” (Levenson, 1990, p. 366). Such admissions of his own superfluity bring tears to people’s eyes and are only surpassed by the prognosis of the “divine king” that in his next life he will probably be reincarnated as an insect in order to help this lower form of life as an “insect messiah”. In the wake of such heartrending prophecies no-one would wish for anything more than that the institution of the Dalai Lama might last for ever.<br><br>The political impotence of the country the hierarch had to flee has a similarly powerful and disturbing effect. The image of the innocent, peaceful, spiritual, defenseless, and tiny Tibet, suppressed and humiliated by the merciless, inhumane, and materialistic Chinese giant has elevated the “Land of Snows” and its monastic king to the status of a worldwide symbol of “pacifist resistance”. The more Tibet and its “ecclesiastical king” are threatened, the more his spiritual authority increases and the more the Kundun becomes an international moral authority. He has succeeded in the impossible task of drawing strength from his weakness.<br><br>The numerous speeches of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, his interviews, statements, writings, biographies, books, and his countless introductions and forewords to the texts of others deal almost exclusively with topics like compassion, kindness, sincerity, love, nonviolence, human rights, ecological visions, professions of democracy, religious tolerance, inner and outer spirituality, the blessings of science, world peace, and so on. It would take a true villain to not agree totally with what he has said and written. Training consciousness, achieving spiritual peace, cultivating inner contentment, fostering satisfaction, practicing awareness, eliminating egoism, helping others — what responsible person could fail to identify with this? Who doesn’t long for flawless love, clear intellect, generosity, and enlightenment?<br><br>Within Western civilization, the Dalai Lama appears as the purest light. He represents — according to former President Jimmy Carter — a new type of world leader, who has placed the principles of peace and compassion at the center of his politics, and who, with his kind and winning nature, has shown us all how the hardest blows of fate can be borne with perseverance and patience. By now he symbolizes human dignity and global responsibility for millions. Up until very recently hardly anyone, with the exception of his archenemies, the Chinese communists, has dared to criticize this impotent/omnipotent luminary. But then, out of the blue in 1996, dark clouds began to gather over the bright aura of the “living Buddha”.<br><br>Charges, accusations, suspicions and incriminations began to appear in the media. At first on the Internet, then in isolated press reports, and finally in television programs (see Panorama on ARD [Germany], November 20, 1997 and 10 vor 10 on SF1 [Switzerland], January 5-8, 199<!--EZCODE EMOTICON START 8) --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/glasses.gif ALT="8)"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> . At the same time as the Hollywood stars were erecting a media altar for their Tibetan god, the public attacks on the Dalai Lama were becoming more frequent. Even for a mundane politician the catalogue of accusations would have been embarrassing, but for a divine king they were horrendous. And on this occasion the attacks came not from the Chinese camp but from within his own ranks.<br><br>The following serious charges are leveled in an open letter to the Kundun supposedly written by Tibetans in exile which criticizes the “despotism” of the hierarch: “The cause [of the despotism] is the invisible disease which is still there and which develops immediately if met with various conditions. And what is this disease? It is your clinging to your own power. It is a fact that even at that time if someone would have used democracy on you, you would not have been able to accept it. ... Your Holiness, you wish to be a great leader, but you do not know that in order to fulfill the wish, a ‘political Bodhisattva vow’ is required. So you entered instead the wrong ‘political path of accumulation’ (tsog lam) and that has lead you on a continuously wrong path. You believed that in order to be a greater leader you had to secure your own position first of all, and whenever any opposition against you arose you had to defend yourself, and this has become contagious. ... Moreover, to challenge lamas you have used religion for your own aim. To that purpose you had to develop the Tibetan people’s blind faith. ... For instance, you started the politics of public Kalachakra initiations. [3] Normally the Kalachakra initiation is not given in public. Then you started to use it continuously in a big way for your politics. The result is that now the Tibetan people have returned to exactly the same muddy and dirty mixing of politics and religion of lamas which you yourself had so precisely criticized in earlier times. ... You have made the Tibetans into donkeys. You can force them to go here and there as you like. In your words you always say that you want to be Ghandi but in your action you are like a religious fundamentalist who uses religious faith for political purposes. Your image is the Dalai Lama, your mouth is Mahatma Ghandi and your heart is like that of a religious dictator. You are a deceiver and it is very sad that on the top of the suffering that they already have the Tibetan people have a leader like you. Tibetans have become fanatics. They say that the Dalai Lama is more important than the principle of Tibet. ... Please, if you feel like being like Gandhi, do not turn the Tibetan situation in the church dominated style of 17th century Europe” (Sam, May 27, 1997 - Newsgroup 16).