Sunday, February 2, 2020

Football: A History of Cartoon Violence

Eds., Wisdom Quarterly; Savage Brick Sports; The Simpsons (The Itchy & Scratchy Show); Coyote & Road Runner; Rocky & Bullwinkle; Acharya Buddharakkhita (Dhammapada); Andrew Olendzki (sutra)
National Football League (NFL) Dirty plays and big knockouts (brutal violence as American sport)

Violence is funny (in cartoons)
Acharya Buddharakkhita (trans.) via edited by Dhr. Seven, Pfc. Sandoval, Seth Auberon, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly (Dhammapada X, 129-145, Dandavagga: Section on Violence)

129. All tremble at violence; all fear [being killed]. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.

130. All tremble at violence; life is dear to all. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill.

131. One who, while himself seeking happiness, oppresses with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will not attain happiness hereafter.

132. One who, while himself seeking happiness, does not oppress with violence other beings who also desire happiness, will find happiness hereafter.

133. Speak not harshly to anyone, for those thus spoken to might retort. Indeed, angry speech hurts, and retaliation may overtake you.

134. If, like a broken gong, you silence yourself, you have approached nirvana, for vindictiveness is no longer in you.

135. Just as a cowherd drives the cattle to pasture with a staff, so do old age and death drive the life force of beings (from rebirth to rebirth).

136. When the fool commits harmful deeds, the fool does not realize (their harmful nature). The witless person is tormented by one's own deeds, like one burned by fire.

137. One who inflicts violence on those who are unarmed, and offends those who are inoffensive, will soon come upon one of these ten states:

138-140 Sharp pain, or disaster, bodily injury, serious illness, or derangement of mind, trouble from the government, or grave charges, loss of relatives, or loss of wealth, or houses destroyed by ravaging fire; upon dissolution of the body that ignorant person is reborn in hell.

141. Neither going about naked, nor matted locks, nor filth, nor fasting, nor lying on the ground, nor smearing oneself with ashes and dust, nor sitting on the heels (as penance) can purify a mortal who has not overcome doubt.

142. Even though one is well-attired, yet if one is poised, calm, controlled, and established in the pure life, having set aside violence towards all beings — that person, truly, is a holy person, a renunciate, a monastic (wandering ascetic).

143. Only rarely is there a person in this world who, restrained by modesty, avoids reproach, as a thoroughbred horse avoids the whip.

144. Like a thoroughbred horse touched by the whip, be strenuous, be filled with spiritual yearning. By confidence and virtuous purity, by effort and meditation, by keen investigation of the truth, by being rich in knowledge and virtue, and by being mindful, destroy this unlimited suffering.

145. Irrigators regulate the waters, fletchers straighten arrow shafts, carpenters shape wood, and the good control themselves. More

SUTRA: "Arming Oneself"
Andrew Olendzki, Attadanda Sutra (Sn 4.15, excerpt) edited by Wisdom Quarterly

...Fear is born from arming oneself.
Just see how many people fight!
I will tell about a dreadful fear
that caused me to shake all over:

Seeing creatures flopping around,
Like fish in water too shallow,
So hostile to one another!
— Seeing this, I became afraid.

This world completely lacks essence;
It trembles in all directions.
I longed to find myself a place
Unscathed — but I could not see it.

Seeing people locked in conflict,
I became completely distraught.
But then I discerned here a thorn —
Hard to see — lodged deep in the heart.

It's only when pierced by this thorn
That one runs in all directions.
So if that thorn is taken out —
one does not run but settles down....

Who here has crossed over desires,
the world's bond, so hard to get past,
one does not grieve, one does not mourn.
One's stream is cut, one will be nirvanered.

What went before — let go of that!
All that's to come — have none of it!
Don't hold on to what's in between,
And you'll wander fully at peace.

For whom there is no "I-making"
All throughout the body and mind,
And who grieves not for what is not
Is undefeated in all the world.

For whom there is no "this is mine"
Nor anything like "that is theirs"
Not even finding "self-ness," one
Does not grieve at "I have nothing."...

Buddhist translator Andrew Olendzki: Back to the Beginning (Sarah Schorr/
TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: There is something particularly moving about this poem, perhaps because it is composed by the Buddha in the first person and appears to reveal the process through he himself came to understanding. Perhaps it is because of the vulnerability expressed in the opening stanzas, where he admits his fear and sense of dread over the nature of the human condition. Or maybe it is just the utter simplicity of the:
  • problem (people hurting each other)
  • cause (basic human selfishness, driven by craving)
  • solution (letting go of egotistical attachments).
How easy the Buddha can so often make it all sound! More

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