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Thread: If the world is our temple ...

  1. #1

    If the world is our temple ...

    If we can clean temple floors, tend its gardens, scrub our bowls, preserve its resources, we can treat the entire planet with the same attitudes of practice.

    I found this new statement from the United Nations particularly inspiring ...

    A new UN report urges a radical shift in the way we think about nature

    The United Nations released a report Thursday on the health of the planet that proposes a radical shift in the way mankind thinks about it.

    The report, "Making Peace with Nature," spans 168 pages and distills the latest science on climate change and mankind's "war" on the planet. It also argues that amid our pursuit of wealth and security, humans must now learn to value the fundamental "natural capital" of geology, soil, air and water -- and urgently.

    "For too long, we have been waging a senseless and suicidal war on nature," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at a news briefing Thursday presenting the report. "The result is three interlinked environmental crises: climate disruption, biodiversity loss and pollution that threaten our viability as a species."

    "We are destroying the planet, placing our own health and prosperity at risk," said Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, which released the report.

    The world is far from meeting its agreed objectives to protect the planet. Species and ecosystems are vanishing faster than ever, despite long-standing global commitments to protect them. While the ozone layer is slowly being restored, mankind has fallen off track to limit global warming as envisioned in the landmark Paris Agreement, the report says.

    "At the current rate, warming will reach 1.5°C by around 2040 and possibly earlier. Taken together, current national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions put the world on a pathway to warming of at least 3°C by 2100," it reads.

    ... The report offers suggestions for everyone from governments to financial institutions to individuals, but its proposition for a new way to think about the environment and the global economy is civilizational in scale.

    "Economic and financial systems fail to account for the essential benefits that humanity gets from nature and to provide incentives to manage nature wisely and maintain its value. ... Conventional metrics like gross domestic product (GDP) overstate progress because they fail to adequately capture the costs of environmental degradation or reflect declines in natural capital," it says.

    If mankind began to factor the value of our environment -- and the costs of its degradation to our health and security -- into economic activity, our decisions might be different, the report argues. "Excluding the value of nature skews investment away from economic solutions that conserve and restore nature, reduce pollution, expand renewable energy and make more sustainable use of resources while also increasing prosperity and well-being."

    Guterres put it this way: "Just to give you an example of how important is this mind-shift requirement, even in the way we organize economic policies and economic data, we can see GDP growth when we overfish. We are destroying nature, but we count it as increase of wealth."

    He added, "We can see the GDP growth when we cut forests, and we are destroying nature, and we are destroying wealth, but we consider it GDP growth."

    Several global meetings planned for this year could begin to shift mankind's perspective on nature. The virtual UN Environment Assembly falls next week, followed by the COP15 Conference on Biodiversity and the UN Climate Change Conference later in the year.

    Guterres said another "key moment" in the momentum of 2021 will come as early as Friday, when the United States officially rejoins the Paris Climate Agreement. Former US President Donald Trump withdrew the country from the accord last year.

    "There is indeed no precedent for what we have to do, but if 2020 was a disaster, let 2021 then be the year humanity began making peace with nature and secured a fair, just and sustainable future for everyone," he said.
    You can read the full report here:

    https://www.unep.org/resources/making-peace-nature

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-19-2021 at 01:10 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    I wish I could be as optimistic as you, Jundo, but after more than three decades of studying and following environmental science and decision making, I have seen dozens of these kinds of reports and meetings which are always welcome, but most often are far less than what is required given the rate of environmental change and species/habitat loss.

    At present we are using the amount of resources that would require at least two planets to be sustainable. So, we need to cut our demand on planetary resources by at least half and, given that most of the carbon and environmental footprint comes from the richest industrial nations, probably even more for those of us in the developed west.

    This requires a huge adjustment on behalf of a large number of people as it is not going to come from governments, who largely do not want to enact unpopular policies which reduce air travel, meat consumption and other activities which we know to be contributing hugely to what is happening.

    We already know the solutions to these problems, and have done for years, maybe decades. The question is whether we take sufficient action before it is too late to halt catastrophic environmental change. At present, I don't see any sign of getting anywhere near what is required.