<br><br>The list of accusations goes on and on. Here we present some of the charges raised against the Kundun since 1997 which we treat in more detail in this study: association with the Japanese “poison gas guru” Shoko Asahara (the “Asahara affair”); violent suppression of the free expression of religion within his own ranks (the “Shugden affair”); the splitting of the other Buddhist sects (the “Karmapa affair”); frequent sexual abuse of women by Tibetan lamas (“Sogyal Rinpoche and June Campbell affairs”); intolerance towards homosexuals; involvement in a ritual murder (the events of February 4, 1997); links to National Socialism (the “Heinrich Harrer affair”); nepotism (the “Yabshi affair”); selling out his own country to the Chinese (renunciation of Tibetan sovereignty); political lies; rewriting history; and much more. Overnight the god has become a demon. [4]<br><br>And all of a sudden Westerners are beginning to ask themselves whether the king of light from the Himalayas might not have a monstrous shadow. What we mean by the Dalai Lama’s “shadow” is the possibility of a dark, murky, and “dirty” side to both his personality and politicoreligious office in contrast to the pure and brilliant figure he cuts as the “greatest living hero of peace in our century” in the captivated awareness of millions.<br><br>For most people who have come to know him personally or via the media, such nocturnal dimensions to His Holiness are unimaginable. The possibility would not even occur to them, since the Kundun has grasped how to effectively conceal the threatening and demonic aspects of Tibetan Buddhism and the many dark chapters in the history of Tibet. Up until 1996 he had succeeded –the poorly grounded Chinese critique aside — in playing the shining hero on the world stage.<br><br>Plato’s cave<br><br>The shadow is the “other side” of a person, his “hidden face”, the shadows are his “occult depths”. Psychoanalysis teaches us that there are four ways of dealing with our shadow: we can deny it, suppress it, project it onto other people, or integrate it.<br><br>But the topic of the shadow does not just have a psychological dimension; ever since Plato’s famous analogy of the cave it has become one of the favorite motifs of Western philosophy. In his Politeia (The State), Plato tells of an “unenlightened” people who inhabit a cave with their backs to the entrance. Outside shines the light of eternal and true reality, but as the people have turned their backs to it, all they see are the shadows of reality which flit sketchily across the walls of the cave before their eyes. Their human attentiveness is magically captivated by this shadowy world and they thus perceive only dreams and illusions, never higher reality itself. Should a cave dweller one day manage to escape this dusky dwelling, he would recognize that he had been living in a world of illusions.<br><br>This parable was adapted by Friedrich Nietzsche in Aphorism 108 of his Fröhliche Wissenschaft [The Gay Science] and — of interest here — linked to the figure of Buddha: “For centuries after Buddha had died,” Nietzsche wrote, “his shadow was still visible in a cave — a dreadful, spine-chilling shadow. God is dead: but man being the way he is, for centuries to come there will be caves in which his shadow is shown — and we — we must also triumph over his shadow”. [5]<br><br>This aphorism encourages us to speculate about the Dalai Lama. He is, after all, worshipped as “God” or as a “living Buddha” (Kundun), as a supreme enlightened being. But, we could argue with Nietzsche, the true Buddha (“God”) is dead. Does this make the figure of the Dalai Lama nothing but a shadow? Are pseudo-dogmas, pseudo-rituals, and pseudo-mysteries all that remain of the original Buddhism? Did the historical Buddha Shakyamuni leave us with his “dreadful shadow” (the Dalai Lama) and have we been challenged to liberate ourselves from him? However, we could also speculate as to whether people perceive only the Dalai Lama’s silhouette since they still live in the cave of an unenlightened consciousness. If they were to leave this world of illusion, they might experience the Kundun as the supreme luminary and Supreme Buddha (ADI BUDDHA).<br><br>In our study of the Dalai Lama we offer concrete answers to these and similar metaphysical questions. To do this, however, we must lead our readers into (Nietzsche’s) cave, where the “dreadful shadow” of the Kundun (a “living Buddha”) appears on the wall. Up until now this cave has been closed to the public and could not be entered by the uninitiated.