The Weaponization of Foolishness (Even by “Dharma Teachers”)
Your life is the fruit of your own doing. You have no one to blame but yourself. —Joseph Campbell (though the Buddha said essentially the same thing)
This is yet another of those posts that point out the fairly obvious, obvious at least to knowledgeable Buddhist people. In fact I confess to having written about this stuff before; but I have learned over the years that one should repeat oneself with regard to important issues because most people have crappy memories, and can benefit from being reminded from time to time. And the issue at hand is an important one, concerning personal happiness and also the degenerate state of Buddhism, or just so-called “Buddhism,” in the globalized leftist west.
Anyone who is not an indoctrinated “progressive” knows how the political and cultural left attains many of its ends: somebody—practically of necessity a leftist person of a supposedly oppressed demographic group—declares herself “offended” or “feeling unsafe” or otherwise traumatized, and then that person and others like them begin an offensive campaign attacking the person who allegedly made the first one feel that way. This may include demanding apologies (my advice if you are the target: DON’T, because they won’t accept the apology; it just causes the attackers to smell blood and emboldens them to act even more hysterically confrontational); and, too often, it also involves open protest, calls to the offender’s employer to pressure said employer into firing the miscreant, and plenty of gratuitous sniveling and whining on platforms like Twitter. Sometimes even the globalist propagandist mass media get involved as they did with the Covington High School boys, the last policeman to arrest George Floyd, and Kyle Rittenhouse. As I say, pretty much every person with eyes to see in the west is very familiar with this phenomenon of crybullying. It’s a strategy of organized yowling in misery, in the attempt to make someone else more miserable, of weaponizing emotional instability (or cynicism masquerading as such) and conditioned outrage.
The thing is, even “progressive” teachers of Dharma or Dhamma in the west lean in this direction, endorsing the meltdowns of members of supposedly oppressed demographic groups (especially leftist ones), or at least acknowledging their reasons as valid. Some Dharma halls offer healing retreats for emotionally wounded members of victim classes while at the same time recruiting these same people strenuously and appointing them as diversity hires to their teaching staffs. More than once I have seen teachers of western leftist quasi-Buddhism claiming that the Second Noble Truth (desire or attachment is the cause of all suffering) should be modified, because according to neo-Marxist pseudo-dharma suffering isn’t ONLY caused by desire and clinging but is ALSO caused by systemic oppression—of the aforementioned victim classes by the heteronormative conservative white patriarchy. (As though there were no oppressed or just less successful classes in northern India during the Buddha’s time, or as though the Enlightened One was too ignorant to be aware of them. Neo-Marxist pseudobuddhists evidently consider their own indoctrinated hysteria to be more enlightened than the founder of their professed philosophy of life.) In short, before I continue with this, I would simply like to call absolute bullshit on such pretenders. People who supposedly are teaching wisdom are endorsing and promoting foolishness, dysfunction, and suffering…in other words they are doing the very opposite of what a true Dharma teacher ought to be doing. At least they aren't endorsing physical violence.
Those of you who are not Buddhists may be excused from not knowing all this, including the very basic stuff about the Second Noble Truth; and those of you who are newcomers to Buddhism may be excused also. But the Four Noble Truths, central to Buddhist ethics, imply very clearly that our suffering is our own fault, caused by ignorant desire, literally our own doing. Our unhappiness—all of it—is ultimately self-inflicted, because as a general rule we just don’t know any better. To put it bluntly: Are you upset and unhappy because somebody said something or did something? Well it’s your own goddamn fault. That is not just my idiosyncratic personal take on Dharma/Dhamma, it’s one of the central and most fundamental teachings of Buddhism, albeit expressed bluntly. If you desire to be free of suffering it is just plain foolish to try to change the eight billion people around you so they won’t bother you. You cannot depend on anyone but yourself to free yourself (and your “self” is not ultimately real, but that’s a whole different issue). The philosophy of Blame Whitey is fundamentally adharmic and foolish. Don’t blame Whitey, or the globalists, or the elite billionaires, or fascists, or your parents, or even foolish leftists for your unhappiness, blame yourself if you are going to blame anyone. Especially if you claim to be a Buddhist, you should accept responsibility for your own suffering, which is due to your own foolish attachments. Even your “oppressed” situation in life, or any other situation that you were born into, like some physical disability or genetic defect, or bad parents, or whatever it may be, is due to your karma, again literally your own doing. As I keep saying, postmodern ultraliberalism is essentially the opposite of true Dharma in many respects, and Buddhist teachers who endorse it while passing it off as genuine Buddhist Dharma are charlatans. Many if not most of them are materialists who reject not only karma and rebirth but even true enlightenment, Nirvana.
A common objection made by westerners to this aspect of Buddhist ethics, namely that all suffering is ultimately self-inflicted, is that it is “victim blaming.” For example, such a person might say that Buddhist philosophy implies that one could go around punching and stabbing and bludgeoning and shooting people and the suffering of the victims would be the victims’ own fault. This is technically correct, as their experiences would be the result of their own karma, and their suffering due to ignorance of the fact that pain and suffering are not the same thing—the suffering comes from the volitional desire for the pain to stop, from volitionally refusing to accept the way things are. But the perpetrator of all those punches and stabbings etc. is in no way off the ethical hook, as he is making new karma for himself that will come back to him in due time. He may be a “releaser” for someone else’s unwholesome karma, but he is the generator of his own at the same time.
But explaining ancient Indian Buddhist ethics to modern or postmodern westerners, even to some intelligent western Buddhists, is a difficult task, as it differs radically from utilitarian ethical ideas conditioned into the western mind from early childhood. It differs even more radically from leftist indoctrinated silliness, including that posing as “Dharma.” Still, it’s good to hear it, repeatedly, and if you don’t like it, well, it’s your own goddamn fault.
|hysterical leftists beating up a random pedestrian|
for the sake of the greater good