Principia Discordia

Principia Discordia => Apple Talk => Topic started by: Mundus Imbroglio on April 04, 2016, 02:11:46 am

Title: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mundus Imbroglio on April 04, 2016, 02:11:46 am
I was a Buddhist for most of my life.  I was a Zen Buddhist for most of that time.  Zen Buddhism is a community practice, with half of the year being dedicated to Ango—literally translated as “dwelling in peace.”  During Ango, you work hard on yourself, and work hard to fit into the group.  In the chanting, your voice is lost in a sea of other voices.  In working, your work is done selflessly and with no hope or idea of ever finishing.  A teacher once compared Ango to the process rocks go through in a polisher—they bump up against each other, wear down the sharp edges, and come out more beautiful than before.  In a way, I suppose that’s true.  When you give up your will, things go swimmingly.  No need to think about your work assignment, food, clothing, or what you’ll be doing for basically all of your time.

Life is a rock tumbler, and when you take the metaphor out of the carefully curated and maintained monastic environment, you can see its dark side.  It’s not polishing—it’s grinding down.  Wake up early, spend the day at work, go home and sit in front of a screen until it’s time to go to bed and do the whole thing over again.  The Ango of everyday life grinds the fundamental nature and vitality out of a once-dignified, unapologetic, and real person.

What can you do?

Get the hell out.  Maybe you’re stuck in a job or a city or a circumstance from which there is no immediate prospect of extrication.  Realizing it is the trick—once you understand what’s going on, you get to make the choice of “in” or “out.”  Choose “out.”  Spend your eight hours a day at your job, because you’re an adult and you don’t shirk your obligations, but understand on a deep level that you’re moving upstream against a lie that washes all of us straight to hell.  It has to take time, and it will be subtle, but every person that moves against the stream puts pressure on the damned thing.  The lie is that “success” lies in how others perceive you, or the size of your paycheck.  The lie is that success is something that you need to get from Them.

Fuck Them.  The rock polisher changes you into something that other people find appealing.  Let them dive head first into the machine if it’s what they want to do.  Plot your escape; make good your escape.  Be wrong—vigorously, go to somewhere that makes you uncomfortable, find something important to do and do it like it’s the last thing you’ll do.

I escaped from the rock polisher, and I’m deeply okay with being lumpy and pointy and not nice to look at.  Ugly pointy rocks are the kind that people remember when they see the scars on their knees.  The pretty ones get tossed in a sack in a box in a drawer and are promptly forgotten.

What is enlightenment?

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/01/What_is_your_problem%2C_graffiti_rock_-_Flickr_-_daveynin.jpg/320px-What_is_your_problem%2C_graffiti_rock_-_Flickr_-_daveynin.jpg)
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on April 04, 2016, 02:49:30 am
Some rocks will never be beautiful. You can chuck a hunk of feldspar in a tumbler for ten years, you can grind it and polish it and buff it but it will never, ever be beautiful. Some rocks can't survive the tumbler at all. Try throwing some limestone in there and see what happens. Some rocks are beautiful until you mess with them: peacock ore and pyrite and gypsum roses come to mind. All glittering and precious in their own way, and utterly ruined at the first well-intentioned intervention.

And some rocks? Some rocks are pretty after a day or two in the grind.

And it's important to remember that the rocks that aren't beautiful are no more or less special than the beautiful ones, and the rocks that are beautiful until they are fucked with are no more or less special than the rocks that are ugly until polished.

The value of a rock is what it can do. The same can be said of a person.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Junkenstein on April 04, 2016, 02:30:20 pm
That was pretty good. Interested in reading more, please do continue.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Freeky on April 04, 2016, 03:33:35 pm
I like this.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mundus Imbroglio on April 05, 2016, 09:52:47 pm
The value of a rock is what it can do. The same can be said of a person.

I disagree.  The value of a person is, I would posit, found in what s/he does.  You don't have to cure cancer or invent a new musical genre or...I dunno...invent a pair of self-removing pants.  You just have to fucking do something.  And do it as hard as you can, then do it harder.

Love cooking, but you're piss-poor at it?  Do it anyway.  "Skill" is a fancy word for the huge pile of failures behind you.  Maybe you'll never be the best, but dammit you did something, and that's more than most of the people around you can say.

It's not in the mastery, it's in the doing that a person becomes a human.

I've been exploring the forums and I must say I'm a fan of your work.

Cheers.

Note: Modified in the face of a very good point.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 05, 2016, 10:46:42 pm
It's not in the mastery, it's in the doing that a person becomes a human.


I'd argue that the default position is "human".
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mundus Imbroglio on April 05, 2016, 10:56:39 pm
It's not in the mastery, it's in the doing that a person becomes a human.


