D.T. Suzuki and WWII: Nuremberg Zen +^

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Disbasing Zen Stories

Oct 4, 2021, 4:57:59 AMOct 4

Toxic Zen Story #13: Nuremberg Zen: Zen-War Priest D.T. Suzuki, and his Apologies After the War.

| 'The sword is generally associated with
| killing, and most of us wonder how it can come
| into connection with Zen, which is a school of
| Buddhism teaching the gospel of love and mercy.
| The fact is that the art of swordsmanship
| distinguishes between the sword that kills and
| the sword that gives life. The one that is used
| by a technician cannot go any further than
| killing, for he never appeals to the sword unless
| he intends to kill. The case is altogether
| different with the one who is compelled to lift
| the sword. For it is really not he but the sword
| itself that does the killing. He had no desire to
| do harm to anybody, but the enemy appears and
| makes himself a victim. It is as though the sword
| performs automatically its function of justice,
| which is the function of mercy... When the sword
| is expected to play this sort of role in human
| life, it is no more a weapon of self-defense or
| an instrument of killing, and the swordsman turns
| into an artist of the first grade, engaged in
| producing a work of genuine originality.' - D.T.
| Suzuki

____ Background for Toxic Zen Stories ____________________


____ Introduction ________________________________________

Dogen (1200-1253): The founder of the Japanese Soto school of Zen.
Dogen would quote the Lotus Sutra, but did not consider it any differently from other sutras of the Buddha, this in spite of the Buddha's own admonition to consider it higher than the previous (Sutra of Immeasurable Meanings and before) and following sutras (Nirvana Sutra and later). Hence, only provisional truth and partial enlightenment could be had from it by him. The kind of enlightenment that leads to compassionless domination of others ... as mere, empty extensions of one's own Solipsistic body.

Dogen was popular with the government, because his teachings removed the compassion from Samurai and Daimyo, rendering them fierce and merciless warriors, who would shun no tactic to win, no matter how vile.

____ Toxic Zen Story ______________________________

Fresh on the heels of the Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War the year before, in 1906 D.T. Suzuki wrote an article "The Zen Sect of Buddhism", where he claimed credit for Zen, for Bushido's military prowess in the field:

| 'The Lebensanschauung of Bushido is no more
| nor less than that of Zen. The calmness and even
| joyfulness of heart at the moment of death which
| is conspicuously observable in the Japanese, the
| intrepidity which is generally shown by the
| Japanese soldiers in the face of an overwhelming
| enemy; and the fairness of play to an opponent,
| so strongly taught by Bushido -- all these come
| from the spirit of the Zen training, and not from
| any such blind, fatalistic conception as is
| sometimes thought to be a trait peculiar to
| Orientals.'

As usual, no one shuns association with victory. Later, in the midst of the Chinese campaign, Suzuki describes the connection between Zen and Bushido in "Zen Buddhism and Its Influence on Japanese Culture" (1938):

| 'Zen discipline is simple, direct, self-
| reliant, self-denying; its ascetic tendency goes
| well with the fighting spirit. The fighter is to
| be always single-minded with one object in view,
| to fight, looking neither backward nor sideways.
| To go straight forward in order to crush the
| enemy is all that is necessary for him.'
| 'Zen has no special doctrine or philosophy, no
| set of concepts or intellectual formulas, except
| that it tries to release one from the bondage of
| birth and death, by means of certain intuitive
| modes of understanding peculiar to itself It is,
| therefore, extremely flexible in adapting itself
| to almost any philosophy and moral doctrine as
| long as its intuitive teaching is not interfered
| with. It may be found wedded to anarchism or
| fascism, communism or democracy, atheism or
| idealism, or any political or economic dogmatism.
| It is, however, generally animated with a certain
| revolutionary spirit, and when things come to a
| deadlock-as they do when we are overloaded with
| conventionalism, formalism, and other cognate
| isms - Zen asserts itself and proves to be a
| destructive force.'

