I have to say that I married an Amerasian or Asian-American. One other distinction the Japanese make is against the Okinawan people. I have even had Japanese members, who are supposedly more enlightened than others in Japan by virtue of Ikeda's worldliness and dialogue, tell me that my husband's mother isn't really Japanese.
It makes me laugh. Did Nichiren retire to Mount Minobu and map out who in his land was really Japanese?
I am curious about this issue for a number of reasons. Ikeda has dialogue with almost every conceivable minority. His followers read all of his stuff. Do they incorporate an understanding of oppressed people into their hearts?
Wakkata's original reply to this post was, as usual, right on the money. This is also what I was alluding to earlier about understanding the language. Ironically, a lot of the people I heard it from where also married to caucasians themselves. It's just an unfortunate example of somebody who was once discriminated against, turning around and discriminating against others. I even heard some of the same kinds of bile about interracial (black with white) relationships, while some of their fellow "best friend" members where in fact married to African-Americans. They saw absolutely nothing wrong with these kinds of remarks, either; stunning examples of abject narrow-minded ignorance. In fact, some of the most bigoted (and two-faced) people I have ever had the misfortune of meeting in my entire life, were (I hate to say it) fellow Japanese gakkai members.
I'm sorry for your experiences evergreen. Their ignorant intolerance isn't isolated to one subject area (in this case relationships) either, but extends to many different things as well (social classes, other religions, etc.). What the gakkai preaches is very rarely what I saw in actual real life practice, applied to their own lives.
Which follows in other religions as well....How many deeply professed Christians are guilty of the same thing...what is preached doesn't translate in the behavior. It's a sad but true part of the universal human condition, yes? The Soka Gakkai can't really claim that practicing SGI Buddhism will automatically elevate them to The Ultimate and Only Perfect Humanity on earth, can they? But they do.
As I had been advised by many of my co-members and leaders, shakabuku was the way to 'change karma'. So I often would force myself to tell people about the practice (totally against my nature as I don't like to force things on people). The trouble was, my personal life wasn't going so well, and so I had to try and convince people how happy I was and how the practice had changed my life (only it hadn't).
Which follows in other religions as well....How many deeply professed Christians are guilty of the same thing...what is preached doesn't translate in the behavior
wakatta1Comparing SGI's issues to a football team's organizational problems, or a couple's marital difficulties diffuses the true accountability as to what happened in that group. Many of us here were caught in the net and these postings (340 pages mind you!) point at that organizational dysfunction that is uniquely SGI.
Very well said as usual, Wakatta.
@Holly - Welcome to forum and congratulations on walking away from SGI. It takes a tremendous amount of fortitude to do this.
Yep, shakabuku is essential for the organization to survive. I've been witness to it many times even though I am not a member! My very first exposure to the SGI (or NSA as it was known back then) was being cold shakabukued on a subway platform. My initial reaction was: is this person nuts?
Thank you for the welcome, bobze39 and Hitch.
Yes, for many years I remember being told that shakabuku is not about getting members, it's about revealing someone's buddhahood. I think that's where the doublethink comes in. Deep down I felt a great pressure to 'inspire' more people to practice. However I suppressed the negative and awkward feelings about that as being wrong because I obviously wasn't understanding the 'true intention' of revealing buddhahood! Like its been said in this thread, all the negative feelings I had became translated as signs that I wasn't practising 'correctly' - more daimoku/study/courses/meetings must be needed!
And like others I've also had years of being told not to 'think' but to 'use my heart' when making decisions (whatever that means). It's a way of conditioning people that to think critically is wrong. I was like it myself in meetings if anyone (especially new) was overcritical of the practice or was asking what I thought was too many questions, I would secretly think to myself 'there is a person of learning! it's going to be difficult for them to practise unless they learn to trust, let go and stop thinking too much'. I got so proud of myself for my 'non-thinking' and great trust, and stamping out my 'cynical nature'.
However, now I am really enjoying getting back to exploring doubts, critical thought, analysing things, etc (i.e using my brain!). It's taking a bit of practice to get back into the habit and I am now very wary of people who say 'you shouldn't spend too much time in your head'. I need to spend a bit of time in my head thank you very much - it was not thinking enough that got me into the previous situation in the first place.
Thanks ScoobyDooby and Nichijew
When reading what you have to say some examples of being told what to think spring to mind ...........
Being told as a leader that when you are exhausted and really feel that you have to devote a bit of time to yourself, then that is exactly the time you should 'dig deeper' and 'open your heart to others' - i.e try and do more home visits!
When I expressed my anxiety regarding not having enough time to do my existing responsibility and running on empty - being 'encouraged' to commit myself to a very lengthy time-consuming responsibility (once a month for 2 years!) so that I could 'expand time' and 'challenge my negativities'.
Being advised many many times by various leaders to always open my heart and say 'yes' (without first considering) to whatever activity/responsibility is asked of me in the SGI.
When expressing to a leader that the requirement for me to take on more responsibilities was making me feel sick and anxious at the thought of having even less time for myself and my family, that this could be a sign that I needed to 'trust, let go and open my heart to the activity' i.e take on even more!
We were always being advised about the necessity to lead 'balanced lives' as SGI members so that we could inspire others to practice. But I could never work out how that would be possible with the huge amount of meetings/activities we were expected to attend. Another example of 'doublespeak' I guess.