Saturday, June 13, 2015

CAUSE AND EFFECT.


One of the most basic concepts a student of Buddhism encounters is the concept that every cause yields an effect. In Physics, every action yields a reaction. This is the foundation of Buddhist ethics. It is parallel to the Christian precept of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". However, in Buddhist tradition, the motivation for doing correct action to yield correct effect requires a deeper individual understanding of being in the world than in the Christian version, which is more of a moralistic mandate.
 
Ideally, the Buddhist accepts the consequences of his/her actions in the process of acting. This is called mindfulness by some. The Christian, Muslim or Jew acts and leaves judgment and consequences to an omnipotent being outside the self. This latter approach detaches the person from the consequences of individual action. It makes the individual more likely to identify with group action without measuring the individual responsibility within the group. For instance, joining an army to kill strangers is less likely to daunt the ethical mind of a Christian, Muslim, Jew or non-believer who does not see his violence as bearing direct individual responsibility. This may explain some of the mental conditions in combatants.
 
I believe the attack on a Dallas police station last evening with guns and bombs is an inevitable reaction to American militarism. I believe racial violence and economic injustice is as well. The deep cancer of violence, evidenced by the fear which inspires rabid gun enthusiasm, is a reaction to the constant war mongering of the U.S. government in the name of world policing. It is world policing only in the sense that it is done to protect the foreign property and financial interests of American capitalists.

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