Sensei is my Co-Pilot
"I got Mark's blessing on bogarting this site and this will be my only post so don't be alarmed...
I'd offered Mark a little "tech support" in doing some minor changes to his blog. Mark's posting about July 3rd being "Mentor Disciple Day" really got under my skin for some odd reason. Before I move on, a quick history lesson involving Mark and I - I followed his old blog at Fraught With Peril - I believe my first posting made some sarcastic reference towards the SGI and he initially thought I was a kool-aid sipping troll - I was drawn into Mark's blog because I had recently skirted the Gakkai and I wasn't ready to give up on the Nichiren faith. Not giving up however doesn't mean that I have abandoned my reserved skepticism.
Of course that doesn't come with a grain of salt for there has been a bit of a ideological struggle with the dilemma I have with Mark on this debate. I am not one who will use my belief in the Lotus Sutra to refute the SGI for the SGI is most undeserving to be refuted in that manner. Maybe I'm bit more hardcore with my dealings of the SGI.
They are two essential teachings of the SGI that I've long detested which is the main reason why my stay within SGI was short:
1) I never bought that Shakyamuni was a provisional Buddha. So they say that Shakamyni - the founder of Buddhism - was never the real Buddha? In Christian terms, that's like saying Jesus was a provisional messiah - That leaves a lot of wiggle room in that chain of thought. So Jesus wasn't the real Messiah. The real Messiah was Charles Manson? Jim Jones? David Koresh? or is he amongst the other wackos that could be found on a Rick Ross Cult website claiming the title?
2) I do not and I will never accept Daisaku Ikeda as my "mentor" I hope I don't have to get into grave detail to how frivolous that idea is...
Does a person without feet really need shoes? Point being, SGI doesn't have a leg to stand on with regard to Nichiren study but yet they are offered shoes. The above mentioned reasons are the heart and foundation to the Soka mind frame. The provisional Buddha only fits to be exploited by the Ikeda cult of personality. Mentor = Messiah = Buddha = Ikeda.
So they say that earthly desires leads to enlightenment.
Despite no SGI member has effectively been able to point out where in the writings of Nichiren or the Lotus Sutra that is stated, could only be attributed to the teachings of the SGI and no where else. SGI chanting is a bastardized concept borrowed from Western styled religions. Chanting for desires (i.e. cars, money, girlfriends, etc.) is a complete deviation from the 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism itself. Even Western religions considers the idea of praying for material things to be a lack of spiritual maturity. Could it be argued that chanting the SGI way is nothing more than a mechanism to keep the mind aligned with greasing the Ikeda Dharma Wheel?
There comes a point of stagnation in the practice of the general SGI member. He or she becomes frustrated for the attainment of their desires are not being fulfilled. They have not come close to Buddhahood from the time they started practicing. They are told they are Bodhisattvas of the Earth but they are considerably depressed. The balance of there so-called "life condition" have not panned out. They continue to drift between the 6 Lower Worlds. How could this be?
The a-typical SGI meeting is a sick game of Keeping Up with the Joneses' (peer pressure) where members give praise to the hospices of faith and a karma checklist of the acquisition of who has the most benefits. They are given two paths. Give in to the vicious circle and rededicate their efforts to make their contribution of the orgs self-preservation. Of course the most daunting would to simply quit and move forward toward their own spiritual path.
Breaking away and further exploring the basics of true Nichiren practice only confirmed the long suspicions harbored towards the cult. The general members enjoy absolutely no real "spiritual autonomy." Any attempt to exercise thought that doesn't conform to the company flow of the Gakkai machine can result in ostrification and ridicule. Those who choose to remain, the concept of religion will forever be intertwined with the politics of the organization. The concept of Buddhism to them (those who continue to work diligently for the SGI) will be like cereal without milk. Until the general member realizes that simple truth they will forever be bounded. SGI enlightenment equates spiritual enslavement." -- Kevin Richardson