They clearly found that to be true in Nanking. Particularly in regards to the beheading practice and bayonet practice against unarmed and bound civilian prisoners, with Zen chaplains giving coaching on the proper attitude and technique. Presumably based upon some of Suzuki's work. This is documented in the tourist photos taken by soldiers which are preserved in the photo volume "The Rape of Nanking : an undeniable history in photographs" by James Yin and Shi Young.

Again from Suzuki in the same essay:

| 'There is a document that was very much talked
| about in connection with the Japanese military
| operations in China in the 1930s. It is known as
| the Hagakure, which literally means "Hidden under
| the Leaves," for it is one of the virtues of the
| samurai not to display himself, not to blow his
| horn, but to keep himself away from the public
| eye and be doing good for his fellow beings. To
| the compilation of this book, which consists of
| various notes, anecdotes, moral sayings, etc., a
| Zen monk had his part to contribute. The work
| started in the middle part of the seventeenth
| century under Nabeshima Naoshige, the feudal lord
| of Saga in the island of Kyushu.. The book
| emphasizes very much the samurai's readiness to
| give his life away at any moment, for it states
| that no great work has ever been accomplished
| without going mad-that is, when expressed in
| modern terms, without breaking through the
| ordinary level of consciousness and letting loose
| the hidden powers lying further below. These
| powers may be devilish sometimes, but there is no
| doubt that they are superhuman and work wonders.
| When the unconscious is tapped, it rises above
| individual limitations. Death now loses its sting
| altogether, and this is where the samurai
| training joins hands with Zen.'

Actually, the devilish function of Zen is ever-present (the Mind of Bodhidharma), but only at critical points is its devilish nature fully manifested.

| 'The problem of death is a great problem with
| every one of us; it is, however, more pressing
| for the samurai, for the soldier, whose life is
| exclusively devoted to fighting, and fighting
| means death to fighters of either side.... It was
| therefore natural for every sober-minded samurai
| to approach Zen with the idea of mastering
| death.'
| 'The spirit of the samurai deeply breathing
| Zen into itself propagated its philosophy even
| among the masses. The latter, even when they are
| not particularly trained in the way of the
| warrior, have imbibed his spirit and are ready to
| sacrifice their lives for any cause they think
| worthy. This has repeatedly been proved in the
| wars Japan has so far had to go through.'
| 'The sword has thus a double office to
| perform: to destroy anything that opposes the
| will of its owner and to sacrifice all the
| impulses that arise from the instinct of self-
| preservation. The one relates itself to the
| spirit of patriotism or sometimes militarism,
| while the other has a religious connotation of
| loyalty and self-sacrifice. In the case of the
| former, very frequently the sword may mean
| destruction pure and simple, and then it is the
| symbol of force, sometimes devilish force. It
| must, therefore, be controlled and consecrated by
| the second function. Its conscientious owner is
| always mindful of this truth. For then
| destruction is turned against the evil spirit.
| The sword comes to be identified with the
| annihilation of things that lie in the way of
| peace, justice, progress, and humanity.'

What an incredibly deluded person Suzuki is. How can anyone listen to this person for more than five seconds without being disgusted?

| 'The purpose of maintaining soldiers and
| encouraging the military arts is not to conquer
| other countries or deprive them of their rights
| or freedom.... The construction of big warships
| and casting of giant cannon is not to trample on
| the wealth and profit of others for personal
| gain. Rather, it is done only to prevent the
| history of one's country from being disturbed by
| injustice and outrageousness. Conducting commerce
| and working to increase production is not for the
| purpose of building up material wealth in order
| to subdue other nations. Rather, it is done only
| in order to develop more and more human knowledge
| and bring about the perfection of morality.
| Therefore, if there is a lawless country which
| comes and obstructs our commerce, or tramples on
| our rights, this is something that would truly
| interrupt the progress of all humanity. In the
| name of religion our country could not submit to
| this. Thus, we would have no choice but to take
| up arms, not for the purpose of slaying the
| enemy, nor for the purpose of pillaging cities,
| let alone for the purpose of acquiring wealth.
| Instead, we would simply punish the people of the
| country representing injustice in order that
| justice might prevail.'

