Filed under: Books, Buddhism, Peace, War | Tags: Alan Clements, Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma, Voice of Hope
Aung San Suu Kyi is a peace activist who has been under house arrest for almost two decades in Burma. Her outspoken opinions on how the Burmese government have oppressed the Burmese people have made her a threat to the totalitarian state, and luckily, rather than turning her into a martyr, the have just tried to keep her quiet by making it hard for her to communicate with the world.
One of the ideas that she presents that I find really interesting is “the questing” mind. “A questing mind is a great help towards withstanding violence or oppression, or any trend that is contrary to what you believe is right and just.” She makes a difference between a questioning mind – one that wonders – and the questing mind that actually seeks out the answers.
She argues that positive action is the first step to healing, so even though she has spent a large part of her life in seclusion and unable to see her family, she does not feel negatively about this because she has added so much positive action to the Burmese cause.
I think one of the reasons that the conservative right has such a hard time with intellectualism is that it may discover that it is wrong. Vaclav Havel stated, “The intellectual should constantly disturb, should bear witness to the misery of the world, should be provocative by being independent, should rebel against all hidden and open pressures and manipulations, should be the chief doubter of systems…he stands out as an irritant wherever he is.”
If you are being vigilant in these things, then taking the humanitarian point of view is necessary. Taking responsibility is a necessity.
These thoughts come from a book of conversations between Aung Sa Suu Kyi and an American Buddhist monk ordained in Burma Alan Clements.
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