I am sorry for such a harsh take on the Dalai Lama. But his views on marxism are, of course, misleading. YOU DO NOT DARE navigate Tibetan Buddhism as a far leftist, not only because of the treatment of Tibet by China. (If you keep a low profile you can certainly take trip through this realm anonymously)
Let me say at once that I think China should grand autonomy to Tibet, and be done with that one.
More generally it is not safe to be a radical in this environment of crypto-reactionaries. Ditto for the Gurdjieff world. So I am well within range to be wary of the Dalai Lama’s statements on marxism. Still once you say something you are stuck with it: this set of statements by the Dalai Lama is grounds for beating down the door on this movement and creating a left avenue in this sideshow to buddhism.
This blog has clarified these points. Look at Gurdjieff and Ouspensky: their views are outrageous, Gurdjieff endorsing the treatment of Russian peasants, pre-Bolshevik with some regrets over the abolition of slavery, in the generation just before his appearance. Ouspensky produced his book on the ‘future evolution of man’ and associated that with class/caste laws of India. Can you believe that? The many defenders of Gurdjieff here don’t get the point at all, and think they are in some kind of liberal Disneyland of Sufis.
You have an ace up your sleeve, as it were: these reactionaries are forced to deal with liberal modernist westerners and will never show their hand. But you can be victimized in your unconscious.
to be continued
I think that the study of buddhism is the absolute fundamental first step toward a real New Age Movement. After ditching the whole religion. My remarks here are mostly sour grapes: I would be shown the door at almost all buddhist organizations, so I have no options there.
Sentimental literature on the New Age is, to me, disgusting. After Gurdjieff, the sufis, and the Tibetan Buddhists, the idea of being in the New Age movement is ridiculous. The idea of a lawsuit is apt, but, of course, these black magicians get off scot free, while their front office dummies (like the Dalai Lama) intone on Gautama’s compassion.
The basic point, which eludes legal remedy: if you use black magic to kill people or to enslave them you should be able to seek redress, in law. Otherwise you have an environment of paranoia, false spiritual fronts misleading the victims, and a situation increasingly angry secularists will resolve by destroying your religion, here buddhism.
The suspicions of fascist occultism linger to poison everything.
I think, by the way, Gautama has no further connection to buddhism. So the issues are irrelevant, time to move on.
This is not baseless fiction: the invultuation of a figure like Hitler, and from a distance, is not an occult fantasy. A fair number people are almost able to do this. The full operation concealed and cloaked behind German occultism is another matter. As they say, only an outfit with resources at a ‘state’ level could manage such as thing.
Wow, what a rebel…Dalai lama talks dirty on marxism…main question unanswered: what is the reality of 19th c. occult fascism in Tibetan buddhism?
We have equivocated on this a lot here. And I have done the usual song and dance, once again, time to ditch buddhism? yes, no, blah blah…
The issue of ditching buddhism is easy for me: I ditched buddhism at about the same time it ditched me, with no cure loneliness, or any defense against the demons this religion infests its fans with before it ditches them.
Sue the bastards. Can there be a class action lawsuit against Tibetan Buddhists. Nein, mein fuhrer.
The point: I would be happy to consider the Dalai Lama’s breadth in being able to talk marxism. But the terrible dirty secret of Tibetan Buddhism, if it is real, can’t be repaired with sentimental marxist sentiments. I spent ten years as a homeless person in capitalist America and I really don’t appreciate the Dalai Lama talking dirty on his communist sympathies, which are probably nothing of the kind.
Still, what you say is what you have to live with until you have to either pay up to Humpty Dumpty on your previous remarks, or retract them, or have your bosom friends retract them. Tibetan buddhism, anymore than the Catholic Church, does not strike me as in any way capable of a radical contribution to the world situation. But sympathetic remarks, e.g. as here on marxism, can be taken as a loan the issuer must repay.
So after we determine if the charges of fascist politics are false or not, we can return to the issue of postcapitlism.
When the Dalai Lama announced his Marxist leanings last summer in Minneapolis, the only surprise was how surprising it was. The blogosphere was once again astir with this nonrevelation, which came by way of an Indian-born Tibetan journalist, Tsering Namgyal, who had tagged along when the Dalai Lama held a nearly three-hour meeting with 150 Chinese students. Namgyal, a Mandarin-speaking reporter living and studying in Minneapolis, had posted online that the Dalai Lama surprised his young audience when he volunteered that “as far as sociopolitical beliefs are concerned, I consider myself a Marxist.”