There we go, divine punishment was the purpose in Nanking and other places. Not raping, pillaging and senseless murder of non-combatants. That was just an enjoyable by-product.

The paucity of his position is evident in the copious souvenir pictures taken by the smiling soldiers clutching their tourist cameras in Nanking, which are preserved in the photo volume "The Rape of Nanking : an undeniable history in photographs" by James Yin and Shi Young. This is a hard book to look at, with many pictures of beheadings in action, and horribly murdered children and women. You can find it in many libraries.


| 'The sword is generally associated with
| killing, and most of us wonder how it can come
| into connection with Zen, which is a school of
| Buddhism teaching the gospel of love and mercy.
| The fact is that the art of swordsmanship
| distinguishes between the sword that kills and
| the sword that gives life. The one that is used
| by a technician cannot go any further than
| killing, for he never appeals to the sword unless
| he intends to kill. The case is altogether
| different with the one who is compelled to lift
| the sword. For it is really not he but the sword
| itself that does the killing. He had no desire to
| do harm to anybody, but the enemy appears and
| makes himself a victim. It is as though the sword
| performs automatically its function of justice,
| which is the function of mercy... When the sword
| is expected to play this sort of role in human
| life, it is no more a weapon of self-defense or
| an instrument of killing, and the swordsman turns
| into an artist of the first grade, engaged in
| producing a work of genuine originality.'

It wasn't me !!! The sword possessed me !!! It just went chop, and there was his head !!!

| 'Mushin (wu-hsin) or munen (wu-nien) is one of
| the most important ideas in Zen. It corresponds
| to the state of innocence enjoyed by the first
| inhabitants of the Garden of Eden, or even to the
| mind of God when he was about to utter his fiat,
| "Let there be light." Eno (Hui-neng), the sixth
| patriarch of Zen, emphasizes munen (or mushin) as
| the most essential element in the study of Zen.
| When it is attained, a man becomes a Zen-man, and
| ... also a perfect swordsman.'

Perfect and innocent. How convenient for him. How inconvenient for the victims of his "satori", his spiritual fulfillment at their expense. I'm sure they understand, they are just an excised wart on the Buddha's body that holds the sword, after all.

And in September 1941, at a Kyoto University lecture a few months before Pearl Harbor, a note of ... perhaps ... caution from Suzuki? ... Having spent a lot of time in Illinois corrupting America, working for the industrialist Edward Hegeler (Toxic Zen Story #14), he should know:

| 'Japan must evaluate more calmly and
| accurately the awesome reality of America's
| industrial productivity. Present-day wars will no
| longer be determined as in the past by military
| strategy and tactics, courage and fearlessness
| alone. This is because of the large role now
| played by production capacity and mechanical
| power.'

I guess being on the receiving end was not part of the Zen Bushido way. Time to go back to the monastery and be a forest-dwelling monk again. Where is that sand-garden, that meditation wall?


Seeing Japan's oncoming defeat, Suzuki begins to prepare his turnaround and apologism, (and to prepare for his postwar career).

IT WAS ALL SHINTO'S FAULT !!! And anyway, everyone went along with it, no one said this was wrong ....

Writing in Japanese Spirituality (Nihonteki Reisei), originally published in 1944, Suzuki ponders:

| 'It is strange how Buddhists neither
| penetrated the fundamental meaning of Buddhism
| nor included a global vision in their mission.
| Instead, they diligently practiced the art of
| self-preservation through their narrow-minded
| focus on "pacifying and preserving the state."
| Receiving the protection of the politically
| powerful figures of the day, Buddhism combined
| with the state, thinking that its ultimate goal
| was to subsist within this island nation of
| Japan.'
| 'As militarism became fashionable in recent
| years, Buddhism put itself in step with it,
| constantly endeavouring not to offend the
| powerful figures of the day. Out of this was born
| such things as totalitarianism, references to
| [Shinto] mythology, "imperial-way Buddhism," and
| so forth. As a result, Buddhists forgot to
| include either a global vision or concern for the
| masses within the duties they performed. In
| addition, they neglected to awake within the
| Japanese religious consciousness the
| philosophical and religious elements, and the
| spiritual awakening, that are an intrinsic part
| of Buddhism.'