    So, as always, this is a welcome shift in policy, even if decades too late. Ecological scientists were pointing out this problem of GDP based economics and the environment in the late 1980s and there have been numerous publications since then on environmental economics on the kind of issues and thinking that Guterres is now pointing out.

    At some point, I think we really do need to have David Loy's Ecodharma as a book club book.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    I wish I could be as optimistic as you, Jundo, but after more than three decades of studying and following environmental science and decision making, I have seen dozens of these kinds of reports and meetings which are always welcome, but most often are far less than what is required given the rate of environmental change and species/habitat loss.

    At present we are using the amount of resources that would require at least two planets to be sustainable. So, we need to cut our demand on planetary resources by at least half and, given that most of the carbon and environmental footprint comes from the richest industrial nations, probably even more for those of us in the developed west.

    This requires a huge adjustment on behalf of a large number of people as it is not going to come from governments, who largely do not want to enact unpopular policies which reduce air travel, meat consumption and other activities which we know to be contributing hugely to what is happening.

    We already know the solutions to these problems, and have done for years, maybe decades. The question is whether we take sufficient action before it is too late to halt catastrophic environmental change. At present, I don't see any sign of getting anywhere near what is required.

    So, as always, this is a welcome shift in policy, even if decades too late. Ecological scientists were pointing out this problem of GDP based economics and the environment in the late 1980s and there have been numerous publications since then on environmental economics on the kind of issues and thinking that Guterres is now pointing out.

    At some point, I think we really do need to have David Loy's Ecodharma as a book club book.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-


    Jim
    ST/LaH

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  4. #4
    I wish I could be as optimistic as you, Jundo, but after more than three decades of studying and following environmental science and decision making, I have seen dozens of these kinds of reports and meetings which are always welcome, but most often are far less than what is required given the rate of environmental change and species/habitat loss.

    This requires a huge adjustment on behalf of a large number of people as it is not going to come from governments ...
    Oh, I so much agree. This is why we must keep trying.

    My someday to be published (who knows when) book, "ZEN of the FUTURE!" advocates future small changes to human DNA so that people are somewhat less desirous, more easily satisfied, with what is, what the body needs vs. what craving wants. I feel that it may be the best, or only possible, answer. Persuading and preaching will not do anything as long as our bodies and minds are as they are.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    What is the sound of one hand clapping twice? @Jundo and @Kokuu present opposite sides in perfect agreement.

    Gassho, Jim
    ST/LaH

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  6. #6
    Thank you for sharing. I believe I posted this quote before

    “I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation. And we scientists don’t know how to do that.”

    Gus Speth


    When I began my education/career in conservation over 50 years ago all that has come to be was warned of then. The first Earth Day shouted to the world. Not just by the generation then but by many who came before.

    My hope for change has eroded greatly but still burns...

    Doshin
    St

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post
    I wish I could be as optimistic as you, Jundo, but after more than three decades of studying and following environmental science and decision making, I have seen dozens of these kinds of reports and meetings which are always welcome, but most often are far less than what is required given the rate of environmental change and species/habitat loss.

    At present we are using the amount of resources that would require at least two planets to be sustainable. So, we need to cut our demand on planetary resources by at least half and, given that most of the carbon and environmental footprint comes from the richest industrial nations, probably even more for those of us in the developed west.

    This requires a huge adjustment on behalf of a large number of people as it is not going to come from governments, who largely do not want to enact unpopular policies which reduce air travel, meat consumption and other activities which we know to be contributing hugely to what is happening.

    We already know the solutions to these problems, and have done for years, maybe decades. The question is whether we take sufficient action before it is too late to halt catastrophic environmental change. At present, I don't see any sign of getting anywhere near what is required.

    So, as always, this is a welcome shift in policy, even if decades too late. Ecological scientists were pointing out this problem of GDP based economics and the environment in the late 1980s and there have been numerous publications since then on environmental economics on the kind of issues and thinking that Guterres is now pointing out.

    At some point, I think we really do need to have David Loy's Ecodharma as a book club book.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday-
    I believe in personal responsibility and always being the first at doing the right thing, even if it doesn’t seem to have any meaningful impact. I don’t hold back from doing good because “governments or industries or others” do this or that and my acts nave no repercussions. If everyone took the lead and tried to be the first, we wouldn’t have a lot of the issues we have as a society and even on a personal level.

