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Alright. Let's take a step back and look at the progression of ideas, cause it looks like there was a misunderstanding.

I had said belief in inferiority on one (or more) traits does not equate to belief or justification in slavery. Chordal you went on to mention that I was probably unaware of the history and existence of racism within America. I pointed out I have based my career(s) and education on social equity and justice and I'm quite aware of the history and institution of racism in the Western spheres. You then proceeded to almost "attack" the fact that I do not have the lived experience of being a mixed race transperson in America, which I still can't see how you read that in my response, but it was in no ways my intent to lay claim to any lived experience other than my own. I see where the break happens, just not the why.

Chordal Wrote:I have never been exposed to temple debates, and I don't know what "clapping and pointing" would infer.

As Buddhism is a practice of logic rather than faith, temple debates are just that. After classes monks gather together in small groups and one person takes the centre, and they discuss what they learnt. Then someone might say something like "Well I don't believe women are spiritually inferior/equal/superior to men" and the person in the centre would clap and point (often at them) and they'd have to justify it. Then when they make a point, the person may clap and point at someone else who is to either support or argue that idea. This (like high school debates) is irrelevant often to the belief of the person in the centre or in the circle, it is merely a way of exercising logic. There is no personal or emotional involvement, just trying to see if the group can establish a logical conclusion.

Chordal Wrote:"Negative karma" from "past lives" which is seen to be the cause of suffering which was unprovoked in this life appears to me to be a cop-out to cover up what Buddhism is too narrow to understand in and of itself, and a reification of an oppressive status quo. Karma from past lives which is not valued one way or another, I can see influencing rebirth, but not "luck" in subsequent lives.

This would be another clap and point moment. It's not that you're right or wrong, but a matter of why? Why would you rather believe that an extensive religious tradition is covering up its narrow understanding, rather than possessing an understanding that you don't currently have?

For one, negative karma doesn't exist (okay that's an argument I have with my lamas, but I'm stuck in old books)

Just for example your notion of "luck." According to the paradigm I ended up in this body and family due to my karma. There are many things that happened to me since that seem unrelated to that. Spending much of my teen life in the hospital, parents divorcing, drowning at a young age, having two of my best friends murdered, etc etc. You can understand those as "luck" but as karma they are arguably just as rooted in my birth as anything else. I inherited a flawed genetic pattern I had to overcome (or die from), though it was 19 years later my parents are operating in a near Newtonian system so were bound to fall out of love, being born into a poor family that would live in an apartment complex with a pool and poor supervision sets the stage to drown, being born into a poor family living in a residential neighbourhood of many Tamil refugees still involved in race battles leading to the murder of my friends, etc. It's all a connected system (in the theory) so it's less luck, and more, putting you in the situation that these things happen.

Miniar Wrote:I do not agree that racism and sexism and heterosexism and cissexism are all separated and different.
All the hate and "isms" are interconnected. Study on history, sociology and psychology shows how they are interconnected.

They're really not separate. Try fighting racism without fighting sexism, you can't do it. Try fighting ablism without fighting homophobia, you can't do it.

Chordal Wrote:I think I may know more about Ges in this instance than yourself. I've seen images of Ges. I am not assuming Ges's gender identity. However, it was not my intent to "out" hir (I use that pronoun to the effect that it's gender-neutral, not to the effect that I assume Ges is genderqueer or not).

Hehe. Considering Miniar abducted and is married to one of my closest friends, and having a history together I'd say Miniar definitely knows more about me, in probably every instance compared to almost anyone on this board.

Quote:2) Ges's reproduction of a paternalistic framework in which I was the (minority, female) person who was the student in all ways and sie (apparently white, male) was the leader in all ways, despite the fact that sie may not know what sie's saying, its social context, or how it would affect the listener, in this instance.
3) My knowledge that Ges likely does not have direct experience of either racism or sexism stemming from this incarnation, hence likely did not understand my metaphor, and instead of admitting this and asking for clarification, claimed that I was using faulty logic (because hir understanding of race and racism was not equivalent to mine).
4) My being called on to defend myself as to why the suffering of all female bodied people (and by extension, myself) was not in reality their own (and my own) fault.
5) Ges's apparently not seeing or caring that the assumption that -- all the bullshit I had to live through, as a result of being female, was a result, in fact of my spiritual inferiority (as compared to hir) -- was a harmful and oppressive and paternalistic and ignorant one, not a neutral one.
6) The easiest resort, which is in fact to claim the spiritual superiority of females to males, just reinforces a sexual binary and myths about sex, and is no better than males claiming spiritual superiority to females.
7) The fact that it seemed that to continue to be taken seriously, I'd have to restrain the huge amounts of anger at this situation that I felt, or otherwise reinforce the, "yeah, females have less merit," conclusion that I'm certain countless women have had to go through at the hands of a male-dominated clergy. This is not an unknown social dynamic.