I have noticed that not only Suzuki says that all Buddhists went along with the war. Other recent authors have also given the same repugnant lie.

The truth is, many Buddhists went to prison rather than go along with Imperial State Zen and Shintoist militarism. (Just not Zen Buddhists.) Many were broken in prison and were released.

Exactly two Buddhists, and only two, Soka Gakkai President Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and his follower Josei Toda went to prison and did not break. And they were not priests or monks, they were teachers. The Nichiren Shoshu priesthood that could have lent support to them abandoned them, as they did one of their own priests that was imprisoned. Priests and monks know how to survive the death of their conscience, and how to carefully abandon their fundamental beliefs and religious convictions, and step over the dead body of the Buddha.

Makiguchi died in prison near the end of the war and Toda was released after the first atomic bomb was dropped. They were arrested for, among other things, stating that the Emperor was not divine. And for holding hundreds of Buddhist meetings in defiance of restrictions on their activities.

This fact was ignored in a recent work on this subject by a Zen priest who stated that Buddhism went unanimously along with the state, and he had the intellectual dishonesty to bury Makiguchi and Toda's imprisonment and eternal defiance in a footnote in the back of the book. That one grave lie makes that work a travesty, and an injustice. And utterly unworthy of respect.

More from Suzuki's Japanese Spirituality:

| 'Although it may be said that Buddhism became
| "more Japanese" as a result of the above, the
| price was a retrogression in terms of Japanese
| spirituality itself. That is to say, the
| opportunity was lost to develop a world vision
| within Japanese spirituality that was
| sufficiently extensive or comprehensive.'

A lost opportunity was it? I would state categorically that the "world vision" of Japanese Imperial State Zen was more than "sufficiently extensive" and "comprehensive", as observed by a humanity suffering under the weight of it's "satori".

Just after the war, it's a whole new world of possibilities for Suzuki, who somehow escaped a richly deserved war crimes trial as one of the main spiritual guides for Japan's atrocities. Along with the other Zen patriarchs and monastery abbots who supplied cover for "Tojo's Willing Executioners".

In 1946, writing for the magazine Zengaku Kenkyu entitled "Renewal of the Zen World" (Zenkai Sashin), now Suzuki discovers that something is missing from the enlightenment of Zen ... maybe ... compassion?

| 'With satori alone, it is impossible [for Zen
| priests] to shoulder their responsibilities as
| leaders of society. Not only is it impossible,
| but it is conceited of them to imagine they could
| do so. ... In satori there is a world of satori.
| However, by itself satori is unable to judge the
| right and wrong of war. With regard to disputes
| in the ordinary world, it is necessary to employ
| intellectual discrimination.... Furthermore)
| satori by itself cannot determine whether
| something like communism's economic system is
| good or bad.'

Yeah !! And it's because of how Zen grew up, in a bad neighborhood, Zen just didn't have the right opportunities to grow and develop in an undistorted way ...

| 'In any event, today's Zen priests lack
| "intellectuality" (J. chisei) I wish to foster in
| Zen priests the power to increasingly think about
| things independently. A satori which lacks this
| element should be taken to the middle of the
| Pacific Ocean and sent straight to the bottom! If
| there are those who say this can't be done, those
| persons should confess and repent all of the
| ignorant and uncritical words they and others
| spoke during the war in their temples and other
| public places.'