    SatToday lah
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
    Join me on Insight Timer
    Help me feed those in need by joining my Share The Meal team HERE

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Kokuu View Post


    This requires a huge adjustment on behalf of a large number of people as it is not going to come from governments, who largely do not want to enact unpopular policies which reduce air travel, meat consumption and other activities which we know to be contributing hugely to what is happening.
    I beg to differ. This is what the anti-environmentalists have been saying to make it harder to enact policies. It's not up to individuals to recycle plastic, it's up to industries to develop alternatives to plastic. It's not up to individuals to turn down the thermostats in their homes; it's up to governments to provide subsidies for insulation and solar panels. Every time someone says it's up to individuals to make a difference, it puts the ons away from those who can make a difference, governments. We can see now that renewable energy is cheaper than polluting energy, so it will be natural that much of our electricity will come from solar, wind, etc., in the coming years. That's not something that individuals have any effect on.

    Meat consumption is not that big a share, but other areas are more than most people realize. I was very surprised when I learned a few years ago that one of the biggest polluters (CO2) is cement: it alone is responsible for 10% of CO2 emissions.

    Yes, we have responsibility, but making individuals guilty is, IMHO, the wrong way to go. We need to pressure governments more.

    Gassho,

    Ryūmon

    sat
    -----

    流文

    I know nothing.

  9. #9
    At some point, I think we really do need to have David Loy's Ecodharma as a book club book.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday


    Kokuu as I have mentioned in another thread I would be grateful to work with you on this when the time is best for the Sangha.

    Doshin
    St

  10. #10
    Thank you Jundo. We have to keep trying again and again and again and again. Our lives and the lives of many sentient beings literally depend on it.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Doshin View Post
    At some point, I think we really do need to have David Loy's Ecodharma as a book club book.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday


    Kokuu as I have mentioned in another thread I would be grateful to work with you on this when the time is best for the Sangha.

    Doshin
    St
    We will set this for later this year.

    We did David's other book awhile back, which covers some of these issues ...

    A New Buddhist Path by David Loy
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/foru...h-by-David-Loy

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Ryumon View Post
    I beg to differ. This is what the anti-environmentalists have been saying to make it harder to enact policies. It's not up to individuals to recycle plastic, it's up to industries to develop alternatives to plastic. It's not up to individuals to turn down the thermostats in their homes; it's up to governments to provide subsidies for insulation and solar panels. Every time someone says it's up to individuals to make a difference, it puts the ons away from those who can make a difference, governments. We can see now that renewable energy is cheaper than polluting energy, so it will be natural that much of our electricity will come from solar, wind, etc., in the coming years. That's not something that individuals have any effect on.

    Meat consumption is not that big a share, but other areas are more than most people realize. I was very surprised when I learned a few years ago that one of the biggest polluters (CO2) is cement: it alone is responsible for 10% of CO2 emissions.

    Yes, we have responsibility, but making individuals guilty is, IMHO, the wrong way to go. We need to pressure governments more.

    Gassho,

    Ryūmon

    sat
    In turn I must beg to differ. It is not industries that change policy (except when it benefits them). It is not governments or societies. It is, in fact, individuals. Governments and industry are nothing more than collections of individuals. Industries do not create whole new products and processes out of thin air, they respond to individuals and collections of like-minded individuals. It is individuals who create change, individuals who make their voices heard, individuals who challenge the status-quo and wake up others. If we want to change the world and save the environment we have to first be an example, and then a voice and force for change. If we're not willing to make the changes in our own life, why should anyone?

    If we want a government to make changes we elect the right people, we push the right influencers, we create the laws. If we want an industry to change we force it. We buy solar rather than petroleum, dump the plastic for renewables, etc. Ultimately, it is individuals who must recognize their place in nature. Our interdependent place.