<br><br>Incidentally, every Tibetan temple possesses such an eerie room of shadows. Beside the various sacred chambers in which smiling Buddha statues emit peace and composure there are secret rooms known as gokhangs which can only be entered by a chosen few. In the dim light of flickering, half-drowned butter lamps, surrounded by rusty weapons, stuffed animals, and mummified body parts, the Tibetan terror gods reside in the gokhang. Here, the inhabitants of a violent and monstrous realm of darkness are assembled. In a figurative sense the gokhang symbolizes the dark ritualism of Lamaism and Tibet’s hidden history of violence. In order to truly get to know the Dalai Lama (the “living Buddha”) we must first descend into the “cave” (the gokhang) and there conduct a speleology of his religion.<br><br>“Realpolitik” and the “Politics of Symbols”<br><br>Our study is divided into two parts. The first contain a depiction and critique of the religious foundations of Tibetan (“Tantric”) Buddhism and is entitled Ritual as Politics. The second part (Politics as Ritual) examines the power politics of the Kundun (Dalai Lama) and its historical preconditions. The relationship between political power and religion is thus central to our book.<br><br>In ancient societies (like that of Tibet), everything that happens in the everyday world — from acts of nature to major political events to quotidian occurrences — is the expression of transcendent powers and forces working behind the scenes. Mortals do not determine their own fates; rather they are instruments in the hands of “gods” and “demons”. If we wish to gain any understanding at all of the Dalai Lama’s “secular” politics, it must be derived from this atavistic perspective which permeates the traditional cultural legacy of Tibetan Buddhism. For the mysteries that he administers (in which the “gods” make their appearances) form the foundations of his political vision and decision making. State and religion, ritual and politics are inseparable for him.<br><br>What, however, distinguishes a “politics of symbols” from “realpolitik”? Both are concerned with power, but the methods for achieving and maintaining power differ. In realpolitik we are dealing with facts that are both caused and manipulated by people. Here the protagonists are politicians, generals, CEOs, leaders of opinion, cultural luminaries, etc. The methods through which power is exercised include force, war, revolution, legal systems, money, rhetoric, propaganda, public discussions, and bribery.<br><br>In the symbolic political world, however, we encounter “supernatural” energy fields, the “gods” and “demons”. The secular protagonists in events are still human beings such as ecclesiastical dignitaries, priests, magicians, gurus, yogis, and shamans. But they all see themselves as servants of some type of superior divine will, or, transcending their humanity they themselves become “gods”, as in the case of the Dalai Lama. His exercise of power thus not only involves worldly techniques but also the manipulation of symbols in rituals and magic. For him, symbolic images and ritual acts are not simply signs or aesthetic acts but rather instruments with which to activate the gods and to influence people’s awareness. His political reality is determined by a “metaphysical detour” via the mysteries. [6]<br><br>This interweaving of historical and symbolic events leads to the seemingly fantastic metapolitics of the Tibetans. Lamaism believes it can influence the course of history not just in Tibet but for the entire planet through its system of rituals and invocations, through magic practices and concentration exercises. The result is an atavistic mix of magic and politics. Rather than being determined by parliament and the Tibetan government in exile, political decisions are made by oracles and the supernatural beings acting through them. It is no longer parties with differing programs and leaders who face off in the political arena, but rather distinct and antagonistic oracle gods.<br><br>Above all it is in the individual of the Dalai Lama that the entire worldly and spiritual/magic potential of the Tibetan world view is concentrated. According to tradition he is a sacred king. All his deeds, however much they are perceived in terms of practical politics by his surroundings, are thus profoundly linked to the Tibetan mysteries.<br><br>The latter have always been shrouded in secrecy. The uninitiated have no right to participate or learn about them. Nevertheless, in recent years much information about the Tibetan cults (recorded in the so-called tantra texts and their commentaries) has been published and translated into European languages. The world that opens itself here to Western awareness appears equally fantastic and fascinating. This world is a combination of theatrical pomp, medieval magic, sacred sexuality, relentless asceticism, supreme deification and the basest abuse of women, murderous crimes, maximum ethical demands, the appearance of gods and demons, mystical ecstasy, and cold hard logic all in one powerful, paradoxical performance.