My own feelings are that the "functions" of religion will merely "evolve" and adapt to fit the times. As long as people prefer its anxiolytic effects (thru superstition / ritual) and depend on it to derive meaning / purpose to their lives, I don't see "religion" ever going away.
On that note: More of the chameleon cult org's evolution in America
The "gospel" version of $GI [www.youtube.com
]."I see a SHINGING STAR, I know it's not so far. It seems far away, but it shines here, today, in our lives. The joy we feel inside, The Hope, Courage, & Pride*, will forever be, with me." Chorus: "What a wonderful life, joyous life!"*Cult-speak-slogan.
Shining star = Ikeda, no doubt.
Btw, came across this gobbledygook and just had to share it:
SGI-USA Men’s Division Monthly Suggested Study Material for July 2013
In 2013, the Men’s Division is studying “The New Human Revolution, Volume 24” In July, we are studying the third chapter:“Humanistic Education.” The excerpts below are provided .....
The power of the Gohonzon may not be fully apparent overnight, but if you strive earnestly in your Buddhist faith and practice for 10 or 20 years, you will achieve clear and indisputable results. June 15 th ,2012 WT pg. B
i.e., give it lots of time, in order to cultivate your cognitive confirmation bias tendencies (It was supposed to be much more powerful, when I was in. I guess its magical powers have diminished with time.)
I know that sometimes we just complain without really thinking about it, but the frightening thing about complaining is that every time you do, a dark cloud descends over your heart, the sun that should illuminate your spirit is obscured, and your inner hope, appreciation and joy gradually wane. As Nichirenwrites, ‘Misfortune comes from one’s mouth and ruins one’ (The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, vol. 1,p. 1137). June 15 th , 2012 WT pg. C
i.e., be a sheep
Those who always take the initiative, in contrast, are much more vigorous. They inspire everyone they meet, make them feel like participating, and dispel feelings of stalemate or stagnation. June 15 th , 2012 WTpg. C
i.e., the "power of positive thinking", nothing more
The beginning of the challenge of human revolution starts with identifying the ‘one evil’ in your own life, deciding to eliminate it earnestly chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo and challenging yourself to succeed. June 15 th , 2012 WT pg. D
i.e., embrace superstition, ritual, and ignorance (especially The Dear Leader's version of hijacked pseudo-buddhism)
Fresh advancement is only possible when youth are able to freely exercise their full potential. June 29 th ,2012 WT pg. F
i.e., complete gibberish that can mean anything
you want or need it to (to manipulate others, in beliefs, actions, and behaviors)
If you plant the seeds of Buddhism, eventually they will bear fruit. That’s why it’s important to speak about Buddhism to others, even if they don’t show an interest at the time. As the great teacher Miao-Lo(711-782) says, hearing the Law is the “seed,” while arousing faith is the “sprouting of the seed.” June 29 th , 2012 WT pg. H
i.e., shakubuku, shakubuku, shakubuku, always shakubuku (proselytise!) (It's how the cult org. sustains itself.)
Faith in the youth is faith in the future, and fostering the youth is fostering the future – this is why Shin’ichi wholeheartedly devoted himself to believing in and supporting the youth. August 10, 2012 WTpg. C
i.e., love-bomb the "YOUTH!", this is the group the cult org. depends on most for its long-term survival and growth
In the end, what counts are perseverance, determination, guts and courage. These are the keys to success, not just in education but in every endeavor. August 10, 2012 WT pg. D
i.e., common sense, just tweaked to fit the cult org. mind-set. Gives the appearance of being deep, but is really superficial in depth and reality. Shallow, vanilla-flavored, plain, standard cliche slogans.
Suggested Questions for Discussion:
1. What can we do to “plant the seeds of Buddhism” and introduce the young people around us?
2. What can we do to ensure that “youth are able to freely exercise their full potential”?
3. How can we “dispel feelings of stalemate or stagnation” in ourselves and those around us?
i.e., use the above 3 talking points at "official" cult org. indoctrination meetings:
1. Shakubuku, convert, get more cult members
2. Cultivate the younger culties, so that they can move into your position and do the same for another generation; endlessly repeat this cycle for cult org. sustainment
3. Don't think for yourself, go to your "leaders" to be told what to think, what to do, how to act, and above all, spread this theme to all other cult members.
That's all just some of my take on it all.