Sowing the Seeds of Disunity

Here are 8 telltale signs

In The Opening of the Eyes—SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, he uses passages from the Lotus Sutra to describe the traits of “arrogant false sages,” who function to separate practitioners from our Buddhist practice. Adapted from his lecture, the following are eight telltale signs of those who function in the same manner, providing a guide for developing the keen insight of the Buddha eye.

Based on SGI President Ikeda’s Lecture Series, p. 99:

1. They urge fellow practitioners to set themselves apart from the organization’s rhythm—creating attractive arguments to justify not participating in front-line activities or not supporting organizational goals and campaigns.

2. They disparage fellow practitioners while claiming to be the one practicing correctly, the one who has a special relationship with or special understanding of the mentor’s guidance.

3. They seek to use fellow practitioners for personal profit, gain, status or popularity, because they are greedy and avaricious at heart.

4. They set themselves above fellow practitioners acting as “priestlike” intermediaries by taking advantage of being respected for their years of experience, former leadership, study knowledge or native language.

5. They cause the persecution of fellow practitioners because they have been overcome by malice and hatred toward them (e.g., spreading lies and false rumors about other members).

6. They discredit fellow practitioners by using various kinds of authority (see #4).

7. They make false allegations about fellow practitioners to influential people.

8. They denounce fellow practitioners, accusing them of being people who don’t understand and incorrectly teach Buddhism.

All of the above function to create doubt about and among fellow practitioners, sow the seeds of mistrust and destroy unity. SGI President Ikeda says, “In essence, devilish functions seek to create divisions within gatherings of good people (The World of Nichiren Daishonin’s Writings, vol. 1, p. 147).

(p. 6)