<br><br>Note on the cited literature:<br><br>The original documents which we cite are without exception European-language translations from Sanskrit, Tibetan or Chinese, or are drawn from Western sources. By now, so many relevant texts have been translated that they provide an adequate scholarly basis for a culturally critical examination of Tibetan Buddhism without the need to refer to documents in the original language. For our study , the Kalachakra Tantra is central. This has not been translated in its entirety, aside from an extremely problematical handwritten manuscript by the German Tibetoligist, Albert Grünwedel, which can be found in the Bavarian State Library in Munich. Important parts of the Sri Kalachakra have been translated into English by John Roland Newman, along with a famous commentary on these parts by Pundarika known as the Vimalaphraba. (John Ronald Newman - The outer wheel of time: Vajrayana buddhist cosmology in the Kalacakra Tantra – Vimalaprabh&#257; - n&#257;mam&#363;latantr&#257;nus&#257;ri&#326;&#299;-dv&#257;da&#347;as&#257;hasrik&#257;laguk&#257;lacakratantrar&#257;ja&#355;&#299;k&#257; ) Madison 1987)<br><br>The Sri Kalachakra (Laghukalachakratantra) is supposed to be the abridgement of a far more comprehensive original text by the name of Sekoddesha. The complete text has been lost — but some important passages from it have been preserved and have been commented upon by the renowned scholar Naropa (10th century). An Italian translation of the commentary by Ranieri Gnoli and Giacomella Orofino is available. Further to this, we have studied every other work on the Kalachakra Tantra which we have been able to find in a Western language. We were thus in a position to be able to adequately reconstruct the contents of the “Time Tantra” from the numerous translated commentaries and sources for a cultural historical (and not a philological) assessment of the tantra. This extensive literature is listed at the end of the book. In order to make the intentions and methods of this religious system comprehensible for a Western audience, a comparison with other tantras and with parallels in European culture is of greater importance than a meticulous linguistic knowledge of every line in the Sanskrit or Tibetan original.<br><br>In the interests of readability, we have transliterated Tibetan and Sanskrit names without diacritical marks and in this have primarily oriented ourselves to Anglo-Saxon usages.<br><br>Footnotes:<br><br>[1] In the opinion of the Tibet researcher, Peter Bishop, the head of the Lamaist “church” satisfies a “reawakened appreciation of the Divine Father” for many people from the West (Bishop 1993, p. 130). For Bishop, His Holiness stands out as a fatherly savior figure against the insecurities and fears produced by modern society, against the criticisms leveled at monotheistic religions, and against the rubble of the decline of the European system of values.<br><br>[2] Through this contradictory effect the Dalai Lama is able to strengthen his superhuman stature with the most banal of words and deeds. Many of His Holiness’s Western visitors, for example, are amazed after an audience that a “god-king” constantly rubs his nose and scratches his head “like an ape”. Yet, writes the Tibet researcher Christiaan Klieger, “such expressions of the body natural do not detract from the status of the Dalai Lama – far from it, as it adds to his personal charisma. It maintains that incongruous image of a divine form in a human body” (Klieger 1991, p 79).<br><br>[3] The Kalachakra initiations are the most significant rituals which the Dalai Lama conducts, partly in public and in part in secret. By now the public events take place in the presence of hundreds of thousands. Analyses and interpretations of the Kalachakra initiations lie at the center of the current study.<br><br>[4] Up until 1996 the West needed to be divided into two factions — with the eloquent advocates of Tibetan Buddhism on the one hand, and those who were completely ignorant of the issue and remained silent on the other. In contrast, modern or “postmodern” cultural criticisms of the Buddhist teachings and critical examinations of the Tibetan clergy and the Tibetan state structure were extremely rare (completely the opposite of the case of the literature which addresses the Pope and the Catholic Church). Noncommitted and unfalsified analyses and interpretations of Buddhist or Tibetan history, in brief open and truth-seeking confrontations with the shady side of the “true faith” and its history, have to be sought out like needles in a haystack of ideological glorifications and deliberately constructed myths of history. For this reason those who attempted to discover and reveal the hidden background have had to battle to swim against a massive current of resistance based on pre-formed opinions and deliberate manipulation. This situation has changed in the period since 1996.<br><br>[5] The fact that Nietzsche’s aphorism about the shadow is number 108 offers numerologists fertile grounds for occult speculation, as 108 is one of the most significant holy numbers in Tibetan Buddhism. Given the status of knowledge about Tibet at the time, it is hardly likely that Nietzsche chose this number deliberately.<br><br>[6] There is nonetheless an occult correlation between “symbolic and ritual politics” and real political events. Thus the Tibetan lamas believe they are justified in subsuming the pre-existing social reality (including that of the West) into their magical world view and subjecting it to their “irrational” methods. With a for a contemporary awareness audacious seeming thought construction, they see in the processes of world history not just the work of politicians, the military, and business leaders, but declare these to be the lackeys of divine or demonic powers.<br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: in the shadow of the dalai lama

