The following is addressed to the Buddhist global community. One can fill in the blanks with their own spiritual tradition. –editor’s note
An Open Letter to the Dharma Community (part two): The Weaponization of Virtue and the Nuremberg Code
It is now many decades since the horror of the Nazi regime and its genocidal agenda passed through our world with its boxcars and chimneys and genetic experiments on children courtesy of the “Angel of Death” Joseph Mengele, like the wings of some venomous wendigo creature flying overhead and utterly blocking out all sunlight. In many minds, this is a horror we’ve learned from as codified by the Nuremberg Code, a reiteration of what was already international law with respect to the basic human right of informed consent, of sovereignty over our own health and its maintenance and what treatments we ourselves deem to be appropriate for whatever illness we might contract. To underscore its necessity as a safeguard against any future transgressions of such a horrific nature, doctors and nurses involved in Mengele’s experiments were hung even if they were just “following orders,” for what amounted to “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity.” It is perhaps the most atrocious act one can possibly imagine, that of using children as lab rats without any concern for their welfare and fully knowing that for many of them (if not all) death will be the result. Say the words “Nuremberg Code” and it’s the horror of this experience that’s immediately conjured.
But have we really learned from such experience?
Recently, a friend died, someone in the dharma community local to me, a friend who always had an imperturbable twinkle in his eyes, a scholar of English literature and something of a scribe himself, with whom I had always experienced a very deep warmth of mutual admiration, his for my literary work, mine for his very kind nature and, more so postmortem, his literary efforts as well. I had a lovely conversation with his widow soon thereafter, also a dear friend, full of reminiscences and consoling to both of us. It wasn’t long thereafter that I came across a notice for his memorial, organized by a local dharma center, and I thought to myself, How wonderful, gotta go to that until, that is, I saw, very clearly stated, that only those who had been “double vaccinated” could attend.
The shockwave that went through me at this I might liken to that moment when one first receives news of a loved one’s death, a kind of lightning that flashes through every cell of the body that leaves each of them transformed into a vibrationally higher state of awareness, of the spontaneous wisdom of things as they are relating to impermanence, what the teachings always return to. That is to say, I was stunned beyond measure. As one who has always trusted in using nutrition and herbal medicine to support a healthy immune system, it has long been my choice to avoid, unless absolutely necessary, all pharmaceutical “medicines” in supporting a healthy immune system, and come what may living however long a life according to such trust. As the Nuremberg Code makes clear, it’s my sovereign right to choose such a path, one that I also, incidentally, greatly boost with plenty of vitamin C, D and nano silver, what creates a relatively impervious shield to all pathogens, a view for which there is mountainous clinical data.
Since that time, it’s come to my attention that many Dharma centers across the land and world have adopted the policy or are considering adopting a policy that bars access to their grounds any visitors or attendees of events if one is among the “unvaccinated.”
The question that then arises is, At what point did the Dharma gain any purview into science so much as to demand relinquishing oneself to a needle if one wants to participate in that community? Isn’t the purview of the Dharma fundamentally and solely to question and explain the nature of mind-consciousness, cause and effect, virtuous conduct, the methodology and practice necessary to attain liberation from so-called “Samsara”? At what point did the Dharma come to know science so well that it can dictate what kind of medicine is required if one is going to be a member of such a community?
Let’s be hypothetical for a moment. Let’s say I organize a dharma event, something I’ve done many times. I invite everyone to come, regardless of ethnicity, political disposition, financial solvency, and so on, what is in the essential spirit of the Dharma, to provide unconditional access to its teachings and blessings, consistent with its central principle of love and compassion for all beings. But this time I decide to limit those who can attend with the stipulation that you must be ingesting on a daily basis Vitamins C and D and nano silver, and those who aren’t, well, you’re not welcome. You put the rest of us at risk and so should stay at home in the exile of your personal space. What might be the response? Applause? A storm of practitioners knocking my gate down with the enthusiasm of a sweet tooth for gourmet donuts? Or perhaps rancor, disdain, scorn and ridicule in its many permutations in response to such a dictate?
Well, it seems safe to say the latter, what would likely result in no one showing up for such an event, no matter the greatness of the teacher. And why might that be? Because it would be coming from my belief that what works for me also works for others, however true or not that might be. Similarly, is it not equally ludicrous (indeed entirely fallacious) to make a requirement for a different kind of medicine that all must take if one is to be a part of said community? After all, such a dictate is also predicated on belief in its efficacy, however founded or not, and if it’s anything the Dharma emphasizes more than anything else, the Dharma is not about belief, it’s about the absolute nature and the pristine teachings on how to get there.