    Gassho,
    Neika
    st/lah
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Neika View Post
    In turn I must beg to differ. It is not industries that change policy (except when it benefits them). It is not governments or societies. It is, in fact, individuals. Governments and industry are nothing more than collections of individuals. Industries do not create whole new products and processes out of thin air, they respond to individuals and collections of like-minded individuals. It is individuals who create change, individuals who make their voices heard, individuals who challenge the status-quo and wake up others. If we want to change the world and save the environment we have to first be an example, and then a voice and force for change. If we're not willing to make the changes in our own life, why should anyone?

    If we want a government to make changes we elect the right people, we push the right influencers, we create the laws. If we want an industry to change we force it. We buy solar rather than petroleum, dump the plastic for renewables, etc. Ultimately, it is individuals who must recognize their place in nature. Our interdependent place.

    Gassho,
    Neika
    st/lah
    I'm afraid you're missing my point. My point is that industries have led the charge suggesting that it's individual lifestyle changes that would make a difference. This strategy has, over the past decades, dumped the responsibility on individuals to recycle, drive less, eat less meat, etc. It clearly makes little if no difference. As I said, it's up to us to pressure governments to make changes.

    Just one example: plastic recycling is a scam. Most plastics are never recycled.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ldnt-care-less

    "Plastic recycling is a scam. You diligently sort your rubbish, you dutifully wash your plastic containers, then everything gets tossed in a landfill or thrown in the ocean anyway. OK, maybe not everything – but the vast majority of it. According to one analysis, only 9% of all plastic ever made has likely been recycled. Here’s the kicker: the companies making all that plastic have spent millions on advertising campaigns lecturing us about recycling while knowing full well that most plastic will never be recycled."

    Gassho,

    Ryūmon

    sat
    -----

    流文

    I know nothing.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Neika View Post
    Industries do not create whole new products and processes out of thin air, they respond to individuals and collections of like-minded individuals.
    And just to riff on this - nothing to do with environmentalism - this statement is simply incorrect. No one asked for post-it notes; they were invented by accident. No one really asked for an iPhone; it was developed before mobile phones were widespread. No one asked for plastic lining in soup cans; it was added for financial reasons. No one asked for the radio, TV, or automobile to be invented. No one asked for many of the things we use.

    Industries create new products and processes all the time, often in an effort to save money for industry, nothing to do with individuals.

    Gassho,

    Ryūmon

    sat
    -----

    流文

    I know nothing.

  15. #15
    I will just offer the Buddhist take that the world is impermanent, everything changes, no person or who species will survive together, and this whole planet is just one of countless planets ... don't be attached to it.

    That said, might as well nurture our world and keep it in good health as long as we can.

    In any event, I don't think that individuals can fully be the determinants of environmental policy because most people working for big corporations are not free to oppose corporate policy, and even the president is thinking about how to keep the shareholders happy so he does not get fired. That is what is nasty about corporate culture.

    We won't fix the environment until we change peoples' desires, which will not be until (I write in my book) we change peoples' DNA so that they desire in moderation.

    Gassho, J
    STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  16. #16

    If the world is our temple ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I will just offer the Buddhist take that the world is impermanent, everything changes, no person or who species will survive together, and this whole planet is just one of countless planets ... don't be attached to it.

    That said, might as well nurture our world and keep it in good health as long as we can.

    In any event, I don't think that individuals can fully be the determinants of environmental policy because most people working for big corporations are not free to oppose corporate policy, and even the president is thinking about how to keep the shareholders happy so he does not get fired. That is what is nasty about corporate culture.

    We won't fix the environment until we change peoples' desires, which will not be until (I write in my book) we change peoples' DNA so that they desire in moderation.

    Gassho, J
    STLah
    The Dalai Lama always says it: education. It’s what it takes since you can’t force people to do the right thing all the time while letting them make their own choices, but you can educate them from early on. Also, I believe everyone is free to do the right thing and oppose whoever and whatever they want although not many would gladly accept the inevitable consequences of that opposition.
    That being said: compassion should always guide our actions and compassion means caring for everyone and everything and doing everything in our power to bring about beneficial results regardless of what others choose to do.

