Bjork and “F#ck the Buddhists”

You should read this article first since the concept behind what these comments stand for is legit. However, I believe if you wish to blaspheme, which I have no problem with, and you want to make sure that you include every possible religion to blasheme against (again, no issue here) you should at least do your homework first and really blaspheme…

Björk: “The Buddhists say we come back as animals and they refer to them as lesser beings. Well, animals aren’t lesser beings, they’re just like us. So I say fuck the Buddhists.”

So, yeah, we get it. You like animals. But Buddhists, at least not all Buddhists, don’t view animals as lesser beings or even buy into the concept of reincarnation or karma. Basically, my issue is that Bjork just sucks at blaphemey. To blaspheme one has to…

1. To speak of (God or a sacred entity) in an irreverent, impious manner….

So to say “fuck the Buddhists” you are saying that you disagree with a concept rather than show irreverence towards a “sacred entity”. If you wish to see true Buddhist blasphemy then just refer back to my post on Buddhist Dieties and Visualizations.

Bjork, compared to Dawkins and Zappa, you absolutely SUCK at blasphemy.  Please don’t attempt it again.  In fact, maybe you should hand the reins of blasphemy over to Dawkins, PZ Myers and Sam Harris.  At least they take a creative, almost glorious reveling in blasphemy and don’t just try to toss some insipid animal rights comment into a weak tirade against Buddhists.

Or me!   Who better to blaspheme and to stand against blasphemy laws then someone who is actually a Buddhist!  Wait….here I go. 

“Kill the Buddha!”  Awesome!  Wait, one more… “The Buddha is a Shit-Stick!”  This is actually fun!

 Cheers,

John

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10 thoughts on “Bjork and “F#ck the Buddhists”

  1. Pingback: Björk says “F@$k the Buddhists…” « Precious Metal: the blog

  2. That’s a tough call. Words are empty and as they like to say, actions speak louder than words. Which brings up the topic of blasphemy verses hypocrisy. Take for instance those people who like to chow down on a juicy steak or veal cutlet and yet proclaim to want to benefit all sentient beings. Also, on the heels of your previous posting, monks who do not want women ordained yet proclaim compassion.

    But the other favorable thing is that she makes her point from doing study and reading about the topic. She’s made a conscious decision to chose Buddhism over the others. She’s on the path to learning and seems to want to know more but she’s got a thing about the animals. From a non-dualistic point of view, she’s correct, we are all the same. We all have our issues with accepted doctrine.

    When I was reading the ’50 Verses of Guru Devotion’ the other day, one ‘suggestion’ was to offer all your possessions, including your wife, children, etc. to the guru. I thought about it more and during that period of time in India, people were under the delusion that they owned other people, family members like property. I disagree with this suggestion on guru devotion because people are their own entities, a husband does not own a wife or in the modern context, a ‘partner’. If I tried to offer my partner to the guru, I’d get a good swift kick in the ass and a “bye-bye, see you later!”

    In the serious die-hard tantric community, this would be considered a violation of the code and conduct of what’s viewed as ‘traditional’ guru devotion. I mean these rules, which were written to regulate coarse conduct for a really uncivilized period of human history, were written by another fellow practitioner and not spoken by the Buddha himself.

    But then again, that’s blasphemy to the Tibetan tantric community because you’re supposed to view the ‘guru’ as a Buddha. Which, in my opinion, can lead to some serious abuses of power and lends itself to dictatorial control by a supposed ‘guru’ who is unattained and only wants to benefit themselves and/or their monastery. Then they could justify it all and say its a ‘skillful means’ to get you to learn and break down the ego.

    All you can really do in those situations is to see what’s best for you at that particular point in your practice. We’re all blasphemous and hypocritical to some degree. In my case, I still wear leather and yet criticize those people who wear luxury furs.

    Where do you draw the line?

  3. I’m a Buddhist. I’m an animal lover and fighter for their rights — as well as a vegetarian. Yet, even if they are considered “lesser beings” some Buddhists; it doesn’t mean that those people who believe that will then go on to harm, torture or kill an animal because of it.

    It the general Dharma big picture — It doesn’t mean that animals are considered worthless but rather simply that in relation to what it takes to realize enlightenment. It requires a human capacity to observe, make sense of what is seen and use that understanding to realize pure enlightenment. Animals for all their wonderfulness, however, lack such a capacity.

