Promises of the Dharma

I remember those televangelists on late night tv.  People like Billy Graham and Joel Osteen who for the most part were in the business of selling a false bill of goods, in the business of promises seems to be sadly lucrative.  That’s not to say Christianity itself is flawed.  Many great and virtuous people have walked that path until the end of their days.  This made me wonder how other faiths and belief systems were misused as leverage to press an agenda on people. Is anyone else being fed promises?


From the sale of indulgences to the Jonestown Massacre the point of the message brought forth by Abraham, Moses, and, Jesus has been terribly warped through the ages.  This is not a phenomenon of Christianity, Islam, or, Buddhism alone.  In fact, none of the 3 are immune to having their perspective flags planted in antithetical soil.

Not much in the way of research is needed to find examples of the misapplication of doctrine to control people.  From the sale of indulgences to the Jonestown Massacre the point of the message brought forth by Abraham, Moses, and, Jesus has been terribly warped through the ages.  This is not a phenomenon of Christianity, Islam, or, Buddhism alone.  In fact, none of the 3 are immune to having their perspective flags planted in antithetical soil.  Christianity has its pile of crazies, as do they all.  The Christian variety range from commonly known judgmental emotionally and physically abusive models, to sexually rapacious priests, all the way up to the real human waste of the Timothy McVeigh types, who if you weren’t aware, planned and carried out the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19 1995.  That event alone had over 680 casualties over 160 were fatal.  So many travesties have been carried out in the name of Jesus and God’s love for mankind.  Somehow some ne’er-do-well finds his or herself wielding the cross as a bludgeon, wailing on mankind, like the copier from Office Space, out of some misplaced sense of righteousness.  Many people take Umbridge with Abrahamic traditions citing this and that scripture finding contradiction left and right.  Just like anyone looking for a specific pattern of any kind will surely find it, they do and usually in a rather aggressive manner they take their turn to spew venom in all directions.  The Islam portion will be the stinger for some reading this.


I’ll leave my one and only grain of spiritual sand
To universal scales of humanity, all humanity

from “Forever Begins” by Common

We definitely need not look far at all to find the negative manipulation of Islam.  Of course, some will cry out that it actually is as hateful as all the talking heads say it is.  To that I say “Ha!”, my grandfather is Muslim as a child I, of my own accord, used to pray toward Mecca with him.  He and I would talk for hours and hours about matters of philosophy and betterment.  Some do get extremized or super-sized or whatever popular buzzword implies brain washing.  I can tell you it is not true of the entire community.  To say differently is to show your bias… of course, that’s in my humble opinion, as it is.  One of the greatest issues present in their community is that those in charge are wielding the faith like a weapon over its people.  Sadly, many are not able to read the word themselves which is an incredible vulnerability when it comes to people having control over you and your actions.  A similar situation led to the Crusades.  The old “don’t worry about reading the book I’ll just tell you what it says.”  Now for the one that will shock most folks but fear not. 

Photo by Shashank Kumawat on Pexels.com

Now for Buddhism the seemingly Mr. Rogers of the 3 listed above.  However, there have been violent sects, revolutions, and, various other acts of down right awful perpetrated against people in the name of the Buddha.  Let’s talk about Myanmar, formerly Burma, where Rohingya (indigenous practicing Muslims) are being beaten, murdered, and, denied citizenship.  In a country of 50 million people these 80,000 individuals remain persecuted.  You may read that and say that proves nothing.  So, who, you ask, could possibly head up the violence against a minority like this, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), headed by a Buddhist monk U Thuzana. Karen seems to be a recurring theme douchiness, moving on.  He led a movement in 2012 where more than 200 of these resident Muslims were killed and more than 100,000 were displaced.  This is in a country with a governing principle of Ahimsa or harmlessness or non-violence towards all sentinent beings.  How about the history of the SGI.  SGI is short for Soka Gakkai International, which is the largest sect of Nichiren Buddhism.  The history of this schools is a bit checkered in how it was used pre-World War II to inject a fervent Japanese nationalism that arguably led to deepened anti-foreigner sentiments, or prior to that, when groups of them would roam the country side searching for Zen temples and “breaking” them if they dared to disbelieve the doctrine.  None of this is here to deter you from any school of your choosing

The purpose of this article is to illustrate that violence can be and is carried in the name of all manner of dumb crap.  It’s human nature really.  My intention with this article is to make you aware that these things happen to people who left the dock with good intentions, seeking nothing but the best but a series of compromises against their judgement led to them willfully harming others.  So, wherever you go out there, whatever you study, keep your head about you.  At the end of the day “they made me do it” won’t cut it in open court nor the larger cosmic court. Don’t allow yourself to be led into dark acts by charismatic people. Intention is greatly important to the scales of karma, you may have enough to work off as it is.  Just practice to the best of your knowledge, as best you can, til you know better. 


Define your Spirituality

By Jim Martin

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