Saturday, August 12, 2006

Kompas: Sulak Sivaraksa on development and buddhism with a 'b'

Last week, Kompas featured an inspiring interview with Sulak Sivaraksa, a complete individual, playing various roles simultaneously. Or as Kompas puts it: a "philosopher, spiritualist, activist, social critique, and intellectual rebel, holding firmly to the Buddhist non-violence ethics," who has for many years become a "professional" pain for the Thai government.

Here are some quotes from the interview (my own translation):
As long as development is measured by material success, greed will continue to create tension, conflict, and humans will keep fighting for profit by hurting each other.

"We are pressured to satisfy our wants by buying, buying, owning, owning, and owning more. 'To own' becomes more important than 'to be'. Consumptivism has exploited the mind and body of the young generation."

The modern education system within capitalism produces cleverness without wisdom. "The values of education no longer love goodness, but competition." And in competition, people don't only face each other, but also nature.

"We should practice buddhism with the letter 'b', love life, peace, and reject violence."
And this is my favorite one, put at the end of the article:
"Life is fun, you know..."
I hear you, Acharn (teacher) Sulak.

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