Namgyal’s post explained that a student had asked about the apparent contradiction between the Dalai Lama’s economic philosophy and Marx’s critique of religion. The Dalai Lama’s understanding was more nuanced than the responses of most of the bloggers who jumped on the story: he suggested that Marx was not actually against religion or religious philosophy per se but “against religious institutions that were allied, during Marx’s time, with the European ruling class.” (That would be the capitalist class.) The three-hour exchange was probably not designed for political sound bites. The year before the Dalai Lama had given a series of talks in New York at Radio City Music Hall. Following a press conference in the basement at Rockefeller Center, the Dalai Lama’s news office included this report in its summary:
His Holiness said when he was in China in 1954–55, the Communist Party of China was really wonderful, and the Party members were really dedicated to the service of the people. His Holiness said he was very much impressed and told Chinese officials about his desire to join the Party. His Holiness said he still is a Marxist (although some of his friends ask him not to mention that) and he admired its objective of equal distribution (“this is moral ethics”). His Holiness however talked about the clampdown after the Hundred Flowers Campaign  in China itself and said any authoritarian system always subdues any force that has the potential to stand up to it.
You might think he had his thoughts on the 99 percent, but the Dalai Lama has stayed on message for years, saying the same thing many times in many places—including a Time magazine interview in 1999, and in the following passage from Beyond Dogma: Dialogues and Discourses, in 1996:
Read the rest of this entry »
Time to ditch buddhism, scroll down for the post by this name.
Well, maybe no, not yet time:
But the point of the review is to consider the reality of buddhism behind its public fronts, and begin to realize that the history of buddhism is likely to undermine its future. The path to neo-buddhism is already laid out, in part, as we have indicated here…
I wrote a review of this book when it came out, but withdrew it to reconsider the issues in light of the recent controversy. That controversy has been somewhat confused on both sides. This is an account of some depth of Hinduism, but something has gone awry, notwithstanding the conservative strains of Hinduism to Hindutva that have tended to discredit the critics. But one reviewer hit the nail on the head, with what is essentially my view, by suggesting that the book tries to take the high ground via the stance of secularist debriefing from one who can explore an immense of amount of detail but miss the simple issue of the live core of Hinduism as it is, a living tradition older than anything the West knows. The question of Hinduism is very confusing because it is at once what remains of the original source of the greatest religious phenomenon of world history: the yogic/buddhist/jain legacies of the path of enlightenment. But at the same time something has gone wrong somewhere. Any critic who wishes to subject this tradition to stealth debunking via the details will miss the point. I am myself very critical of much that calls itself Hinduism, for example, the caste laws and the attempted spiritualization of this in a set of views that are really a later addition to the original tradition. What is the real problem here? In fact the problem is not hard to find, but this ends up in another controversy over the so-called ‘Out of India’ versus the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’. The last generation has seen the debate enter a stage of acrimony that is often hurting the case of many defenders of Hinduism. Let us recall here that the debate of the AIT is something recent and confused. Many original scholars of Indian background were themselves proponents of some variant of the AIT theory. So it is not really an issue here of Western bias. The ‘Out of India’ thesis won’t stand and defenders of Hinduism would do well to reconsider this recent confusion. There is no reasonable way to propose that the Indo-European languages source in India. Some of the claims here are simply bizarre in their logic and this has confused traditionalists all around.
Let me suggest a resolution of some of the issues by returning to the AIT and then suggesting that many of statements of this view are rightly considered chauvinist by Westerners. We don’t know quite how to state the AIT. But one should consider the views of the older scholar Danielou, adopting the views of Indian students of history. Here we see that the term ‘Hinduism’ is misleading. The tradition of Indic religion goes back very far into the past, into the Neolithic finally. But this earlier tradition predated the Aryan entry phase on the second millennium BCE. Thus the entry of the Indo-Europeans created a misleading hybrid of primordial and invader religions resulting in the false view that the Indo-Europeans were the source of Indian spiritual elements, as in Buddhism. But this hybrid has confused everyone. The original ‘santana dharma’ predated the Aryan invasion and shows clear elements of an almost primordial version of Shaivism, ultimately the source of the yogic paths to liberation.
If we stick to this simple resolution, most of the problems go away, at the expense of exposing the Vedic tradition as something altogether different in the way it tries to make Vedism the predecessor to the Upanishadic view of yogic sadhanas. The ancient legacies were translated into ‘sanskrit’ and/or related Aryan languages such as Prakrit (in buddhism) and this left the impression
the originals were of Aryan origin. We can see at once the source of the hopeless confusion created by the forgotten stages of the assimilation era. A lot of sophistry has emerged here obscuring the simplicity and clarity of the resulting restored view that looks for the source of Indian tradition in the very ancient eras before the Aryan entry, the third and fourth, or earlier epochs, BCE. As Danielou suggested, some of the Sanskrit materials look like they were translated from some other language, whether Dravidian or other linguistic foundation. But this view has been rejected by most scholars, too many, unaware of the shoddy foundations of their interpretations. The classic Shiva seal ought to be a reminder that yogis were on the path to liberation from very early times. So western scholars and critics of the AIT are both confusing the issue. There is a lot more to say here, but the basics of a solution is simple: Indic religions originates far back, perhaps even in the Neolithic, and goes through two grand cycles prior to the Aryan era, viz. the two millennia of the high Neolithic after about 5000 BCE onward, and then a second phase after around 3000BCE. It may be here that the primordial Shaivism began to split off its cousin religions, starting with Jainism, and then with buddhism in the next era, called by many scholars the Axial Age, which is the source of Buddhism. The Axial Age is the key to much of the confusion arising between Hinduism and Buddhism because the latter shows an immense innovation, while source called ‘Hinduism’ is more static because it is the source! Nonetheless the Upanishads offer the hint of the vitality of the older tradition. In fact the outstanding legacies of ancient Indic religion will soon spawn a series of religions in the various descendants of non-dual Vedanta, creating an immensely complex set of religious worlds, quite apart from the case of Buddhism.
