zhao

there are no accidents
stumbled upon this chilling program which I think is very important. this topic, the link between Zen Buddhism and Japanese Fascism, is to this day forbidden to be talked about in Japan, much less the world at large - and this information is for the first time being made available.

_________________

this program sets forth the long-standing relationship between certain schools of Japanese Zen Buddhism and militarism, fascism and imperialism. Perverting some of the philosophical conundrums inherent in the Zen discipline, numerous masters have used those perversions as rationalizations for supporting Japanese imperialism and conquest. Accessing Josh Baran’s eloquent, insightful review of Brian Victoria’s Zen at War, the broadcast highlights the militarist and fascist sentiments and alliances of a number of the most highly regarded Zen practitioners, including Shaku Soen, the mentor of D.T. Suzuki. Suzuki himself engaged in rationalizations that justified slaughter. The philosophical and intellectual gymnastics that enable some Zen masters to support fascism and brutality are not unlike some of the attitudes and concepts used by some New Age gurus to justify and rationalize evil. It is important to note that some Zen schools supported Japanese militarism centuries before the advent of fascism in that country.

Program Highlights Include: Discussion of the Rape of Nanking—an atrocity rationalized as justifiable by the fascist Zen practitioners; reluctance on the part of some current Zen practitioners to face the legacy of Zen’s collaboration with fascism; Zen master Daiun Sogaku Harada Roshi’s support for Japanese fascism and conquest; the post World War II activities of Yasutani Roshi—a Zen practitioner who was very active on behalf Japanese fascism and reaction; the determination on behalf of some Zen practitioners to acknowledge Zen’s historical collaboration with fascism and militarism in order to purge that tendency from the discipline.

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real audio streaming here:

http://ftrsummary.blogspot.com/2006/06/ftr-553-first-refuge-of-scoundrel-part.html
 

sherief

Generic Human
There's Zizek's interesting perspective on this same matter, in the Puppet and the Dwarf...However, Zizek does quote the Bhagavad Gita pretty extensively in support of this point, so who knows what's up there.
 

zhao

there are no accidents
sherief said:
However, Zizek does quote the Bhagavad Gita pretty extensively in support of this point, so who knows what's up there.

which point is that? guess I should read the Puppet and the Dwarf...
 

polystyle

Well-known member
Pretty old stuff ...
Both the zen - military connection and the Dalai Lama bit
Got to go now , but maybe bk to it later tonight or so .

Not to say not worth pointing out , however ... just quite old info's
 

zhao

there are no accidents
I haven't been exposed to this information until now... it was a shock to read about these "enlightened" monks using poetic language to preach bloodshed, rape, and torture...

traces of the same spiritual darkness, of Koan/void tipping to the side of evil, can be seen in some of my favorite samurai films... and indeed, is what I've always liked about them... some serious moral dilemmas here.

reminds me of Cure, the horror film by the young Kurosawa - where absence of the ego and absolution of the self, which traditionally means tranquility and harmony, leads to horrific violence...

certain aspects of Nihilism in the West tends to equate "beyond good and evil" with "evil", but I have not encountered this particularly chilling logic anywhere else except in Japanese culture.
 
sherief said:
There's Zizek's interesting perspective on this same matter, in the Puppet and the Dwarf...However, Zizek does quote the Bhagavad Gita pretty extensively in support of this point, so who knows what's up there.

The core of his argument (and with reference to Japanese Zen thinkers in the second paragraph) is summarised here:

