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buddhist economics

buddhist economics
images of two forms of economics- from internet

‘…it was not new in itself, but when applied to the actual practice, it made the capitalist theory of economics look like the children’s game of monopoly, where, unless one saw oneself as separate from one's playmates, one cannot play the game in which the aim is to grab everything from the other players. he actually used this game as an example of “the learnt distancing from the others in a make believe way. it is make believe, because, in the monopoly game all money, all shares and real estate properties are make believe. at the end of the game everything is put back neatly into the box, and all boys ( it is usually the boys' game, girls like to play games in which there is more sharing and caring ) think of something else.’' '
—a zen perspective of capitalist economics, from ‘sleepwalker’

what seems to be an innocent game, is not innocent at all. it is a part of the very concept of the modern education. one does not go to school just to learn, know about things. there is also the teacher's side. not the classroom teacher, he is just the salaried hireling who is already gradually being replaced by the interactive mediums of information, like computer's internet and google. it is the content, the why of the information. it is all a finely woven pattern of the imperial economics.

so it does not matter what school you go to, what subject you identify with, whether it is called the business management or the fine art of singing or ballet dancing, you are not doing anything different from the game of monopoly. you are striving to monopolize the game, score more points than any other in the class. win. get scholarship, a high paying position. actually, the purpose of education is twofold, first to get a good job or do anything that keeps the economy rolling, and then to party-talk, listen to or give speeches; read books if not writing. that is why the educated parents send their children to school. the children of the uneducated or least educated menial workers learn to follow their parents as does a foal follow its mother going in circles guided by the whip in a corral, and unawares learning to be a service creature.

what is very deliberately ignored is the employer factor: the printer of money, the banker, the businessman, the system. what’s in education for them?

it's all a multi-ringed circus for their amusement. in it there are the star performers, the daredevil trapeze acts and jesters. there are the animals to show off the trainer's skills in making them behave unnaturally. and there is a big support staff, the menial workers. the schools are made to sort out who is fit to do what. it is not at all the survival of the fittest, as darwin, as the part of the establishment led the educated to believe. for, for even in the concept of the pecking order, the most pecked creature must survive or else the domino of the pecking order would crumble killing all including the big pecker.

a creature in the wild does not pick berries from the same branch, in the same manner, twice, or make a kill exactly as the last time, nor does the mother of pearl oyster make the second pearl in the same shape, size and lustre as before. but the high wire performers, and the swallowers of fire only repeat what they have learned to do, very much the same as does an assembly line worker in detroit go through the same mechanical motion for which the machines are not yet invented; or an office worker fills in the blanks in the printed form; a ballerina tiptoes, a blues singer cries his or her heart out night after night, all in front of the paying audience. a familiar face is a friend, a familiar food is a favorite dish, a familiar sound is music, a familiar place is home or holiday resort; a familiar activity is profession, a familiar thought is philosophy or religion or political ideology. and all of these are made familiar to us through the repetition. schooling begins with the abc, abc, and the advertising industry takes over from there.

economy is a “coined” ( even this word smells money ) word: eco > house + nomy > management:- the management of the house. fine, the house needs management. but do the managers live in the same house or not? obviously not. though they are living in the same house, they are enwrapped in a bubble, like ones they use in hospitals to separate patient from others. and within this private enclosure they play the monopoly game using the things and beings that exist outside of their bubble. it is this protective enclosure that keeps them from growing up, and makes them ignorant of even those acts of the grownups that permit their carefree lives of the perpetual retarded childhood.

people living together in the same house do not pay each other, nor do they compete. there is the mutuality of the understanding of the co-existence. there is neither the sense of the burden of obligation nor the idea of pride or shame.

this living in the same house, the sense of togetherness is not a business agreement, and therefore, there is not even one volume written or spoken by the buddha under the title: ‘the buddhist economics ’.

all writings on the subject of the buddhist or zen economics are done by the professionals who have earned their credentials from the schools of capitalist economics. writing and public speaking or just about everything else done as a profession is for the socioeconomic uplift in the capitalist world. in it there is nothing that comes for free. now even the buddhist monks teach and speak for a fee. though, ideally within the monastic compound they are loaded with the wisdom, like trees loaded with fruits in orchard, but which can be had only by paying a fee.

there is an old sanskrit saying: ‘one does not need to utter even the name of the place one is not going to’. certainly, having renounced the capitalist way of life of his father's palace buddha did not have any intention of wasting his and his listeners’ consciousness with it. his begging for food, too, was nothing but the rejection of the high living. nor does the english dictionary meaning of the word: compassion, which is connected with the suffering of the christ convey the perceptions of the buddha, for, the buddha gave up even the suffering he experienced while being mislead by the hindu seekers of the liberation. seeing what is requires clarity of perception, no moistening of eyes with the make believe suffering of the others who need real relief from the imposed suffering. feeling sorry for others does not eliminate others' suffering, unless it was but a make believe suffering, that actors project and enable the audience to shed tears.

so without uttering a word related to commerce, in buddhist management of the house, the economy, there is simply a living in awareness of the interdependent existence which is simply an experiential state of being. and it can be lived only off the stage. the english language can be confusing, especially when used by teachers, preachers, politicians and commerce people. say, for example the word: actor. it’s a noun form, denoting the person who is acting, doing something. and yet, the word actor is almost exclusively used to mean a stage actor. and then, in shakespearean terms people have been acting on the world stage. or in buddhist sense, it is a life lived in illusion. like the children in the middle of monopoly game; forgetting that it is robbing their best friends off their possessions. that is the effect of the game, that makes them unaware of their acts that are going to make them hurt people for real, and feel sorry for them in a make believe way; the way the rich pretend to empathize by donating the sums that they have accumulated in the first place by robbing others.

the management of the house includes many more aspects of living together, not just the expense account. it also includes raising the children by helping them see and understand things. unless a child is mentally retarded for real, it is only too eager to learn to act like a grownup. so at some point, the adults see it necessary to require the child to act properly and not excuse its misbehavior. one of the early lessons in the child rearing is the awakening the sense of something being enough: of eating, sleeping, playing and having toys. it seems, some grownups had overlooked this aspect of the house management which had inadvertently retarded the growth of some children, and as a consequence, even in physical adulthood they kept requiring others to do their household chores, while they only sought perpetual play.

the root words in japanese and chinese languages are called radicals. in sanskrit they are called ‘dhatu’, the elements. by reaching out to the essential form of a word, knowing the root, the element one would know the meanings of words formed from the source, thus the cause of the socioeconomic inequality between those who have and have not are found in the communication gap between the rich and the poor. gandhi had observed that ‘it is not in the interests of the rich to cooperate with the poor; it is in the interests of the poor not to cooperate with the rich.’ the chinese cultural revolution and the cambodian pol pot's practice meant just that, except in a violent way. in fact, all forms of violence require tools that have monitory value, and ultimately it enriches the rich. the radical form of noncooperation is very simple. it begins with questioning one’s very own living, and seeing what things, thoughts and acts that one can discard and yet live rather feeling light and free. in an urban surrounding, which is rife with the consumer goods, one may make significant impact by not buying things, big and small, that are made for an actorly living on the stage.

see what it feels like to live off the stage.


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