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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Some thoughts on SGI Australia Depression Initiative

"The reason for dialogue is that it opens up new avenues in our lives by breaking down habitual notions about depression and challenges the perception of it as a disease that must be eradicated."

Of course depression must be eradicated or, at least, we should attempt to eradicate it just as we would any disease. Actually, there are two major types of depression, exogenous and endogenous. Another name for exogenous depression is reactive depression: The person is depressed as a reaction to a very real psycho-social stressor. Endogenous depression refers to depression due to a chemical imbalance in the brain and is often independent of external circumstances. Of course, there may be an overlap. Sadness is a component of depression but sadness is not necessarily pathological. Depression is pathological when it interferes with one's activities of daily life. Depression can be eradicated when a person and a person's family and friends are all chanting Namu Myoho renge kyo with strong faith in the Lotus Sutra. Dialogue about the wonderfulness of the Soka Gakkai and its mentor has absolutely nothing to do with control of depression, let alone its eradication. It is precisely because SGI's faith in the Lotus Sutra is warped that it must by necessity assert that it is a disease that can not be eradicated. SGI faith and practice has absolutely no power to either control nor eradicate depression. In fact, their are many more depressed people in the Soka Gakkai than in the general population, again, because the SGI faith and practice of the Lotus Sutra is warped:



  1. "If you try to treat someone’s illness without knowing its cause, you will only make the person sicker than before. In the same way, if the True Word priests are permitted to try to overcome the Mongols with their prayers and imprecations, they will only bring about the country’s military defeat. Under no circumstances whatever should the True Word priests, or the priests of any other schools for that matter, be allowed to offer up prayers. If each of you has a real understanding of Buddhism, you will understand this matter on hearing me explain it to you."
    The Actions of the Votary of the Lotus Sutra

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  3. The eighth volume of Great Concentration and Insight states: “Vimalakīrti lay on his sickbed in Vaishālī, making his illness a pretext to promote the teachings . . . Through his death, the Thus Come One taught the eternity [of life], and through illness, the power [of Buddhism].” It also says: “There are six causes of illness: (1) disharmony of the four elements; (2) improper eating or drinking; (3) inappropriate practice of seated meditation; (4) attack by demons; (5) the work of devils; and (6) the effects of karma.”

    On curing karmic disease


  4. The illnesses of human beings may be divided into two general categories, the first of which is illness of the body. Physical diseases comprise one hundred and one disorders of the earth element, one hundred and one imbalances of the water element, one hundred and one disturbances of the fire element and one hundred and one disharmonies of the wind element, a total of four hundred and four maladies. These illnesses can be cured with the medicines prescribed by skilled physicians such as Jisui, Rusui, Jivaka and Pien Ch'ueh.

    The second category is illness of the mind. These illnesses arise from the three poisons of greed, anger and stupidity and are of eighty-four thousand kinds. Only a Buddha can cure them; thus they are beyond the healing powers of the two Brahman deities and the three ascetics, not to mention those of Shen Nung and Huang Ti.

    Illnesses of the mind differ greatly in severity. The three poisons and their eighty-four thousand variations that afflict common mortals of the six paths can be treated by the Buddha of the Kusha, Jojitsu and Ritsu sects which derive from the Tripitaka teaching of Hinayana. However, if one tries to use the Hinayana teachings to cure the three poisons and eighty thousand diseases that arise from slandering the Mahayana sutras such as the Kegon, Hannya and Dainichi sutras, these illnesses will merely become worse and will never be cured. They can be treated only with the Mahayana teachings. Moreover, if one attempts to use the Kegon, Hannya and Dainichi sutras or the Shingon and Sanron teachings to cure the three poisons and eighty thousand diseases that arise when the practitioners of the various Mahayana sutras oppose the Lotus Sutra, those sicknesses will become all the more serious. To illustrate, the flames emitted by burning wood or coal can easily be extinguished by water, but a fire produced by burning oil will only burn more intensely, the flames mounting still higher, if one pours water over it. (The Two Kinds of Illness)