Does, then, this mean that, today, "nobody believes"? One of the postmodern ironies is the strange exchange between Europe and Asia: at the very moment when, at the level of the "economic infrastructure," the European technology and capitalism are triumphing worldwide, at the level of "ideological superstructure," the Judeo-Christian legacy is threatened in the European space itself by the onslaught of the New Age "Asiatic" thought, which, in its different guises, from the "Western Buddhism" (today's counterpoint to Western Marxism, as opposed to the "Asiatic" Marxism-Leninism) to different "Taos," is establishing itself as the hegemonic ideology of the global capitalism. Although "Western Buddhism" presents itself as the remedy against the stressful tension of the capitalist dynamics, allowing us to uncouple and retain the inner peace and Gelassenheit, it actually functions as its perfect ideological supplement. One should mention here the well-known topic of the "future schock," i.e. of how, today, people are no longer psychologically able to cope with the dazzling rhythm of the technological development and the social changes that accompany it — things simply move too fast, before one can accustom oneself to an invention, this invention is already supplanted by a new one, so that one more and more lacks the most elementary "cognitive mapping." The recourse to Taoism or Buddhism offers a way out of this predicament which definitely work better than the desperate escape into old traditions: instead of trying to cope with the accelerating rhythm of the technological progress and social changes, one should rather renounce the very endeavor to retain control over what goes on, rejecting it as the expression of the modern logic of domination — one should, instead, "let oneself go," drift along, while retaining an inner distance and indifference towards the mad dance of the accelerated process, a distance based on the insight that all this social and technological upheaval is ultimately just a non-substantial proliferation of semblances which do not really concern the innermost kernel of our being… One is almost tempted to resuscitate here the old infamous Marxist cliche of religion as the "opium of the people," as the imaginary supplement of the terrestrial misery: the "Western Buddhist" meditative stance is arguably the most efficient way, for us, to fully participate in the capitalist dynamics, while retaining the appearance of mental sanity. If Max Weber were to live today, he would definitely wrote a second, supplementary, volume to his Protestant Ethic, entitled The Taoist Ethic and the Spirit of the Global Capitalism.

And, instead of playing the old game of the aggressive Islamic monotheism against the "gentle" Buddhism, one should rather use the bombing of the Bamiyan statues to reflect on a more fundamental deadlock. It is not only that Western Buddhism, this pop-cultural phenomenon preaching inner distance and indifference towards the frantic pace of the market competition, is arguably the most efficient way, for us, to fully participate in the capitalist dynamics, while retaining the appearance of mental sanity — in short, the paradigmatic ideology of late capitalism. One should add that it is no longer possible to oppose this Western Buddhism to its "authentic" Oriental version; the case of Japan delivers here the conclusive evidence. Not only do we have today, among the Japanese top managers, the wide-spread "corporate Zen" phenomenon; in the whole of the last 150 years, Japan's rapid industrialization and militarization, with its ethics of discipline and sacrifice, was sustained by the large majority of Zen thinkers — who, today, knows that D.T.Suzuki himself, the high guru of Zen in the America of the 60s, supported in his youth, in Japan of the 30s, the spirit of utter discipline and militaristic expansion. There is no contradiction here, no manipulative perversion of the authentic compassionate insight: the attitude of total immersion into the self-less "now" of the instant Enlightenment, in which all reflexive distance is lost and "I am what I do," as C.S.Lewis put it, in short: in which absolute discipline coincides with total spontaneity, perfectly legitimizes one subordination to the militaristic social machine. Or, to put it in somewhat simplified terms (which, however, just repeat the central ethical lesson of Bhagavadgita): if the external reality is ultimately just an ephemeral appearance, even the most horrifying crimes eventually DO NOT MATTER.​

But then: 1963
thqudc.jpg
 
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sus

Well-known member
Although I also think the connection as it's conventionally made is trivial. Every religious or spiritual movement of sufficient size is partially co-opted by power.
 

version

Well-known member
Although I also think the connection as it's conventionally made is trivial. Every religious or spiritual movement of sufficient size is partially co-opted by power.

What's notable in this instance is, as Zhao says, ego dissolution and letting go's usually seen as a positive, peaceful thing, a relinquishing of power, so to see it flipped like this is particularly unpleasant, however predictable it should have been.

@kid charlemagne can come in with one of his Fight Club quotes here.
 

version

Well-known member
What is Zhao s real name how do I get in contact with him

Have you read his manifesto?

 
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