Ch’an Master Caotang siad:
There is nothing special to leadership – essentially it is a matter of controlling the evils of biased information and autocracy. Do not just go by whatever is said to you first – then the obsequities of petty people seeking favour will not be able to confuse you.
After all, the feelings of a group of people are not one, and objective reason is hard to see. You should investigate something to see its benefit or harm, examine whether it is appropriate and suitable or not; then after that you may carry it out.
True Record of Sushan (Song Dynasty)
The Chinese Buddhist monastic community is referred to as a ‘Sangha’ (Sanskrit for ‘spiritual community’), whereby men and women form a voluntary association premised upon following a strict set of rules known as the ‘Vinaya Discipline’. Within this community, there is ‘equality’ between all members, with the leaders being those who have followed these rules for the longest times. This is because such people are thought to have more experience at adhering to the Vinaya Discipline (which includes celibacy and vegetarianism), and are therefore able to effectively advise all others through the difficult times they my face in their practice. As those with little experience have less to share, they are not considered leaders whilst more experienced practitioners live in the vicinity. Of course, this is a relative matter depending upon the size of population of a community, and the length of time it has existed, and the quality of the masters (male or female) that have led it. Those who cannot keep the Vinaya Discipline (of over 200 rules) generally choose to leave on their own accord, with those who confess breaking the major rules being asked to leave and expelled from the monastic community (due to the bad example they set). However, the term ‘Sangha’ is often more loosely applied to the devout or dedicated lay community, the members of which follow at least 5, 8 or 10 vows as a life routine, and who regularly visit the local temple and volunteer their time in worthwhile social or charitable activities. In this manner, the monastic Sangha teach and guide the lay Sangha, and the lay Sangha applies the Buddha’s teachings of compassion, loving kindness and wise action to the outside the temple, and thereby expand the Buddha-Dharma beyond the temple. As the Buddha originally taught that there is no ‘difference’ in enlightened essence between the monastic and lay community, the monastics do not consider themselves ‘superior’ and the lay community does not consider itself ‘inferior’ to one another. The principle of ‘Sangha, therefore, denotes a sacred space defined and maintained through the principles of psychological and physical self-discipline and learning, premised upon a general attitude of mutual respect. The Sangha, in both essence and function, is a model for a ‘commune’ operating through the vigorous principles of equality’, ‘discipline’ and ‘wisdom’. These are the principles embodied within this blog – regardless of the scope of its subject matter.
The term ‘Kommune’ is taken from the German word for ‘Commune’, and is directly related to the principles of Scientific Socialism, as formulated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Indeed, within German language editions of the works of Marx and Engels, the term ‘Kommune’ is often encountered. This type of ‘Kommune’ is also a voluntary association, albeit distinctly ‘modern’ in origination, and designed to serve the Revolutionary needs of the Proletariat – or the mass of peasants forced to work in the industrialised factories produced by the oppressive capitalist system. Working 12 to 16 hours a day, strictly by the clock, whilst being dictated to by brutal managers and the movement and operation of monotonous machines, these peasants were transformed into self-disciplined and highly exploited automatons of industry, waiting for the right historical epoch to free themselves from their endless toil for little reward. Just as the collective mind is ‘dulled’ by endless hours of repetitive toil, it is ‘freed’, ‘activated’ and ‘expanded’ when encountering the strictures of Scientific Socialism, and a non-resisting ‘false consciousness’ is replace by a resisting ‘true consciousness’. Generally, when the mind is freed from the straitjacket of oppression, the body soon follows, even though it is equally true that if the body is freed by a Revolution caused by others, then the mind soon follows! In these post-modem times, proletariat ‘true consciousness’ is much more amorphous in manifestation, particularly as factory work becomes ever less prevalent in the West. Although the modes of capitalist exploitation change with the epoch, the nature of capitalist exploitation (and class distinction) remains exactly the same. Striving for the establishment of a ‘Kommunistic’ society remains the duty of all right-minded working class people across the globe, with the Marxist principle of ‘Internationalism’ replacing nationalism and racism, etc. The point is that the ‘true consciousness’ of the working class is premised entirely upon non-hatred for one another, as this hatred has been imported into the working class by the very capitalists that exploit them! By rejecting capitalism, the working class is rejecting the greed, hatred and delusion that underlies all capitalist thought and action. This working class mission is no less ‘sacred’ than its Buddhist counter-part, and shares exactly the same essence. The author of this blog strives to agitate for the peaceful achievement of both inner and outer Revolution amongst by any means necessary (to quote Malcolm X).
Having defined two interpretations of ‘Kommune’, it is important to also emphasis the pivotal notion of ‘education’ and the training of the human mind to discern a relevant ‘truth’ in any given situation or circumstance. Learning in a classroom, through a book, encounter groups, political meetings, protest marches, meditation sessions, or the internet, are all crucial aspects of ‘refining’ the memory and ‘honing’ the intellect. The thought processes (and emotionality) must be ‘calmed’ for the sake of ‘wise’ action and non-action when young, so that avoidable errors and mistakes are reduced to the minimum, and progressive activity increased to the maximum (to selflessly benefit humanity). This is not always easy, and the ability to recognise non-efficient thought-patterns and behaviours should also be cultivated as a means toward achieving self-forgiveness, and the forgiveness of others. The important point is that the mind should be kept in a positive frame of operation, so that the body can be used for various types of ‘enlightened’ political, cultural and social action. The physical body must be clearly (and cleanly) directed by the mind (the seat of volition), and kept physically fit through appropriate activities.
This psycho-physical training sets the stage for the refined individual to understand the frequency and quality of inner and outer energy, and immediately understand the best action (if any) to take, or instantly ‘know’ when others are ‘lying’, or presenting ‘untruth’ as ‘truth’. This ability can be further used to generate ‘correct’ work that counters the lies of a society motivated entirely by greed, racism and an indifference to the suffering of humanity and other life forms. Therefore, this ‘Sangha Kommune’ blog is a work in progress that covers a bewildering array of topics, opinions, and research data. By taking a step back away from its content – the general reader will begin to understand the underlying (and motivating) paradigm. This is essentially a ‘Kommunist’ zone where all beings are automatically ‘freed’ at the point of contact. The need for money is already ‘transcended’, and the energy frequency of the Sangha Kommune should be used by all to achieve a state of permanent ‘freedom’ in all circumstances. This is a space of permanent Cyber Kommunism, and ongoing Revolutionary activity in the form of ‘exposing’ and ‘dissolving’ the bourgeois system and its redundant mode of capitalist organisation.
Ch’an Wuzu said:
The Ch’an community is a place for the moulding of Sages and ordinary people, and for nurturing and developing potential ability. It is a source of teaching,. Even though many people are living together, gathering in kind, they are guided and made equal. Each has a transmission from the teacher.
Now in many places they do not strive to maintain the standards of the Sages of the past. Biased feelings of like and dislike are many, with people bending others to what they personally think is right. How should later students take an example?
Records of Equanimity (Song Dynasty)
‘Comrades, we Communists are people of a special mould. We are made of a special stuff. We are those who form the army of the great proletarian strategist, the army of Comrade Lenin. There is nothing higher than the honour of belonging to this army. There is nothing higher than the title of member of the Party whose founder and leader was Comrade Lenin. It is not given to everyone to be a member of such a party. It is the sons of the working class, the sons of want and struggle, the sons of incredible privation and heroic effort who before all should be members of such a party. That is why the Party of the Leninists, the Party of the Communists, is also called the Party of the working class.’
Joseph Stalin (1924)