    (Sorry for the extra 2 lines, including this one )

    SatToday
    Last edited by Bion; 02-21-2021 at 02:35 PM.
    Bion
    美音

    -------------------------
    Join me on Insight Timer
    Help me feed those in need by joining my Share The Meal team HERE

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    I will just offer the Buddhist take that the world is impermanent, everything changes, no person or who species will survive together, and this whole planet is just one of countless planets ... don't be attached to it.
    With much Metta, Jundo. If that were the main Buddhist take on this, I would say Buddhism has nothing helpful to offer. My son needs a place to live. Having a philosophy that lessens my personal suffering as the world burns and species die and my son is left with no home and no life... I'll take attachment to the planet and any suffering that attachment brings over non-attachnent every time.

    Another Buddhist take is that if we let our greed destroy the planet we will all be reborn in the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. And with (potentially) no longer a Human Realm to be born into, we'll be trapped there for eternity. (Or at least a Kalpa.) Obviously this take is based on a belief in rebirth. But this moral narrative, the khamma of destroying a world, seems - to me - a more helpful Buddhist take than non-attachnent in this case.

    Gassho, Jim
    ST/LaH



    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  18. #18
    In my book "ZEN of the FUTURE!" (to be published someday ... in the FUTURE! ) ... I argue that the human race is so set in its ways, so out of control, that all the preaching and persuading, reasoning and meditating is only going to make a dent, that the problem is HOPELESS until we change human nature.

    To do that, our best course is to tweak slightly human DNA (assuming we can identify DNA that would have such an effect), not to make any radical change, but simply to:

    1 - make us somewhat less violent and prone to anger (not so that someone never becomes upset, but simply so that the small number in the population who cannot control their anger, and act in violent anger, are not likely to do so) ... more empathetic and cooperative so that wars are lessened ... more generous so that resources are more easily shared ...

    2 - somewhat more easily satisfied in our desires, whether for food or sex or money or material goods when reaching a satiation point ...

    3 - 30% more other directed, empathetic and generous, so that we are more likely to act toward strangers and the wider community as we do toward close friends and close family.

    No radical changes are need, and only a small "up" on the volume control for the good aspects of humanity, and a slight "down" for greed and anger.

    We do not yet have the ability to identify and change DNA to bring such effects, but we are very close.

    The way to work this change is two-fold:

    1 - One possibility is a DNA altering virus, not unlike Covid-19, that would spread through the population making the change far and wide. However, for ethical reasons, I do not advocate such a involuntary change.

    2 - The path I would support would be use of drugs that make people feel so good, even blissful for taking the drug, while actually leaving them in better physical health and with a better sense of well-being, such that they voluntarily take the drug of their own choice because it feels so good. Imagine something like meth which actually left people with better teeth and complexions, feeling good about themselves, in better physical and mental states, while reducing the greed and anger within them too. In such case, nothing would be forced, and people would choose to take the drug much as they choose to drink beer or get a tattoo or smoke pot now ... because they want to and it makes them feel good. Pure choice in the free marketplace.

    Without such a radical change to people, I am afraid that we will continue as we are or worse.

    Sorry to run long.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-22-2021 at 09:02 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #19
    May the right bell be struck
    At the right time
    To be heard by the right people

    Gassho
    Sat, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    In my book "ZEN of the FUTURE!" (to be published someday ... in the FUTURE! ) ... I argue that the human race is so set in its ways, so out of control, that all the preaching and persuading, reasoning and meditating is only going to make a dent, that the problem is HOPELESS until we change human nature.

    To do that, our best course is to tweak slightly human DNA (assuming we can identify DNA that would have such an effect), not to make any radical change, but simply to:

    1 - make us somewhat less violent and prone to anger (not so that someone never becomes upset, but simply so that the small number in the population who cannot control their anger, and act in violent anger, are not likely to do so) ... more empathetic and cooperative so that wars are lessened ... more generous so that resources are more easily shared ...

    2 - somewhat more easily satisfied in our desires, whether for food or sex or money or material goods when reaching a satiation point ...

    3 - 30% more other directed, empathetic and generous, so that we are more likely to act toward strangers and the wider community as we do toward close friends and close family.

    No radical changes are need, and only a small "up" on the volume control for the good aspects of humanity, and a slight "down" for greed and anger.

    We do not yet have the ability to identify and change DNA to bring such effects, but we are very close.