    Also, to bring it all back to my journey, as I go about life I see the six realms as states of being that we experience throughout our human life. Often within one hour or sometimes in one hour.

  4. A study of the wheel of life diagram illustrates the Tibetan view that the animal realm is one of the “lower” 3 realms. Hungry ghost and hell realms being the other 2. Buddhism teaches that all sentient beings pass through these realms with the eventual goal of escaping rebirth. So, she’s right on one level but an animal cannot study Dharma so they are lesser to that degree.
    One can interpret this diagram like James above or very dogmatically. That’s one of the nice things about the path.

    Buddhists love to argue, split hairs, make lists, endlessly repeat devotional actions and words, and shop for neat stuff for their shrine.

  5. “That souls of animals infuse themselves into the trunks of men.”

    ~Wm. Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

  6. Hi,

    Let’s be fair. Bjork wasn’t trying to blaspheme. What happened was that her words have been used by a group challenging blasphemy laws.

    What Bjork was doing was standing up for animals, and though she doesn’t quite get what Buddhism teaches on this, that’s a good thing.

    But, you know, I sometimes feel like saying much the same as her, especially after Dharma meetings where I see some people who, oneminute, are vowing to save all sentient beings and then, the next minute, are specifically asking someone to bring them the slaughtered body of those beings.

    What Buddhism teaches is that the chicken you are ordering could have been (probably was) a relative of yours. And even if not, the fact you are putting its body into your mouth not only caused its awful torturted life of suffering, but also creates a karmic link that will take goodness knows how long to play out.

    (And yes, I agree with the group in Ireland – laws agaist blasphemy are a terrible thing and can only encourage the kind of intolerant religious triumphalism that is causing so much trouble in this world.)

    Wishing you and all beings everywhere happiness,

    Marcus

    • Let’s be fair. Bjork wasn’t trying to blaspheme. What happened was that her words have been used by a group challenging blasphemy laws.

      Yeah, I just realized that myself. But I don’t buy into the “you have to be vegetarian to be buddhist” school of thought (I’m sure you already knew I was going to say that, Marcus). I think that, as with most things we do, eating is a samsaric attachment and the eating of meat does cause suffering. Now, the same with drinking, I believe that you need to eat mindfully and understand where your food comes from and how it was obtained.

      That way you at least are gaining wisdom instead of slamming down a steak dinner every night.

      Personnally, I don’t eat that much meat but I have no problem with eating it. The vows are taken to keep you on the path and to set your sights on an unobtainable goal. To save all sentient beings is a lofty challenge and I think that one can being doing much worse than eating meat.

      But the point of my post is that, if you wanted to make a statement about blasphemy laws you need to get those followers of the religion to blaspheme to show how silly those laws are. I would be the first to crazy blaspheme against the Buddha with that goal in mind (actually I would blaspheme against all the god and gods). Instead they grabbed a bunch of atheists to do it.

      “Triumphalism” is an awesome word, BTW!

      Cheers,

      John

  7. Hi Jack,

    Well, Bjork was just one of many blasphemy quotes used by the group. The first were by Jesus and Muhammed – so I think that covers your point.

    As to eating meat, well, yes, that’s a big debate (one I’ve been engaged in since becoming a vegetarian 27 years ago) – but Bjork is perfectly entitled to call Buddhists to task from her own viewpoint of vegetarianism when she sees Buddhists eat sentient beings.

    After all, there may be worse things than eating meat, but even the most cursory galnce around the meat industry and the ways these fellow creatures are treated will soon persuade anyone that there are not really all that many things that are worse.

    Besides which, earlier on in the interview Bjork praises Buddhism and suggests it’d be her own religion if she were to choose one. So rather than attack her I’d prefer to praise her for her compassion regarding animals and show that many Buddhists agree with her entirely (whilst pointing out why others might not).

    Neither do I yhink it was an attempt to be insulting or maintain any public image, the quotation comes from the end of a very very interview in a (frankly) obscure magazine. As for the swearing, well, yes, I know a few Buddhist bloggers who speak like that!

    Peace to all,

    Marcus

  8. If you see the Buddha on the road kill him…

    …but don’t do it for a stupid reason…do your research, find out what the Buddha actually had to say about animals…then kill him for it…

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