This was made very clear to me by my own teacher when I organized an event for a doctor friend to lay out her data and analysis of the vaccine agenda going back to its inception in the forties or so. I had put “Drikung Dzogchen Center” on the flyer as though the event were being hosted by the lineage that it represents, as opposed to simply listing the address in the understanding it can be “at” but not “by,” and so it is since that time I’ve listed similar events as hosted by “Medical Revolution Network Alliance,” so as not to confuse relative belief with the absolute nature inherent to the Dharma.
Voila. Everyone happy.
And I’ve gotten to contribute to widening the knowledge base of others open to it in providing a basis for a more comprehensive “informed consent” in the process.
Because that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Choice. Medical freedom as essential to the continuation of all other freedoms, without which we have fertile ground for more Mengeles to sprout up in our world.
Again, so how is it the Dharma has come to be such a purveyor of medical totalitarianism, seemingly knowledgeable of what’s best for the health of all its sangha members? How did it come to be so starkly against the express purpose of the Nuremberg Code, in agreement with the growing trend of nation-states across the world to mandate these so-called “vaccines” which are really experimental gene “therapies” according to the very literature of these pharmaceutical corporations, if one takes the time to examine such documentation? The efficacy or not is hardly the point, pro-vax, anti-vax, whatever the relative belief is.
After all, isn’t the Dharma all about liberating the mind-consciousness from all subjective constructs, concepts, belief systems, so it can enter into its natural state, pristine, unconditioned awareness, primordial and beginningless? How is this possible if we lack the choice to make our own mistakes, to make our own way, to come to know our own bio-systems and how to take care of them just as much as we intuit the best route to the mountaintop, who our yidam deity is, who our sawe lama is, and all the rest? How is it now the case that almost the entire Dharma world is now of the mind that one must get not just one but two of these injections, in which some of the ingredients are “proprietary” and not listed on the insert (the Moderna insert is entirely blank, by the way)? We’re simply to trust these shots are good for us without knowing what’s in them?
So let’s get this straight then. We’re told to examine the nature of mind and reality, to examine the qualities of a teacher before committing oneself to him or her, to examine as a constant the quality of our body, speech and mind in terms of virtue; but when it comes to what we put in our bodies, what medicine we choose, we should just trust it, regardless of the exceedingly poor track record of these pharmaceutical corporations in deceiving the public?
How did virtue become so weaponized so as to no longer resemble itself, which is to say, How did virtue become a tool of the State as a control apparatus rather than the fluid medium it actually is? Could it be because of fear rather than wisdom dictating our actions and decisions? How is it that practitioners of the Dharma have so easily fallen into such a trap, those who’ve ostensibly been trained to recognize phenomena as illusory and, in the process, dissolve all attachments that give rise to fear, fear that results because we believe whatever appearance is real when it’s very evidently not in light of impermanence?
What is virtue? A state of mind and purity of intention and activity imbued with altruism, the wish for others to be free of suffering and its causes. What happens when we apply strict parameters to its expression, as in to say, Virtue is only virtue if it adheres to this rule or that rule? It becomes a basis and justification for focusing on others’ faults rather than our own, for creating an air of moral superiority that only poisons the mind, insures blame and vindictiveness will have a perpetual place in one’s everyday conduct. It stops being rooted in equanimity and disables any sort of clarity of vision that would enable the cultivation of wisdom and compassion over time, merit and bodhicitta and the joy that naturally ensues. How is it the dharma world has so easily dispensed with virtue as such and allowed it to become a weapon that marginalizes and disenfranchises individual practitioners from sangha communities? It’s a question that represents a crisis of identity for the teachings of the Buddha in our world today, one that imperils its very existence if allowed to continue.
And if that isn’t enough, aside from this question, there’s a samaya (vow) inherent in every empowerment that one will not cause harm to one’s own physical body. No matter the chosen route of medical treatment, we can agree that one size of shoe does not fit every foot, just as every physical organism, in its uniqueness, requires a different approach to generating health coming back from illness. The right medicine for one can be exactly the wrong medicine for another, and so it is to mandate one over another, to dictate preference, is to open the door to those dying because of it, of causing practitioners to break this essential vow of not causing harm to oneself. Can there be a greater transgression than this?
Otherwise, shall we add a 15th vow to the already existing 14 ngakpa/householder vows? Namely: One must get vaccinated in order to attain enlightenment.
–Tom Cox, MFA