Re: Former SGI members
Date: July 13, 2010 01:00PM
@SGBye You wrote, "I have also been perusing YouTube for RTE-related videos, but a lot of them just stirred up feelings of anger inside of me."
After reading this I too went to YouTube but I had a different response. I had never looked at the RTE practices. In fact, I have not been on youtube since early this year. I have to admit the few videos I saw were pretty good. Yes, some had corny lyrics or music, but c'mon you would hear things like that at any church function geared toward youth. It was also nice to see young people being so upbeat about the upcoming event--and just energetic. I recalled how I used to be 2o years ago. I was not expecting to feel this way. Finally, I ended up listening to a video of "Forever Sense," but not from the RTE event. Okay, this might not be the right thing to say on this forum, but I found myself singing along and remembering how much I loved singing this song at Gakkai events. The slightly melancholy sound mixed with the military marching sound, when sung well as it was on the video, made me remember some of the good times I had in SGI. I wanted to jump out of my chair with joy! I started to feel like maybe I have been too hard on the organization and the RTE event. Then, I remembered that when I learned that song 20 years ago and whenever I sang it until earlier this year, I was never worshiping Ikeda, but I was grateful that he had directly and indirectly introduced so many to Nichiren Buddhism, that without his influence I may have never heard about it. My point is that I enjoyed the song for so long because I was not being buffeted by mentor-disciple and Ikeda's greatness for most of my 21 years of practice. Therefore the song was an appropriate expression of gratitude. Now, the leaders(and some of the hardcore members) and the publications cannot stop trumpeting his greatness(Gandhi-King-Ikeda exhibit; his gosho lectures; meaningless honorary doctorates; testimonials that always include references to his guidances etc.) and the need to accept him as THE mentor. Furthermore some highly capable study leaders never get used and when they rarely do it appears they are obligated to quote Ikeda. It's a shame that in all probability "Forever Sensei" will not mean the same thing to others who will not experience an SGI that has enough other things in it like thought-provoking study and guidances/speeches; engagement in making the world better locally or globally; acknowledgment of other important Buddhist leaders; or at least some inter-faith activities with other Buddhist sects or teachers instead of a one-dimensional focus on everything.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2010 01:17PM by doubtful.