... the emotion of disgust has evolved as a response to [things] that may cause harm to the organism.
Many researchers have claimed that the emotion of disgust functions to protect us from disease.
Disgust appears to be triggered by objects or people who possess particular types of features that signify disease ...
I think what someone decides to do with their gohonzon is a matter of personal choice; the motive for keeping it in their basement or garage could be criticized and questioned, too. I don't think returning it, in my case is, in part, no more than a final gesture saying "yes, I am really done with this," and making it 100% clear to my former leaders. That way, there's no room for the idea of "well, she still has her gohonzon, so maybe she'll come back." For me, tossing it into the garbage doesn't make that statement. It's the same (for me, anyway) as leaving any abusive relationship . . . the abuser doesn't know about anything you throw away, he or she does know, however, if it shows up on their doorstep.
And, once again, people that I value do value their own gohonzons. Even though I don't respect their beliefs doesn't mean that I have contempt for them as individuals. Viewing the act of cooking pork sausage in a kosher pan as being a terrible thing to do is, on a practical level, ridiculous. You wash it thoroughly and all traces of the pork are removed. Perceiving it as having fouled the pan is silly, and the idea of burying the pan in the ground for a year or boiling rocks in it for an hour as being able to make it once again pure is even more silly. None of it makes any logical sense. I can't think of a single religion that isn't steeped in superstition or magical thinking which, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't make any of them stand out as being particularly credible. And, depending on how deeply one commits, any of them will suck you (and your wallet) dry and turn you into a zombie.
I made the same choices as most of the people on this mb (mis-fortune babies excluded) and the same choices as my friends who are still in the org. The people here had the good fortune (non-cult-speak) to open their eyes up wide enough to start seeing through the cracks and be enraged by what they saw. A year ago, if I would've read some of the postings here I would've been horrified; if any of you had sat down with me and told me some of the home-truths I've learned in the past months, I wouldn't have believed you. I would have felt sorry for your delusions, I would've defended the practice and senseless at the top of my lungs. I would have chanted for you. I know that to be true, so I can't do anything but feel very sad for the people who are still buying all the shit; if I have contempt for them, then I have to have contempt for myself, since I believed just as strongly as they still do. I don't have contempt for them or for me.
And I really think that as long as something (or someone) has the ability to make us angry, sad or ashamed, then we do still have a connection with them. "Connection" doesn't necessarily imply positive feelings; I believe that it's only when something doesn't matter to you any more that it loses its power and that connection is broken. I don't know if I want to break it; I want to be able to help others see that they don't have to be slaves any more, and if I stop being pissed, then I won't be able to.
I agree that SGI I has done some much more skeevy crap than a lot of religious (or quasi-religious) groups; personally, I'm just grateful that when one or two things hit my wall, they stuck and I was forced to examine them. Once I looked at them, I looked for more, and the whole thing fell apart like a house of cards for me.
So let me see if I understand here. Someone got a butsudan that happened to have an old gohonzon in it that some stranger apparently got at some point and then got rid of. For free. It apparently had no more value to its original owner than garbage. And now this new owner-by-default is determined to return that mass-produced xeroxed gohonzon to the NSA priests. Of course, the expectation no doubt is that the priests will be grateful to this person they don't know who has gone to the trouble to return what is presumably a "sacred object" in their belief system as the laypeople understand it. "Wasn't that *nice* of that person? That was a really *nice* person, wasn't s/he??" Surely this will impress the priests! This seems like a guaranteed way to get some priesty face time with those luscious priests. mmmmm...priests. Oops - that sounds pathological, doesn't it? Even without the "It's all about MEEEEEE!!!" angle.
I don't care if anybody ever knows who returned it, or why I returned it. I expect NOTHING in return; not recognition, not so much as an afterthought. As i told MEH, I do in my life, what I feel is the right thing to do - period. I could care less what other people think of me or my motives. I am secure in myself. I came here and asked a simple question. Nothing more, nothing less. I'd appreciate a little less judging of my motives or lack thereof. IMHO, you are beginning to sound like a judgmental, damning, and accusatory SGI leader.
Actually, she held on to it for over 20 years even though she no longer practiced. She chose not to throw it in the trash. Hence, value placed.
So the moral of the story is: Do whatever you feel comfortable doing. Understand that, once you've expressed your intention to resign from a religious organization, its rules-regulations-beliefs no longer apply to you. You can resign unilaterally, i.e. without their permission, and they cannot require you to do *ANYTHING* as a condition of your resigning. They HAVE TO accept your resignation - that is the law.
I am not resigning from anything. Even when I was in NSA, there was no need for "resignation," as I was not an employee.
I think it would be hilarious if someone bent over backwards to return a gohonzon to a temple, only to see the priest who it had been given to toss it right into the trash.
I'm glad you got a good laugh. It sounds like you need it. What they do with it is their business, not mine. [/quote
There's the freedom of deciding EVERYTHING for yourself. Instead of obeying what someone told you about what you're allowed to feel, and when, and about what, and how if you go against this, well, you're inferior or underdeveloped or stunted or whatever - that's all manipulative control-freaky bullshit. This is the place they never want you to reach. They don't want you to even realize it exists.Quote
I am still sorting out my own non SGI related stuff. What Taiten wrote is (to me) a reminder of how interesting it is that so very many exploitative groups (and persons) try to estrange us from our own capacity for anger.
Get rid of anger or turn it inward, against the part of yourself the group tells you is negative, or turn it against those in the group who are its scapegoats, or those who are designated enemies.
so very many exploitative groups (and persons) try to estrange us from our own capacity for anger.
One of the dangers of written communication is it's somewhat two-dimensional; it lacks vocal intonation, nuances, facial expressions and body language. That being said, I agree in part with sporatica - I don't think it's always the best thing to assume that our interpretations of someone else's motives are correct. I don't feel any desire for recognition, approval or anything else as a result of returning my gohonzon. I don't want it in my life or my apartment; it is of no value to me. On the other hand, it is of value to people that I care about - out of respect for them, I feel that destroying it or angrily throwing it in the garbage would be childish. One is a piece of paper with dowels, the other is a teeny piece of paper in a plastic case.
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I'd received a long, impassioned letter from a member whose friendship I had kind of been counting on - probably one of the nastiest letters I've ever received. What infuriated me was that she had completely sgi'd my motives for leaving. I was ungrateful. I was short-sighted. I was close-minded. I left because the leaders wouldn't let me have my own way. I was seeking attention. I was being manipulated by sansho shima. I deeply resented that, since it implied that if I was in my right mind I would never consider doing such a thing and that she understood my decision better than I.
It is presumptuous to impute your own opinions on why someone does something; I can't think of anyone who knows me well enough to second-guess my motives behind returning my gohonzons. I think it's important that people see a gohonzon being returned. Maybe one person will be inspired to examine what they're doing with their life and decide to walk away from the organization too. Maybe I am exaggerating that importance in my mind . . . don't know, don't really care. If there's the remotest chance that it might make a positive difference for one person, then I've done a good thing. I just don't like having my actions misconstrued or judged to conform to someone else's idea of right or wrong.
I doubt if there was any deliberate effort to belittle, shame, sneer at, condescend to or censor anyone. We have to remember, though, if we don't want that from others, then we should avoid addressing others in that way. If we are going to demand respect from others, we need to treat others respectfully - otherwise we ourselves open the door to being treated or spoken to in a way that might be offensive to us.
However we've left the practice (or decided to stay with, for that matter) is the way that's best for us. It may not be right for me, it may not be right for you . . . what matters is that it's right for the person doing the deciding. There is no one "right" way to do this, just as there's no one "right" way to practice Buddhism or anything else.