Suzuki, like any faithful Zen adherent's, is effectively unrepentant when walking away from the holocaust he has orchestrated. He deftly accomplishes this by stating that no one spoke up to remind Japan that war and atrocities are a bad idea ... in the Spiritualizing of Japan (Nihon no Reiseika, 1947), he writes:

| 'This is not to say that we were blameless. We
| have to accept a great deal of blame and
| responsibility... Both before and after the
| Manchurian Incident all of us applauded what had
| transpired as representing the growth of the
| empire. I think there were none amongst us who
| opposed it. If some were opposed, I think they
| were extremely few in number. At that time
| everyone was saying we had to be aggressively
| imperialistic. They said Japan had to go out into
| the world both industrially and economically
| because the country was too small to provide a
| living for its people. There simply wasn't enough
| food; people would starve.'

This is an outright, ass-covering lie. He did eat, and people did oppose the evils perpetrated by Japan in the Pacific War.

And one person survived, unbroken, to prove that opposition to Imperial State Zen and Shinto was the correct way for followers of the Buddha's highest teaching, the Lotus Sutra. (Highest, as opposed to teachings that should clearly be discarded, according to the Buddha's own golden words.)

And now, finally, Suzuki digs his deepest hole, throws himself in and buries his integrity forever:

| 'I have heard that the Manchurian Incident was
| fabricated through various tricks. I think there
| were probably some people who had reservations
| about what was going on, but instead of saying
| anything they simply accepted it. To tell the
| truth, people like myself were just not very
| interested in such things.'

This is an unbelievable statement. How empty is the void in his heart, and his conscience.

| 'Through the great sacrifice of the Japanese
| people and nation, it can be said that the
| various peoples of the countries of the Orient
| had the opportunity to awaken both economically
| and politically... This was just the beginning,
| and I believe that after ten, twenty, or more
| years the various peoples of the Orient may well
| have formed independent countries and contributed
| to the improvement of the world's culture in
| tandem with the various peoples of Europe and
| America.'

So, all that bloodshed Suzuki supported was just 'grist for the mill' of progress. What an astonishing and utter injustice, that statement is in it's totality.

To wrap it all up in a horrific picture, in "An Auto-Biographical Account," included in the commemorative anthology "A Zen Life. D. T. Suzuki Remembered", he writes:

| 'The Pacific War was a ridiculous war for the
| Japanese to have initiated; it was probably
| completely without justification. Even so, seen
| in terms of the phases of history, it may have
| been inevitable. It is undeniable that while
| British interest in the East has existed for a
| long time, interest in the Orient on the part of
| Americans heightened as a consequence of their
| coming to Japan after the war, meeting the
| Japanese people, and coming into contact with
| various Japanese things.'

And I would say, with no other evidence necessary than his own wretched words, that if the toxic and distorted Zen views of D.T. Suzuki are one of the "Japanese things" that you come in contact with, that you will require a total purification of body and mind to keep that distortion in your life, from ruining your life.

____ Epilog _______________________________________

The Buddha's highest teachings were the purpose of the Buddha's advent on this earth.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to drain people's compassion with discussions of the emptiness and meaninglessness of life which is just a void.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to teach people to live in such a narrow and momentary way, that there would be no context for self-examination and conscience.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to possess people's minds with such illogic as to befuddle their ability to choose correctly between what is good and what is evil.

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to teach people how to commit atrocities and genocide, in the exploration of their "infinite possibilities", or "new states of being".

The Buddha did not appear on this earth to teach people how to maim and kill with their hands efficiently, quietly, loudly, with increased terror inflicted, or to maximize their subjugation to control the public sentiments for political ends.

These are all profoundly evil distortions of the Buddha's true teachings, which introduce infinities in the variables holding good and evil, removing all shades of gray in the propositional calculus of value.

Simply stated, the Buddha made his advent on this earth with the purpose of teaching the compassionate way of the bodhisattva, which is at the heart of the true entity of all phenomena, which is the eternal Buddha at one with the eternal Law. Which is how to navigate the sea of sufferings of birth, aging, sickness and death. He originally set out on his path, because of his observation of the sufferings of common people and wanting to understand the source of those sufferings (enlightened wisdom) and how to transform those sufferings into unshakable happiness (enlightened action).

