Sikhs & the East

Ian Goddard (
Tue, 09 Jun 1998 18:02:49 -0400

At 09:19 PM 6/8/98 -0700, John K. Clark wrote:

>I'm pretty sure Lao Tzu would be interested is some of the things we talk
>about and I'd certainly love to hear what he thought about them, to a lesser
>degree the same is true of Buddha. Kabir didn't have the intellectual
>firepower of a Lao Tzu but I'll bet he was a nice person, almost a
>libertarian, can't say the same for his later followers, the Sikhs.

IAN: The Sikhs became a warfare-associated religion
(carrying of knives is a religious costume) only after
attempts by others to exterminate them. The original guru
of the Sikh tradition, Guru Nanak (1469), was very much a
libertarian. The work ethic and a de facto privet property
basis of free trade was and is the Sikh social ethic.

Guru Nanak was against magic and ritual and persuaded
people to look for the truth, not miracles and rites.
It was not till Guru Gobind Singh, the ninth and final
head Guru after Nanak, that Sikhs adopted the warrior
model, but it's my understanding it was defensive.

While Buddhism tends to be a religion where the highest
ideal is retreat and contemplation, Sikhism's highest
ideal is of a religious householder involved in some
form of productive enterprise. Apart from the
horrible examples of terrorism in modern Indian
culture, Sikhism has strong libertarian ethics.

A page on Sikhism:

>he had the ability to laugh at himself. If Jesus or Mohammed subscribed I'd
>put them in my kill file along with the $$ MAKE BIG MONEY NOW $$ people.

IAN: Consider that most of mathematics kept
flowing out of India, even as math continued
to progress, innovations like 0 and negative
numbers came from India (via Arabia). I
think that eastern thought is still hundreds
of years a ahead of the West, and we can see
that in religion. Western religions are vir-
tually all of a primitive tribal nature, but
yogic, Buddhist, and Taoist philosophies (be
they true or false) are phenomenally sublime
and evolved observations of the nature of
being, mind, and reality, intricate sciences
of bodily postures and breathing systems that
induce states of expanded awareness. These
philosophies and technologies are, like our
system of numbers, signs of high evolution.

What the West has had, more than teaching
people about science, is free market capi-
talism and limited government. Free markets
have advanced our society more then science,
for example, the USSR produced more scientists
than we did (I believe), but they went nowhere.
A scientist with no captial investment is null.
So the fact that we are more technologically
evolved than the East creates an illusion
that we are more intellectually evolved,
but in fact only measures that we had
high IQ in the political areas expressed
in willful limitations on central authority.

The east has been drawn in totalitarian govt.
If free-market capitalism could take over the
East, we'd see an explosion of technological,
capital, and intellectual evolution the world
over, the likes of which we have never seen.


"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its
opponents and making them see the light, but rather because
its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows
up that is familiar with the idea from the beginning."

Max Plank - Nobel physicist

"The smallest minority on earth is the individual.
Those who deny individual rights cannot claim
to be defenders of minorities." Ayn Rand