We can leave this alternative history incomplete but with the key to the issues clearly indicated in a brief summary. We can see now why the new version of Hinduism is muddling the real history, while the work of secular scholars such as Doniger apparently deny/negate the spiritual basis of Indian religion. We have seen books written in the West trying to take ‘enlightenment’ out of Buddhism, in the same of some kind of secular imperative. This kind of extreme reductionism is unable to do justice to the depth of Indic religious tradition, which should include the Jain and Buddhist traditions under the common umbrella, santana dharma. So the attempts by Western scholars, apparently including Doniger, to induce a kind of Weberian rationalization of a religious tradition not in the Iron Cage have all backfired, in the realization that the core of the Indian tradition contains something very profound and not clarified by the perversity of much Western sociology of religion
Readers can find a lot more on this subject at the blog The Gurdjieff Con and this includes attempts to study the history of buddhism in India and its conflict with ‘neo-Brahminism.
We have consistently tried to expose the rightwing reactionary character of the Tibetan buddhist movement. The point is obvious from the surface history, with a question mark and dark rumors about the occult fascism of Tibetan figures hidden in the movement.
The Dalai Lama talks from both sides of the mouth and gives out a liberal odor on frequent occasions. But the hints are there of a conservative movement, and clearly the dalai lama is trying to position himself on the subject of capitalism.
AT a time when the planetary crisis is escalating it would be helpful to consider the revolutionary history of early buddhism, and to demand the same from buddhism now, or else its dismantling. Buddhism, as we have suggested here many times, is/was one of the world’s great religions, but it is fading away slowly, behind the temporary resurgence created by the New Age movement. We need a initiative to start over for a new era.
In any case I suspect the deeper connections to the CIA and/or other covert agencies, and the Dalai Lama ineptly gives himself away, to please his old handlers, from the days of the Tibetan guerrilla movement controlled by the CIA.
The Dalai Lama let slip, before or during the capture/death of Bin Laden, that he was a proponent of non-violence, except for the case of Bin Laden. !!
And the suspicious behavior of figures like Stephen Segal the Tulku at the Boston Marathon event gave away something going on behind the scenes with respect to the War on Terror. A quick look at his movies shows the Neanderthal level of the Tibetan hierarchy.
Behind the fine words we have to suspect Tibetan Buddhism is completely stuck in a reactionary mindset.
The attempt will be made to neutralize radical buddhist groups with the aura of spiritual authority generated by the lamaist tradition. That’s complete bullshit. The Dalai Lama has no spiritual authority whatever, and you should quietly depart from Tibetan Buddhism forthwith on the grounds these ‘authorities’ don’t agree at all and think themselves very highly as spiritual powers with your life in their hands, and they will exert their will against those who won’t kowtow.
There is almost no reason to bother with Tibetan Buddhism at this point. It is a waste of time for the majority. Its methods are mostly theatre, and its tradition a bogus and confusing darkness. The path of Mahayana is corrupt and exploits its entry boddhissatwas who are ripped off and discarded into samsaric dead zones. Pause and reflect: there are better ways to serve humanity than by the bogus path of the boddhissatwa whose deception is to create a terminal samsaric world line with no hope of redemption. In reality the sangha can’t control is members who almost always slip away in the end.
It is not even news that buddhism belongs to an older era and is casting its seed in the ground to create a new movement for the future. But that future is not going to be controlled by buddhism.
Check the scanned text of Bazaz’ compelling book here on this blog. The revolutionary early history of buddhism is tale and a half. The Tibetan hierarchy is something completely different, a dead kingdom created in the middle ages of the past era. But by courting the powers that be a very dangerous movement will be created.
If you have radical sympathies you should ditch this farce at once. NEVER enter relations of passive disciple with such fascists. They will try to use spiritual surrender for political purposes.
The previous post portrays a wise and balanced religious leader, etc, etc,…The crypto-fascist history of TB is almost impossible to expose as the Dalai Lamas plays the different oppositions with PR.