Postby Avalon » Thu Jun 08, 2006 2:09 pm

I wasn't able to get the website to open for me in a timely manner, so I was not able to see this article in context.<br><br>It was not a subtle article -- I was waiting for the "I've been setting him up for you, now I'm going to give him a smack" to come. At which point there was an outpouring of accusations about this ancient, complex religion that is trying to integrate itself into Western 21st century life and thought (let alone the Asian versions) in a way that would leave any institution gasping.<br><br>It seems there have been problems with sex (<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>SMACK!)</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> and power (<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>SMACK!)</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> and money (<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>SMACK!)</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> and class (<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>SMACK!)</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> and scary practices from the mists of long ago that still survive (<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>SMACK!). </em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--> All boiled down to economical nuggets which readers with short attention spands can google later if they really need to know more.<br><br>And the Dalai Lama scratches his head LIKE AN APE! (<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>SMACK!</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->) (I'm sorry, I too missed the lesson on how to scratch my head without looking like an ape, I hope that will be revealed at some time so I don't commit some dreadful faux pas and get smacked).<br><br>I'm sorry that some of his followers have lost faith in the leader they helped to build up. I know how painful that can be. I followed the Richard Baker sexual misconduct when that was bringing great pain to the American Zen community, as a friend of mine had been one of his students.<br><br>But I don't quite grasp why the writer thinks that any institution on this planet (especially one with millions of adherents) will be totally free of those attachments, despite its rhetoric, and its success on some levels. We're a young species, and we've only been using forks for more than 500 years. let alone other things we didn't quite evolve to be in harmony with.<br><br>Oops. His Holiness is not the god the writer thought he was. (Mommy and Daddy aren't either). What's the next step that the writer and his readers should take for the sake of Buddhism and the human race? What does the kind of wisdom and omniscience that sees all these problems intend to do about it? It's real easy to criticize, but hard to make changes unless you have (gasp) power in your institution or a competing one.<br><br>And we all know the deep paradoxes of leadership: that the cream rises, but also the shit floats.<br><br><br><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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I'm glad someone brought this up.