When you embrace the void, your initial intent to bring tranquility and enlightenment to your life doesn't matter ... the result is always the same: chaos and misery, and utter ruination and emptiness to you, your family, and your country.

But things don't have to be that way ...

Nichiren Daishonin writes (Encouragement to a Sick Person, WND p. 78):

. "During the Former and Middle Days of the Law, the
. five impurities began to appear, and in the Latter
. Day, they are rampant. They give rise to the great
. waves of a gale, which not only beat against the
. shore, but strike each other. The impurity of
. thought has been such that, as the Former and
. Middle Days of the Law gradually passed, people
. transmitted insignificant erroneous teachings
. while destroying the unfathomable correct
. teaching. It therefore appears that more people
. have fallen into the evil paths because of errors
. with respect to Buddhism than because of secular
. misdeeds."

Because Bodhidharma discarded the Buddha's highest teaching (the Lotus Sutra), and due to his lazy nature turned to shortcuts to enlightenment, he came to the distorted view that life is acausal and empty, that the true entity is the void.

This erroneous view really comes from a misunderstanding of the Sutra of Immeasurable Meanings, where the True Entity is described by negation (the only way it can be): "... neither square, nor round, neither short, nor long, ..."

The description of the True Entity is logically voidal, but the True Entity itself is not. Bodhidharma was simply confused, due to the slander of negligence (laziness), and false confidence. The truth of life is that at the heart of the True Entity is the compassion of a bodhisattva for others.

Non-substantiality does not mean empty. Life has value. Humans are respectworthy. There is a purpose to everything. And every cause has an effect, so we are responsible for our thoughts, words and deeds. Zen is acausal. Zen is the greatest poison, which compares to the even greater medicine of the Lotus Sutra.

Suffice it to say: the purpose of Zen in the world is to corrupt and undermine everything that is not based upon the truth and the true teaching. All religions, disciplines, institutions and organizations which are undermined by Zen will eventually fall after glaring revelation of their worst defects, sooner rather than later.

If there is some good in your family, locality, society and culture, or country that you would like to retain, then cease the Zen, and begin to apply the medicine of the Lotus Sutra to heal the Zen wound in your life.

"Zen is the work of devilish minds." - Nichiren


. a prescription for the poisoned ones:
. The only antidote for the toxic effects of Zen in your life ...
. be that from Zen meditation, or the variant forms: physical
. Zen in the martial arts, Qigong, Acupuncture, Falun Gong,
. Copenhagen Convention of Quantum Mechanics, EST,
. Landmark Education, Nazism, Bushido, the Jesuits,
. Al Qaeda, or merely from having the distorted view that life
. is acausal, and that the true entity of all phenomena
. is the void ...
. with the effects of the loss of loved ones, detachment,
. isolation or various forms of emptiness in your life ...
. is the Lotus Sutra: chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo
. at least 3 times, twice a day, for the rest of your life,
. in at least a whisper ...
. and if you can, chant abundantly in a resonant voice !!!
. The full 28 Chapters of the Lotus Sutra,
. Nichiren Daishonin's Gosho volumes I and II,
. the Record of the Orally Transmitted Teachings
. (Gosho Zenshu, including the Ongi Kuden) and the
. SGI Dictionary of Buddhism are located at:
. To find an SGI Community Center:

LS Chap. 16 .....

All harbor thoughts of yearning
and in their minds thirst to gaze at me.
When living beings have become truly faithful,
honest and upright, gentle in intent,
single-mindedly desiring to see the Buddha
not hesitating even if it costs them their lives,
then I and the assembly of monks
appear together on Holy Eagle Peak.
At that time I tell the living beings
that I am always here, never entering extinction,
but that because of the power of an expedient means
at times I appear to be extinct, at other times not,
and that if there are living beings in other lands
who are reverent and sincere in their wish to believe,
then among them too
I will preach the unsurpassed Law.
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