    The way to work this change is two-fold:

    1 - One possibility is a DNA altering virus, not unlike Covid-19, that would spread through the population making the change far and wide. However, for ethical reasons, I do not advocate such a involuntary change.

    2 - The path I would support would be use of drugs that make people feel so good, even blissful for taking the drug, while actually leaving them in better physical health and with a better sense of well-being, such that they voluntarily take the drug of their own choice because it feels so good. Imagine something like meth which actually left people with better teeth and complexions, feeling good about themselves, in better physical and mental states, while reducing the greed and anger within them too. In such case, nothing would be forced, and people would choose to take the drug much as they choose to drink beer or get a tattoo or smoke pot now ... because they want to and it makes them feel good. Pure choice in the free marketplace.

    Without such a radical change to people, I am afraid that we will continue as we are or worse.

    Sorry to run long.

    Gassho, Jundo

    STLah
    Have you read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World? Similar premise. And C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man is also an interesting philosophical take on that premise. And, I have some notes towards a novel with an overlapping premise. So it's an idea I've given a lot of thought.

    I admit I have a certain wariness of depending on future scientific breakthroughs to solve current issues. And in terms of implementation, the people with the wealth to first access gene therapy like this are likely going to want their children to be better looking and to excel. And governments will certainly have an incentive to have soldiers that are not less aggressive--meaning potentially a roll out to civilians, but not soldiers and police. It seems like if we could find the political will to roll out a global positive change to human nature we could get together and address climate change.

    And if all meditation and reasoning can only make a dent, I guess there's little point in meditating or advocacy. Or, I suppose, it could be an argument for the Arahant objective of meditation, but it seems to undermine the Bodhisattva ideal. It's scientists the world needs; Bodhisattvas can do no more than make a dent.

    Of course, you might be right. But a very bleak and uninspiring view. I hope you are wrong.

    Sorry for going over.

    Gassho, Jim
    ST/LaH

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by JimInBC View Post
    Have you read Aldous Huxley's Brave New World? Similar premise. And C.S. Lewis's The Abolition of Man is also an interesting philosophical take on that premise. And, I have some notes towards a novel with an overlapping premise. So it's an idea I've given a lot of thought.

    I admit I have a certain wariness of depending on future scientific breakthroughs to solve current issues. And in terms of implementation, the people with the wealth to first access gene therapy like this are likely going to want their children to be better looking and to excel. And governments will certainly have an incentive to have soldiers that are not less aggressive--meaning potentially a roll out to civilians, but not soldiers and police. It seems like if we could find the political will to roll out a global positive change to human nature we could get together and address climate change.

    And if all meditation and reasoning can only make a dent, I guess there's little point in meditating or advocacy. Or, I suppose, it could be an argument for the Arahant objective of meditation, but it seems to undermine the Bodhisattva ideal. It's scientists the world needs; Bodhisattvas can do no more than make a dent.

    Of course, you might be right. But a very bleak and uninspiring view. I hope you are wrong.

    Sorry for going over.

    Gassho, Jim
    ST/LaH

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    We evolved to survive, over billions of years by nature's chaotic trial and error, random mutation and the strong eats weak laws of the jungle. Now, as the human race is on the brink of its own destruction, we might take the dice away from nature and actually plan some small tweaks and minor improvements to allow us to survive.

    You are right that this technology is coming anyway, and soon! Yes, the pentagon might use it, or the wealthy to make designer children. The theme of my book is that Buddhist and other humanitarian scientists way wish to use the inevitable technology for the greater, common good too.

    It is not that Zazen or Buddhist teachings (or other moral religions and practices) do not have great impact on individuals. It is that they have not, and will not, make the wide ranging changes through the entire species that are required. Sorry, but the world is not suddenly going to change into Buddhist monks despite all our work here at Treeleaf (although we may have a good effect on Jim, Doshin and some others).

    My call is one of desperation: The bus is heading for a cliff, we may need to take radical action. The only way to save the human race is to save the human race from its own worst instincts and drives. Only a few small tweaks are necessary, and the result will be ... not "Brave New World" ... but a genuinely nicer world to live in:

    1 - Slightly less violent, with less propensity to become extremely angry to the point of violence.

