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Violence and the Dharma

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Violence and the Dharma
Answer
11/28/17 2:41 PM
Let's just say I witnessed a violent incident today I could have stopped, at least helped in stopping ( if I weren't such an emasculated male like most people in society nowadays.)

It just made me reflect on how simple brute violence can't necessarily be stopped by anything other than violence. I mean, sure, compassion and inherent interconnectedness and blah blah bah, but, at the end of the day, is that really going to be of help when you're being held up at gunpoint by some self-absorbed animal?

I came to this conclusion: All that effort reconditioning yourself is ultimately nought in the face of violence. It's worth fucking nothing if you have no capacity to help another sentient being in a situation where it matters. So, it seems like violence is a necessary part of human life; not as a tool to get what you want but to defend the weak.

What are your guys stance on it? Is it ever okay to kill and injure another person?

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
11/28/17 3:18 PM as a reply to D..
In my view, this shit is just happening.  No one is judging you and you have no control.  Why worry? 

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
11/28/17 3:27 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
It's not really worry, just some thoughts on violence.

For example,  we hear about heinous incidents all the time on the news, and if a bystander actually came and helped then the outcome would be averted, which is my line of thought here. If we develop compassion within ourselves, then we surely have a duty to protect others as well?(including unsavoury means)

The reductionist stance is that it's just atoms re-arranging themselves, which is technically true, but obviously the real world is a tad more complex then that.

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
11/28/17 3:38 PM as a reply to D..
Without knowing more detail about this incident, D., there's not much anyone here can say other than glad you weren't hurt. Sounds like you may have made the right decision.

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
11/28/17 3:40 PM as a reply to D..
If we develop compassion within ourselves, then we surely have a duty to protect others as well?(including unsavoury means)


This needs more explanation. All of these things are situational and require judgment. There aren't any hard and fast rules that I know of. You can have compassion and yet not be a useless idiot who intervenes and gets killed to no avail.

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
11/28/17 4:19 PM as a reply to D..
D.:

It just made me reflect on how simple brute violence can't necessarily be stopped by anything other than violence. I mean, sure, compassion and inherent interconnectedness and blah blah bah, but, at the end of the day, is that really going to be of help when you're being held up at gunpoint by some self-absorbed animal?

I came to this conclusion: All that effort reconditioning yourself is ultimately nought in the face of violence. It's worth fucking nothing if you have no capacity to help another sentient being in a situation where it matters. So, it seems like violence is a necessary part of human life; not as a tool to get what you want but to defend the weak.

What are your guys stance on it? Is it ever okay to kill and injure another person?

Ι think the solution to the problem goes like this:

idealy you choose  the action that has the least amount of negative (violence in this case) as an outcome. Compassion goes to the aforsaid <least>, and  to the understanding that nobody is guilty for who they are or the situation they are in

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
11/28/17 5:50 PM as a reply to D..
I think in the biggest picture ahimsa is the most admirable action, always

look at Tibet, during the military invasions they never fought back, they didn't create militias or start setting off bombs in China or create defense groups to stop the  Chinese from invading. The Dalai Lama didn't ask for military aid from other countries or pressure them to attack China in return. The country's governors  were able to maintain a degree of non revenge compassion mindset that i think is a rare and beautiful example that has few parallels. Imagine how differently we would see Tibetan Buddhism if we knew they were capable of just as much violence as their neighbours. But instead we have the admirable stories of prisoners forgiving the people who beat and tortured them, rather than harbouring hatred, which is extraordinary when you think about how even verbal or relational slights can be a cause for ordinary people to harbour hatr
ed.

Of course they're not all saints but I say it to illustrate a point that it show which is the preferable option

Also there is very rarely any guarantee that intervening will be the preferable option. Even if you are a "big aggressive male" there is no guarantee that the outcome will be positive. All three of you could have ended up even worse off. I think it usually ends up creating more cycles of violence and revenge and remorse for all involved.
On a mental level any act of violence creates more seeds for future violence, and trauma for all involved as has been said.

Also makes me think of the Shaolin, who nowadays nobody looks to for dhamma, only for athletic performances.

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
11/28/17 6:15 PM as a reply to Andrew S.
Andrew it depends on the circumstances. If someone is about to hurt a child, it would be immoral to not stop him in the name of some principle like ahmisa (not intervening being almost the same as if WE were the abusers) For you can act differenty if the victim is you or if the victim is someone that you estimate that can suffer less by not intervening, but not all the cases are the same. 

Of course a wiser person might deal with the situation with less (or no) violence than a less wise person, but this is something different. 

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
12/1/17 1:38 PM as a reply to D..
That  linked website is pretty interesting but it seems it prioritises meek avoidance above all else.

In other words: the unstated assumption of the advice is that the reader wishes to preserve their life. I don't think there's much point preserving my own life, if a person dies and suffers because of my own powerlessness.

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
12/1/17 3:15 PM as a reply to D..
Yeah, I guess that's also true, most violent situations can be defused without resorting to violence myself. I really dislike being vulnerable , so being reminded of that of my mortality has produced a pretty strong reaction within me.

But, I'm confused by what you mean by 'Shadow', I don't know much about it (besides some cursory wikipedia reading.), is it somehow influencing by behaviour or something?

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
12/3/17 6:23 AM as a reply to D..
I've been reading about the shadow these past few days and it's interesting stuff. It seems my dislike of violence in other people could also be a projection of my own violent and angry tendencies.

I don't really consider myself a violent person but ,looking back, I've been involved in a few incidents where I felt a strong violent impulse(seemingly out of nowhere and provoked by something very minor.) and acted upon it.

That's something I've never noticed about myself, which is pretty interesting...

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
12/3/17 10:02 AM as a reply to D..
D.  - Is this something you are responsible for or "own"?  In my experience, I am just a lava lamp. 

RE: Violence and the Dharma
Answer
12/4/17 12:42 AM as a reply to D..
First order of things is to check on the adrenaline that makes one bigger than usual but blocks processing power. Vipassanize that. Where did the violent notion come from? See through the periscope when operating in this biologically-reactive sphere to perceived threats, so find the threat and wipe that perception glass. The first thing that goes out the window when pumped to act is perceptive capabilities, best to get that back before bouncing down that treacherous slope like an inflated puffer fish.

Is it a protective mechanism against the truth of our shortcomings? Is it injustice? To whom and why should it be defended? If your periscope has surfaced and sees clearly that it should be defended, the skillful means will rise through that clarity and with that, greater bravery than the juice could provide.

The reason why monks aren't on the news much from saving this or that, is by the time they are done contemplating, the action's usually over...