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Monday, June 4, 2018

There is little empathy in the Soka Gakkai

Empathy is being able to put oneself in another person's shoes. I rarely found empathy in the Soka Gakkai because the organization takes precedence over the individual. They would often quote President Toda, "The organization is more important than my life". Leaders were always crediting the organization for every benefit while placing the blame on any failure of the organization squarely on the shoulders of the individual: "You are the organization" or "the organization is a mirror of your life condition." This last assertion is wrong from the standpoint of the Lotus Sutra teachings of the oneness of person and the environment [Esho Funi], the Thusness of reality, and the Three Realms of Existence. SGI is also heavily influenced by a type of Buddhism called Yogacara or Mind Only where all phenomena are said to derive from the mind. There is little empathy in Yogacara since everything is a construct of the mind, even the existence of others, let alone their suffering. It is a selfish way to view the world. Despite their rhetoric of caring, they embrace the ignoble and selfish teachings of pre-Lotus Sutra Buddhism rather than the actual caring and respect that Nichiren Daishonin had towards his disciples and believers.

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