We need a strong leftist buddhism and a clear understanding of the transient passing away of the insidious and corrupt Tibetan system.
In fact, it is time to see that buddhism is dead, although its format and literature can be salvaged foer a new movement.
The sidebar has a link to an Anirvan review: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3QA0WVTY9KDKN/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm
I am getting a lot of noise/messaging to the effect that Anirvan the self-styled supergroupie of Gurdjieff is repenting of his disciple’s awe, if not fawning, and wishes to move away from the Gurdjieff zone. That can be a perilous passage, but determination will do it. We need a clear expose of Anirvan’s book, To Live Within, and its excessive kowtow to the memory of Gurdjieff, and his confused equation of the realm of the Indian guru and his ashram with the quite different world of Gurdjieff who is not an Indian guru, although people repeatedly confuse this point. Many of the statements by Anirvan apply only to his experience with an Indian guru, and not to the quite different semi-sufistic world of Gurdjieff.
So one more of the authors induced to Gurdjieff propaganda is beginning to slip. Perhaps soon John Shirley will get the point, and maybe soon even that hopeless case Patterson, the author of still another Gurdjieff paean, now out at Amazon. I will review it at some point.
Reply to a comment, the usual attempt to defend Gurdjieff.
Always the same fine words, with no results. Your own bullshit shows the catch: his teachings are hidden, while thousands damage themselves with false and limited ‘exoteric’ information. Noone comes to their aid. Their paths end up in confusion, broken wills, food for those in hiding, psychotic remnants of occult experiments. The issue of awakening is honorable, but it is not honorable among Gurdjieffians. It is a path of idealistic suckers fronting for a spiritual mafia.
The goal of ‘awakening’ is ambiguous. What does it mean? Thousands of years of Jains, buddhists and yogis have made clear what the path is, while the Gurdjieff types always dose their victims with come ons, rumors, halftruths. Carrot dangling and partial misleading teachers get the seeker hooked and turn him into a kind of junkie trying to piece together the puzzle.
There are two confusions here: the path to ‘awakening’ can be a goal short of enlightenment: the traditions speaks of four states: sleep, consciousness, self-consciousness, and the fourth, turiya. Gurdjieff is talking it seems about stage three, for he has never gone on to the final stage. To awaken in this way may involve another aspect, the ‘will’. Achieving will does not lead to enlightenment: it is a labyrinth of navigating samsara as an adventure. The real way leads to enlightenment beyond the will.
Whoever can clarify these remarks may do so, but not make the result into tidbits with a high markup.
Humanity must evolve to get the real teaching? Give me a fucking break.This is a false understanding of ‘evolution’. Gurdjieff wiseacred the meaning of the term. Evolution means the emergence of new species from ‘evolutionary dynamics’, and that is neither Darwinian nor some new age fantasy of ‘evolving’ through occult methods. It is all bullshit. Man has evolved the capacity to reach enlightenment. That evolution is complete. Man has only to be man, and to evade those who would enslave him, like Gurdjieff.
Stop inflicting this on the unsuspecting.
The real stuff is too dangerous to reveal. And what might that be? Black magic. Occult murder. Soul plunder, human sacrifice, enslavement of the unconscious, experiments on suckers, suckers used as food, black magic to turn vegetarians into meateaters, black magic to create sex scandals in selected targets, use of torture to create devils out of idealists, strategies to steal spiritual energy, drain the energies of devoted seekers, invultuation of the will to create drone zombies, penetration of different ashrams to prey on disciples unaware of the predators at work. etc etc..,
The teachings of Buddha are the same as those inherited from centuries of Jains, and those before them. The path is clear, and India has thousands of yogis and sannyasins who have a clear and open path, with no mystifications.
The way is not hard. It comes from meditation. You don’t have to chase all over Afghanistan for the secret method.
The very worst achievement of Gurdjieff is to have broken the trust in Jesus Christ by those who take to heart the idea of ‘esoteric Christianity’. Gurdjieff had no contact with the Christ realm, yet his methods claim their authority, as if they were the secret information about the ‘real’ Jesus, as some kind of (black) magician, etc….
But the moment is ripe for a real new age to start, kickstart. That must be able to debrief Xtianity, buddhism, sufism, and much else. The way past these must be found: their lineage belongs to older, passing epoch. It is hard to see how anyone could manage such a huge undertaking. Osho was one, and yet his outcome is problematical. Anyone trying to further this lineage will get eaten alive by a small hurricane of voidness, formerly Osho, formerly Rajneesh…. His work was the first of the real ‘new age’ formations and yet it is in many ways still based in the older era.
The world needs to at least salvage the classic Indian tradition, but this has been confused by the issues of false Hinduism. And the conservative trend is not a good sign. A few very simple changes (‘reformation’s) could release the real energy of the classic traditon, pre-Aryan overlay