    2 - Slightly greater empathy, and somewhat increased pleasure in knowing that others have food, shelter, education and healthcare much as I would worry about the well-being of my own child. It does not have to be more than a slight increase in empathy.

    3 - Slightly earlier and easier points of satiation, like the fellow who can push back from the dinner table when full, or the person who is somewhat less interested in material possessions.

    People will not be radically changed ... not turned into saints ... but our roughest edges will be smoothed, our worst and most self-destructive tendencies turned to healthier directions.

    It will be a good world.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-23-2021 at 05:43 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    We evolved to survive, over billions of years by nature's chaotic trial and error, random mutation and the strong eats weak laws of the jungle. Now, as the human race is on the brink of its own destruction, we might take the dice away from nature and actually plan some small tweaks and minor improvements to allow us to survive.

    You are right that this technology is coming anyway, and soon! Yes, the pentagon might use it, or the wealthy to make designer children. The theme of my book is that Buddhist and other humanitarian scientists way wish to use the inevitable technology for the greater, common good too.

    It is not that Zazen or Buddhist teachings (or other moral religions and practices) do not have great impact on individuals. It is that they have not, and will not, make the wide ranging changes through the entire species that are required. Sorry, but the world is not suddenly going to change into Buddhist monks despite all our work here at Treeleaf (although we may have a good effect on Jim, Doshin and some others).

    My call is one of desperation: The bus is heading for a cliff, we may need to take radical action. The only way to save the human race is to save the human race from its own worst instincts and drives. Only a few small tweaks are necessary, and the result will be ... not "Brave New World" ... but a genuinely nicer world to live in:

    1 - Slightly less violent, with less propensity to become extremely angry to the point of violence.

    2 - Slightly greater empathy, and somewhat increased pleasure in knowing that others have food, shelter, education and healthcare much as I would worry about the well-being of my own child. It does not have to be more than a slight increase in empathy.

    3 - Slightly earlier and easier points of satiation, like the fellow who can push back from the dinner table when full, or the person who is somewhat less interested in material possessions.

    People will not be radically changed ... not turned into saints ... but our roughest edges will be smoothed, our worst and most self-destructive tendencies turned to healthier directions.

    It will be a good world.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Thank you for your thoughtful response, Jundo.

    Gassho, Jim
    ST/LaH

    Sent from my SM-T510 using Tapatalk
    No matter how much zazen we do, poor people do not become wealthy, and poverty does not become something easy to endure.
    Kōshō Uchiyama, Opening the Hand of Thought

  23. #23
    I really feel like everyone here is missing the point; if we had a book called "Zen of the Future" I think it would solve all the problems.

    If only we would get a date for when the book "Zen of the Future" is slated for release, we could notify the UN of that date for when the book "Zen of the Future" would be released, and it would allay their fears.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Risho View Post
    I really feel like everyone here is missing the point; if we had a book called "Zen of the Future" I think it would solve all the problems.

    If only we would get a date for when the book "Zen of the Future" is slated for release, we could notify the UN of that date for when the book "Zen of the Future" would be released, and it would allay their fears.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah
    Alas, no. When I have expressed a few places my belief that the future of Buddhist ethics might be found in gene alteration and that, since the technology is coming anyway whether we like it or not, we should get ahead of the Pentagon and Wall Street who will be doing it anyway ...

    ... my suggestion either meets fear and revulsion as some form of Hitlerian eugenics (my proposal is mild and the opposite of trying to build a master race) or mocking as just Sci-Fi fantasy. It is neither.

    In fact, the technology is already on our doorstep, will be used for good and bad whether we like it or not. I am just a desperate voice, think it really the only solution to wars and child abuse and polluting the planet ... and I can think of no better alternative. Better Bodhisattvas through Biology, Goodness in our Genes!

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 02-24-2021 at 01:53 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Geika View Post
    May the right bell be struck
    At the right time
    To be heard by the right people

    Gassho
    Sat, lah
    Gassho2, meian st lh

    Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
    迷安 - Mei An - Wandering At Rest

  26. #26
    How much can one person do? More than you and I can imagine.


    Gassho,

    Koutoku
    SAT
    Koutoku

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