Postby johnny nemo » Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:15 pm

As someone who has found that the only philosophy in the world that closely matched my own, is a type of radical Zen/Ch'an Buddhism (it's a mixture of Taoism and Buddhism, allegedly started by the Indian monk Bodhidharma), I want to say f*ck the Dalai Lama.<br><br>The head roshi at a Zen monastery in the 1600s wisely forbade the monks from begging and had them grow their own food, saying "Why should a perfectly healthy monk live a parasitical existence?" <br>That is how I view the Dalai Lama.<br>Just another Dharma bum, who uses his spirituality and title as an excuse to not be bothered with anything mundane like work.<br>Utterly useless and parasitical.<br><br>As to the beatings......there is the story of a monk named Yunmen, who had a teacher named Mu-Chou, who refused to open his door to Yunmen because he allegedly could tell by his footsteps that he was not "following the Way".<br>When Mu-Chou wouldn't open the door, Yunmen stuck his foot in. Mu-Chou grabbed him and urged him, "Speak! Speak!" As Yun-men was about to say something, Mu-Chou threw him out, called him a fool, slammed the door on him, breaking one of his legs. The intense pain caused Yunmen to become instantly enlightened.<br>It is believed that this leg-breaking incident was completely accidental, not a deliberate beating, such as what occurs in other temples.<br>The evidence of this was that when Yunmen became head roshi, he did not use violence, but rather a one word answer to shock his students to understanding.<br><br>My favorite example of this was when he was asked "What is the Buddha" and he replied "a dried piece of sh*t" (the intrinsic meaning of which, for those interested, is to stop putting Buddha, or elightened "perfect nature", on a pedestal, and instead look for it everywhere.) <br><br>The scandals that have occured are, IMHO, the natural result of people trying to learn enlightenment at a school, which I believe is completely flawed, because people are flawed.<br>Zen masters like Joshu, Bassui Zenji and Kyogen didn't even live in monasteries.<br>Joshu did have a teacher for a short while, but spent most of his life wondering the countryside, living and working here and there, while searching for enlightenment.<br>Bassui meditated in a tree on a koan that came to him naturally.<br>(Koans, for those unaware, are "unanswerable" questions that allegedly will enlighten the person asking them, if they can figure the answer out.)<br>Kyogen had a teacher, but decided that it was all bullsh*t, bitterly denounced Buddhism and wondered the countryside, finally settling at the ruins of a monastery.<br>As he was clearing land and planting crops, he tossed a stone roof tile aside and it struck a bamboo tree making a sound.<br>He allegedly attained enlightenment when he realized that there was no separation between himself, the stone, the tree and the sound produced (which I thought was very astute for someone with no knowledge of quantum mechanics).<br><br>One of the greatest (IMHO) Buddhist axims (as well as being a koan) is "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him", which means that anything that can teach you can also enslave you, so rid yourself of it completely.<br><br>I'm not telling anyone to kill the Dalai Lama, mind you, just to ignore him.<br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: I'm glad someone brought this up.

Postby bkkexile » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:23 pm

Why can't the world just be nice and give him his Theocratic serfdom back? <p></p><i></i>
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bkk

Postby Dreams End » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:41 pm

bkk...I didn't get why you posted that other link...but you get my vote for best line of the night:<br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Why can't the world just be nice and give him his Theocratic serfdom back?<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: bkk

Postby bkkexile » Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:53 pm

Dreams End, my other post was in reference to the thread below:<br><br><!--EZCODE LINK START--><a href="http://p216.ezboard.com/frigorousintuitionfrm42.showMessage?topicID=42.topic" target="top">James Blunt</a><!--EZCODE LINK END--><br><br>I guess my sense of humour missed the mark... <p></p><i></i>
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Re: bkk

Postby professorpan » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:32 am

Guru -- say each letter out loud to yourself and you'll get the answer to the $68,000 question. <p></p><i></i>
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Wholesale or retail?

Postby Avalon » Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:45 am

Sure, you could add "kill Buddhism," and be within the spirit of the admonition.<br><br>A few people will get their enlightenment wholesale no matter what, straight from the source. But most people who grown in their spirituality will get it retail, from books, media, or mentors within an institutionalized path of some sort.<br><br>You can look around you to see how many enlightened people there are in your neighborhood. Or you can study the past to see if you can figure out whether there were more people getting wholesale enlightenment back in whatever looks like the good old days without mass media religions, and see if it looks like the rate was higher then. Though the books you'll consult will depend on the "publishing history is decided by the winners" ideas, whereby someone says they know about Buddhism or enlightenment, and someone else will have to know as much about it to review the book and get it into circulation, or assess whether the book is publishable or not.<br><br>Some people do their best growth on their own, others need the strengths of a sangha. You wanna kill the sangha?<br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Postby radagast_the_brown » Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:09 pm

