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Sunday, September 27, 2015

“Shame on such monks! — they will preach their own fictions.”

"First, religion needs to center on the human being. In the world of fundamentalism, abstract principles — creeds and beliefs — are treated as absolutes, while humans are seen as subordinate to these greater gods, ideas, and purposes." -- William Aiken

Bill, you are going against the teaching of your Sensei who teaches that "the Soka Gakkai is more important than my life."

Jim Celer, another SGI senior leader, wrote that nothing is ceded from the Gohonzon (power of the Buddha and power of the Law) to the believer because all spiritual power derives from the faith and practice of the believer.

To demonstrate SGI's error, I turn to two fundamental principles of Buddhism, Dependent Origination and Ichinen Sanzen [Three Thousand Realms in a Single Moment of Life]. 

These principles demonstrate that everything in the universe is inextricably connected to everything else. Therefore, not only does one's thoughts words and deeds affect ones own being but all beings both sentient and insentient and all phenomena equally affect us. This is the rational for chanting for other people's welfare, those dead and alive, praying for rain, good weather, lack of accidents etc. The environment equally has the power to influence us. Rainy days are gloomy or cause our joints to hurt, for example.

When examining one's own power compared to the power of the Buddha and Law, it is impossible to fail to acknowledge that our power alone is indeed limited. Whether in the religious or in the secular realm, a team can accomplish more than an individual and an individual with a tool can accomplish more than one without a tool. Were our power not limited, we could, by our own power, obtain Buddhahood but according to Nichiren Daishonin, we require both the help of others [the Buddha, the Law, and good friends in the dharma] and the hindrances of others [those who obstruct our faith and practice]. Believing that we can utilize our power alone to attain Buddhahood is a shallow mechanistic approach to Buddhism, denying others assistance and the utility of a tool. It also deprecates the Gohonzon thinking that the paper and ink of the object of devotion is inferior to the flesh and bones of the human being. In the secular realm, millions have given their lives for the sake of ink and paper, ie: for the Constitution of the United States. How much more so in the realm of Buddhism where the Law is supreme so the person is worthy of respect, not the other way around.

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