As said, in the initial post, and this one, it's not what I believe (nor is it the over prevalent belief in most temples anymore) it is merely a question of, if you think it's wrong, can you give a reason? This is standard for anything really. The intent was not to target or trigger, the intent is to foster thought. There are various things in the tradition and texts I agree and disagree, but that does not make it so, and that doesn't matter, what matters is an ability to give reasons. I've discarded most of the notions of caste/hierarchical birth outside of the extant conditions of them, but unless I can defend them, it's just a matter of "this seems right/wrong" with neither validates nor invalidates the truth, just the discussion. You say defend, I code it as explain. Unfortunately I didn't see you'd code it in that way or that it would have led to this issue, for which I'm remorseful for.

To me, as a person, and someone within the system, I do not draw lines in such questions between what is personal, and hypothetical. To me there was no difference to wondering what your reasoning for sexual karmic equality was, than wondering why you believe you may have taken a Bodhisattva vow, or why you disbelieve in past life karma as a continuous effect in the present life. Detached, all things are equal. It has nothing to do with my belief/disbelief/knowledge/ignorance on any of the questions, it is just a matter of see if there is foundation to the thought, not just the thought.

Quote:I would hope Ges knows from my prior interactions here, that I am easily pissed as regards sexual inequality. However, that doesn't excuse my going off on hir, and I do feel bad about it, so I'd like to officially apologize for that.

Actually as I rarely do anything on these boards without someone messaging me with a "Hey you should check out this topic" I'm largely unaware of what has gone on here in the past. So I was unaware of this being a trigger issue (as far as I remember), and accept your apology, and admit with regret to the part I played in the misunderstanding and triggering.

(Edited)

Actually to prove my last point. I wouldn't have even been on the board if someone hadn't poked me that you blew up in my general direction.
I'm going to respond to this in a limited manner, as there are some things I can easily explain (on my own terms) and some I'd rather not...

Gesigewigus Wrote:I had said belief in inferiority on one (or more) traits does not equate to belief or justification in slavery. Chordal you went on to mention that I was probably unaware of the history and existence of racism within America. I pointed out I have based my career(s) and education on social equity and justice and I'm quite aware of the history and institution of racism in the Western spheres. You then proceeded to almost "attack" the fact that I do not have the lived experience of being a mixed race transperson in America, which I still can't see how you read that in my response, but it was in no ways my intent to lay claim to any lived experience other than my own. I see where the break happens, just not the why.
Something that I found as I was growing up -- understandings are based on experiences. Language is based on shared meanings; shared meanings are based on shared ideas; shared ideas are based on shared understanding, shared understanding is based on shared experience. This is also a sensitive topic for me, so I'll be brief: Without having lived my life, I doubt that you can fully understand the meaning of everything I say. In effect, without being me, you are existentially not me and will never fully understand me. The best anyone who is not me, and not in spiritual contact with me, can come to understanding me, comes to a limited understanding.

Thus, when I say something that you don't understand, it isn't appropriate -- at least in my case -- to tell me that I'm not making sense (in a generalized sense, to everyone and not just you). It's appropriate to ask what I meant by what I said.

I choose not to believe that females are spiritually inferior to males because this understanding alleviates suffering. Not because I believe it is ultimate truth or not. I do not believe ultimate truth can be found from within incarnation, even through logic.

Gesigewigus Wrote:Actually as I rarely do anything on these boards without someone messaging me with a "Hey you should check out this topic" I'm largely unaware of what has gone on here in the past. So I was unaware of this being a trigger issue (as far as I remember), and accept your apology, and admit with regret to the part I played in the misunderstanding and triggering.
I accept your apology as well, and I will say that I'm no longer interested in pursuing this line of discussion. The answer to your question about dividing plants and what happens to the plant's soul (if a plant has a soul) is logged under "Universal Spirit" in this forum; here is a link, and I will be updating it shortly.

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