T
he list of accusations goes on and on. Here we present some of the charges raised against the Kundun since 1997 which we treat in more detail in this study: association with the Japanese “poison gas guru” Shoko Asahara (the “Asahara affair”); violent suppression of the free expression of religion within his own ranks (the “Shugden affair”); the splitting of the other Buddhist sects (the “Karmapa affair”); frequent sexual abuse of women by Tibetan lamas (“Sogyal Rinpoche and June Campbell affairs”); intolerance towards homosexuals; involvement in a ritual murder (the events of February 4, 1997); links to National Socialism (the “Heinrich Harrer affair”); nepotism (the “Yabshi affair”); selling out his own country to the Chinese (renunciation of Tibetan sovereignty); political lies; rewriting history; and much more. Overnight the god has become a demon. [4]


Most of these are unfair to lay on the Dalai Lama.

His "association" with Shoko Asahara seems to be limited to one meeting and a photo-op. The Dalai Lama probably had no idea what this guy was about. He meets a lot of people.

The Dorje Shugden affair is interesting for all sorts of reasons. While it has sometimes (as here) been couched in terms of "freedom of religion" this is hardly applicable (if that western concept even applies to Tibetan internal religious politics). The short version: Dorje Shugden was an historical figure charged with some heinous crimes and put to death by the government of a previous Dalai Lama. Before he died, he threatened to reincarnate as a demon and plague Tibet. Which he did. The lamas held some ceremonies and "tamed" him, turning him into a Dharma-protector, and images of him as such were placed in Tibetan temples. Fast forward to the end of the 20th century. The oracle of Tibet announced that Dorje Shugden had turned evil again, and the Dali Lama consequently ordered all his statues removed from the temples. One small breakaway faction refused and started the New Kandampa movement, opposing the Dalai Lama.

Now, for a small sect, based on a very obscure point of difference with the mainstream of Tibetan Buddhism, New Kandampa has done very well for itself. They have large, well-endowed temples all over the world. Where did the resources for that come from? Donations from impoverished goat-herders? I think not. This is almost certainlyh a case of Chinese religious psy-ops.

The Sogyal Rinpoche affair and other sex scandals cannot be blamed on the Dalai Lama, who works hard to clean that kind of thing up, but he really has little practical control over what overseas lamas and rinpoches do.

The Heinrich Harrer affair as an attempt to link the Tibetan hierarchy with National Socialism is a joke. There's nothing to it. Read the history, look at the geography. Caveat: some Nazis did have an interest in Tibet, seeking for supposed occult secrets.

Selling out his country to China? I don't think so. What options does he or the Tibetans have?

I don't know about the other charges, but suspect they fall into the same sensationalist category.

I wonder what the writer's agenda is trying to discredit the Dalai Lama?
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.
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Re:

Postby Sonam » Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:14 pm

radagast_the_brown wrote:T
he list of accusations goes on and on. Here we present some of the charges raised against the Kundun since 1997 which we treat in more detail in this study: association with the Japanese “poison gas guru” Shoko Asahara (the “Asahara affair”); frequent sexual abuse of women by Tibetan lamas (“Sogyal Rinpoche and June Campbell affairs”); intolerance towards homosexuals; ; nepotism (the “Yabshi affair”);


Most of these are unfair to lay on the Dalai Lama.

His "association" with Shoko Asahara seems to be limited to one meeting and a photo-op. The Dalai Lama probably had no idea what this guy was about. He meets a lot of people.

The Sogyal Rinpoche affair and other sex scandals cannot be blamed on the Dalai Lama, who works hard to clean that kind of thing up, but he really has little practical control over what overseas lamas and rinpoches do.

I wonder what the writer's agenda is trying to discredit the Dalai Lama?


The Dalai Lama accepted a large donation of money from Asahara, that's what the fuss is about there.
He has done nothing to "clean that kind of thing up", when it comes to abuses by lamas of their students. He has only said that victims should denounce abusers publicly (he hasn't heard of libel laws, Tibet didn't have them), or file criminal charges if necessary. Given that the 4 main sects operate independently, he has no power over them. He could institute some sort of accountability structure within his own sect, conceivably, but who's to say it wouldn't be subject to corruption? then there's the matter of him and some of his family members being on the CIA payroll for years, he has admitted to that.

