Thank you for your `welcome back`! As for trying to change yourself from
within to affect society - understood. I`m with you on that one too. But it`s
amazing the amount of flak you get trying to change yourself this way. As you
know, my (spiritual) journey has taken me to Japan and China, but at the cost
of alienating myself from some friends and family who can`t understand my
decisions. Have you ever encountered opposition thru` choosing a spiritual
(don`t really like that word) lifestyle as opposed to a more conventional one?
Ps, I understand that as a lay practioner you can marry the two with little
problem, and that ultimately you don`t have to travel anywhere other than
`here`. But what if you chose to live overseas in search of furthering your Zen
or indeed became a Zen priest. Would you, or have you, experienced problems?
----- Original Message ----
From: Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, 15 February, 2008 8:06:48 PM
Subject: RE: SV: RE: [Zen] Re: D.L.
Mike, I’m glad you survived the journey to China. I hope you weren’t
adversely affected by all the snow that parts of China has been reporting.
I’m not saying that what you do personally doesn’t have an effect on society;
neither am I saying that what happens in society doesn’t have a personal affect
on you. In fact, I’m saying the two are linked.
My point, or rather the point I borrowed from Arthur Koestler, is that you can
work change from each of those different prospective. You can work to change
society (political - embodied by the commissar - change the system and you
allow people the space to change themselves), or you can work to change
yourself (spiritual - embodied by the yogi - change yourself and you
> will inspire others to change eventually changing the system). Or I suppose
> you can work from both ends at the same time – but that can lead to a wobble.
I choose to change myself and believe that will propagate through society.
Others can choose to change society believing that in doing so they will
improve the lives of others.
Neither way is wrong, and neither way is the only way.
Glad you’re back…Bill!
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com [mailto:Zen_ [EMAIL PROTECTED] s.com] On Behalf
Of mike brown
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 2:47 PM
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com
Subject: Re: SV: RE: [Zen] Re: D.L.
Well, glad to report that I survived the journey from China to Japan! Now, in
response to your last email I would say that to change `from the inside` thru a
spiritual practice won`t help you escape the fact that the decisions you make
(or don`t make) will have an effect on society in a political way. For example,
a person might take up vegetarianism due to their spiritual `insights` and feel
compelled to promote their stance. On the other hand, they might do nothing in
a public manner but will then be supporting the status quo (and hence the
profits and animal deaths of the meat industry). Either way, by act or
omission, their choices affect society politically. Mike.
----- Original Message ----
From: Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED] org>
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com
Sent: Monday, 11 February, 2008 4:19:18 PM
Subject: SV: RE: [Zen] Re: D.L.
Have a good trip...I'll be looking forward to your post...Bill!
--- In [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com, mike brown <uerusuboyo@ ...> wrote:
> Hi! Thanks for the response Bill. Needless to say there are lots of
things I would like to comment on in your post but I'm literally
(well, almost literally) running out the door to catch the ferry from
Shanghai to Osaka (not quite bonny Scotland)!! As soon as I get an
opportunity to respond I will give you a broadside! Later, Mike.
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Bill Smart <[EMAIL PROTECTED] ..>
> To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com
> Sent: Sunday, 10 February, 2008 7:23:58 PM
> Subject: SV: RE: [Zen] Re: D.L.
> Saying 'everything we do or don't do is political' is true only for
> those who see everything from a political perspective. It's the
> as saying 'everything we do or don't do is zen' - and that's said a
> on this forum. That's true too, from a certain perspective.
> There's an important essay that touches on this written by Arthur
> Koestler in the 1940's and entitled THE YOGI AND THE COMMISSAR. It
> examines what he believes are the two approachs to engender change
> the world (save all sentient beings). He examines 'change from
> without' (politcal - embodied by the commissar - change the system
> you allow people the space to change themselves) and 'change from
> within' (spiritual - embodied by the yogi - change yourself and you
> will inspire others to change eventually changing the system).
> I choose the approach of 'change from within' and the method of
> Others choose 'change from without' and the method of polictics.
> So...I'll take the high road 'n you take the low road...n' I'll get
> t'Scotland 'afor yee!
> --- In [EMAIL PROTECTED] ps.com, mike brown <uerusuboyo@ ...>
> > I think your opinion is very well put, but in response to Bill's
> assertion that what has the political situation in Tibet got to
> Zen I would say that everything we do as members of a society has
> political ramifications. Even if we do nothing, claiming to be
> apolitical, we still end up unwittingly supporting the status quo.
> Further, what about the vows repeated daily in Zen temples
> to save countless beings? Could it be argued that by doing nothing
> help people practice freedom of religion (in this case towards
> Enlightenment) against state control we might pave the way for
> control of religion (or individual practice of that religion) in
> countries where Zen itself is practiced? Again, everything we do
> not do), is political.
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