Great, but why do we never hear of any radical social promotion from buddhists? As noted here, the occult reactionary cabal hidden in Tibetan Buddhism has changed the character of the whole of Buddhism, which was once a revolutionary movement.
This take is on the defensive, perhaps given the total rejection of ‘new age’ themes on the left. But the frequent dismissal fails to see the place of the ‘new age’ movement in modernity, and the way in which the left is itself a part of that ‘new age’ reconstruction.
(from Manuel Garcia Jr.)
Asian Philosophies And The “New Age”
Out of the consciousness on politics and societal reality, which was expanded by the press of tumultuous events as well as the normal maturation into adults of the Baby Boom children of the late 1950s and early 1960s, there emerged an expanding consciousness about existential and metaphysical ideas about the self, in the 1970s. This quasi-spiritual self-focus was often synonymous with self-indulgence facilitated by affluence. The public identity of this amorphous mood elevation movement (or fad), and the many marketing efforts seeking to exploit it commercially, is the “New Age.”
The Internet journal Swans Commentary has just published a special edition on the New Age, and a number of authors examine various features of this social phenomenon. Much of the New Age was widely popular insubstantial fluff of no interest to me, though such cultural fluff does offer many possibilities for the construction of social comedies. My interest is in the serious and ancient philosophical thought whose gradual popularization in Western culture during the 20th century introduced an extensive and exotic vocabulary into modern lingo, which has been much exploited by the New Age.
My article is about some of the deep and wonderful philosophical ideas that emerged in antiquity in Asia, so far as I have been able to understand them. What is ancient about the philosophies I discuss is both the language and the imagery they are presented with. However, underneath the antique encrustations one can find fundamental and thus eternally relevant insights about the human condition. When people become aware of these insights in such a way that they experience a more fulfilling way to conceptualize and act out their lives, they are said to have become enlightened. My article is about a few of the lines of thought that meander in that direction.
Asian Philosophies And The “New Age”
5 November 2012
Why are they targeting the Sufis?
By Richard Schiffman Remember the bombing of the Buddha statues carved into the cliffs at Bamiyan in north central Afghanistan in 2001? The Taliban destruction of these massive archaeological monuments dating back to the sixth century has become emblematic of the cultural and religious intolerance of radical Islam.
What is less well known is that fanatical elements have done equal damage to Islam’s own religious heritage. Not only have Shi’a and Sunni partisans bombed each other’s mosques in countries like Iraq, Syria and Pakistan, but Sufi places of worship are under attack throughout the Islamic world.
In September, the world was shocked to learn that the US ambassador and three other Americans had been killed in an attack on a US Consulate in Libya. Few heard of the other violent events there later that month, which included the destruction of Sufi shrines in three Libyan cities.
In Tripoli, security forces watched passively as militants with bulldozers levelled the shrine of al-Shaab al-Dahmani, a venerated Sufi saint, in broad daylight. In Benghazi, on the other hand, locals fought back, killing three of the militants who were assaulting a holy place.
Perhaps we don’t hear much about these incidents because attacks on Sufis and Sufi sites have become routine, not just in Libya, but throughout the Islamic world. This past summer, Islamic militants in Mali demolished historical mausoleums, universities and libraries in the ancient Saharan trading town of Timbuktu, several of which were on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites. Sufi worship halls have also been turned to rubble in Iran, where the Islamic government has reportedly jailed and tortured thousands of Sufi practitioners for their unorthodox views. And in Egypt since the fall of Mubarak Sufi shrines have been torched and the Sufi chanting ritual called zhikr has been banned in some locations.