Frankly, I don't know what to make of the guy any more.

The writers were students of the Dalai Lama, and then discovered some alarming aspects to Tibetan Buddhism and to some of the rituals that freaked them out, so they started investigating. There's that belief, for example, that enlightened gurus are above "mundane" morality, they can do anything they want. Even the vows they take, the Bodhisattva Vows, allow them to kill, steal, commit mayhem of various sorts, under certain circumstances. This isn't what anyone expects when they study Buddhism. I have the feeling that once the authors started digging, they came upon more and more disturbing stuff.
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Re: in the shadow of the dalai lama

Postby withywindel » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:56 pm

I know what to make of him. He is too faced. He talks about the Kalachakra as being for peace, and lo and behold you would never know that it also teaches that you need sex in order to become enlightened, and so it is incorporated into the meditation techniques. As a result abuse easily comes about as women are coerced into having sex with the lama, especially if she is young and pretty, and some lamas actually rape the women.

I was in a Tibetan Buddhist group for a year and didn't know that these were part of the teachings since my teacher spoke a lot about peace, but when he began teaching me about hell in the first lesson I began to wonder about Tibetan Buddhism and argued with him, saying that the teachings on hell are to frighten people, to get them to obey, etc. Then the next thing I found was that he had a Tantric emblem on his website, and I asked if I were in a Tantric sex religion, and he said NO. And he claimed that he didn't believe in it, and then I finally found his teacher's website, and there it was, "seminal retention," and if I had not read some of The Shadow of the Dalai Lama I would not have known, but then the Tibetan Buddhists on the forums were lying to me, saying that they don't teach sexual practices, so I got the Kalachakra Tantra Commentary by yet another lama who studied under the Dalai Lama as my teacher had, and there it was, all in black and white. My finding substantiated what the Trimondis had written. Here is what I wrote on it, but the Trimondis' did a much better job:

http://downthecrookedpath-meditation-gurus.blogspot.com/2011/06/what-is-in-kalachakra-tantra.html

At which point I wrote my teacher and told him that he was a liar and that I had the Kalachakra Tantra, and we said our goodbyes without his denying it again.
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Re: in the shadow of the dalai lama

Postby Sonam » Sat Jul 30, 2011 11:24 pm

If you talk to enough Tibetans, read the right books, and talk to women who are former students of Tibetan Buddhism, you'll find out that the compassion is fake, the celibacy is fake, the altruism is fake, and it's just as corrupt as the next religion, if not more so. With rare exception, the monks, lamas, yogis and other assorted "authorities", including self-appointed ones like Sogyal Lakar, are obsessed with the most anti-Buddhist of goals, namely: power, fame, wealth if they can pull it off, and if not, at least a monastery full of servant-monks at their command, and last, but by no means least, sex, mostly of the pedophilic variety. These are seriously depraved people, and they don't care how many lives they trash.
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Re: in the shadow of the dalai lama

Postby matrixdutch » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:43 am

Are you kidding me? "The Shadow of the Dalia Lama" is hackjob by the Trimondi's who's citations are completely taken out of context. "The Dragon in the Land of Snows: A History of Modern Tibet Since 1947" is a much more scholarly and recommended resource.
Our truth consists of illusions that we have forgotten are illusions - Nietzsche
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Re: in the shadow of the dalai lama

Postby matrixdutch » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:43 am

Sonam wrote:If you talk to enough Tibetans, read the right books, and talk to women who are former students of Tibetan Buddhism, you'll find out that the compassion is fake, the celibacy is fake, the altruism is fake, and it's just as corrupt as the next religion, if not more so. With rare exception, the monks, lamas, yogis and other assorted "authorities", including self-appointed ones like Sogyal Lakar, are obsessed with the most anti-Buddhist of goals, namely: power, fame, wealth if they can pull it off, and if not, at least a monastery full of servant-monks at their command, and last, but by no means least, sex, mostly of the pedophilic variety. These are seriously depraved people, and they don't care how many lives they trash.


QED
Our truth consists of illusions that we have forgotten are illusions - Nietzsche
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