Here, finally, are pictures of my other two butsudans!
The real color is like a black cherry - it's not red-red like some of those pics show it, but rather more of a dark, warm cherry.[/quote
So I bought these two (got them for a really good price) but I hadn't hung them up yet when my Chapter WD leader decided to pay me a home visit. "Your home has such a lovely warm feel about it," she said. "It would be a shame for it to get a dark or even sinister atmosphere." What she was referring to was the hocus-pocus supernatural woo that, if I had these "heretical objects" on the premises, there would be a gloomy feeling of foreboding about my living space. You know, from the eeeEEEeevil of the "wrong" gohonzons! What the silly cow didn't realize was that the "heretical objects" were already there! So much for her supernatural radar *eye roll*
I always lusted for a bigger better box (oh come on, you know what I mean - LOL)
But now these wooden boxes no longer hold any facination or awe for me, and the same goes with the paper scroll that is treated like a living god.
It is sick and disgusting to see culties having all this reverence for an object while treating real live human beings so badly. The garage is an appropiate and proper place for a relic of cult religion.
Singing (or hearing) that cult crap had nothing to do with Buddhism. It was all about indoctrination through emotional manipulation and hyper stimulation.
I also had some very superstitous leaders, even though we were constantly being told that this buddhism is all about common sense, cause and effect, how this practice is positively scientific, and certainly not supposed to be about magic and superstition. Indeed, it is a practice for the 21st century!
No, not at all! It's *all* good!! Everything is relevant, and it's all well-knit together in an elegant tapestry of sophistry and fail!!Quote
Sorry, if I have gone off on a tangent T&P, but your comments reminded me of the depth of superstition prevalent in this organisation and the hypocrisy with which they conduct themselves in their PR exercises for the outside world. If these people from outside who view the SGI as a peaceful, positive organisation, really knew how much fear and psychological manipulation takes place they would have a very different perspective. However, the experiences that we ex-members have described on this forum are not easily expressed in a few slick catchphrases and platitudes, such as the methods used by the SGI to promote themselves.
Have more superstitous experiences to relate concerning gohonzons but brain is foggy now - its too early in the UK!
If these people from outside who view the SGI as a peaceful, positive organisation, really knew how much fear and psychological manipulation takes place they would have a very different perspective. However, the experiences that we ex-members have described on this forum are not easily expressed in a few slick catchphrases and platitudes, such as the methods used by the SGI to promote themselves.
I want to share two videos about the true nature of religion and cults.
These videos “The Root of All Evil” [www.youtube.com] and “Viruses of the Mind” [www.youtube.com] are primarily about Christianity, but the same principles easily apply to any religion or cult, and their methods and techniques operate alike as well. The comparision of religion to a virus is spot on. Judge for yourself.
At 22:50 in the first video, you can hear the song chorus lyrics being sung, “…higher than the sky”. Christians and Buddhists both sing the same words, clearly demonstrating how there is often barely a shred of difference between cults!
“Higher Than The Sky”. Some of you old-timers like me will never forget this turd of a gakkai cult song with its opening line, “together always we must fight!” Ugh! Some things are just universal in cults – like the call to violence, sometimes subliminal - sometimes not so much. Oh yeah, what about that line, “tomorrow’s golden dreams”? Didn't happen? Never mind folks, now open up your checkbooks, its zaimu time again!
Singing (or hearing) that cult crap had nothing to do with Buddhism. It was all about indoctrination through emotional manipulation and hyper stimulation. That’s what all that stupid arm flailing (song leading) was really about of course.
I absolutely hated having to stand up and lead songs, especially doing so in a full out cult “gakkai style”. But I really dreaded “Higher”, because it always included the asinine cult competition requiring one to flail their arm back and forth, ridiculously increasing the speed and violent bodily contortions with each chorus. All that arm slinging effectively blocked the brain’s rational abilities with adrenalin and testosterone. It also provided a perfect opportunity to stand a bit too close to a sweaty and smelly YMD, well ripened by a day of frantic cult activity in the blistering Texas heat.
And if you were really lucky, you might get an extra dose of pungent BO at the end of the meeting, as everyone made a circle and joined arms to profess their unbounded love of the phantom leader. Hey, if you’re asking to have somebody be your master, then don’t be too surprised at discovering yourself having become a slave.
Master, mentor, sensei – no matter which name is used the meaning remains the same. Becoming a student or disciple to a master requires unquestioning obedience, respect, and loyalty. Like a good slave, you must do as the massa say, and be happy about it, too.
Here's some quotes from the producer of the above videos, Richard Dawkins of Oxford University and author of “The God Delusion”:
“People lean on their faith as a crutch, but I fear the comfort it provides is a shallow pretense.”
“The suspension of disbelief inherent in (religious) faith can lead to far more dangerous ideas beyond.”
“Religion thrives on unsolved mystery.”
“It would be unfair to pick on the Catholics – all religions are up to the same tricks.”
And just one more from Senaca (ca. 4 BC –AD 65) - one of my favorites:
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."