I'd argue that the default position is "human".

Maybe so.  Language is clunky and imprecise sometimes; I don't know of a good way to write that sentence.  Perhaps "...that a cabbage becomes a person"? 
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 05, 2016, 10:59:20 pm
It's not in the mastery, it's in the doing that a person becomes a human.


I'd argue that the default position is "human".

Maybe so.  Language is clunky and imprecise sometimes; I don't know of a good way to write that sentence.  Perhaps "...that a cabbage becomes a person"?

Okay, so today alone, 175 children under the age of 3 died in Equatorial Africa, from either violence or plain old starvation.

They were or were not human beings and/or persons?
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 05, 2016, 11:00:16 pm
Boy, I wish I was a person.   :sad:
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mundus Imbroglio on April 05, 2016, 11:18:45 pm
It's not in the mastery, it's in the doing that a person becomes a human.


I'd argue that the default position is "human".

Maybe so.  Language is clunky and imprecise sometimes; I don't know of a good way to write that sentence.  Perhaps "...that a cabbage becomes a person"?

Okay, so today alone, 175 children under the age of 3 died in Equatorial Africa, from either violence or plain old starvation.

They were or were not human beings and/or persons?

That's not what I'm saying at all, and I sincerely hope that isn't how you read that.  However, your point is well taken and perhaps I should have taken more care to clarify that the above rant is my particular view of the particular culture in which I find myself.  Everything has a context and I was careless when establishing mine.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 05, 2016, 11:30:28 pm
Thing is, there are no cabbages.  Just billions of people who more or less all assume they are one of the few awake people in a world of sheep/robots/cabbages/whatever.

Fact:  Nobody is a cabbage all the time.
Fact:  Nobody is a fully-functioning human all the time.
Fact:  No special religious (or any other) training will change those facts for anyone.

Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mundus Imbroglio on April 05, 2016, 11:45:54 pm
Thing is, there are no cabbages.  Just billions of people who more or less all assume they are one of the few awake people in a world of sheep/robots/cabbages/whatever.

Fact:  Nobody is a cabbage all the time.
Fact:  Nobody is a fully-functioning human all the time.
Fact:  No special religious (or any other) training will change those facts for anyone.

I concede that point completely.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: rong on April 06, 2016, 12:21:26 am
I like the opposing perspectives on the rock tumbler analogy.

can one conclude, that what makes you beautiful is also what kills you?  (or something to that effect - it reminded me of a bukowski quote about finding what you love and letting it kill you . . . is what i was getting at i guess maybe)
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on April 06, 2016, 12:12:52 pm
The value of a rock is what it can do. The same can be said of a person.

I disagree.  The value of a person is, I would posit, found in what s/he does.  You don't have to cure cancer or invent a new musical genre or...I dunno...invent a pair of self-removing pants.  You just have to fucking do something.  And do it as hard as you can, then do it harder.

Love cooking, but you're piss-poor at it?  Do it anyway.  "Skill" is a fancy word for the huge pile of failures behind you.  Maybe you'll never be the best, but dammit you did something, and that's more than most of the people around you can say.

It's not in the mastery, it's in the doing that a person becomes a human.

I've been exploring the forums and I must say I'm a fan of your work.

Cheers.

Note: Modified in the face of a very good point.

I think you're right in dropping the "can" from that sentence. We Are What We Do and all that.

I've been falling into the same cabbages/SHEEPLE trapinoneof my other series, too. It's such a common one I should probably start digging to see if there are any good essays already written about it to help. It really is a challenge to talk about "my personal path to being a less shitty me" without disparaging the shittier version of yourself, and by extension the shittier versions of people you see around you. And Roger's right that it's unfair, because we're all shitlords from time to time, and you might just be catching someone on a shit day, or you might just not be paying attention to the bipedal stuff they're doing right in front of you. At the same time, self improvement takes work, and motivating yourself or someone else to do the work (whatever it is) almost always relies on DON'T BE A SHITHEEL ALL THE TIME.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: P3nT4gR4m on April 06, 2016, 12:34:36 pm
It really is a challenge to talk about "my personal path to being a less shitty me" without disparaging the shittier version of yourself, and by extension the shittier versions of people you see around you.

Excellent point. I am guilty of this although, hopefully, less so than in the past. I try to remove the value judgement from the equation and especially any anger this value judgement may cause. Hard to do sometimes but I have to remind myself that it isn't the other persons fault that they're trapped inside a pernicious reality tunnel, choking on dumb memes and sneezing bad signal. Personality can become infected just the same as biological machinery.

If you wouldn't blame someone because they were infected with aids, why is it okay to blame them because they're infected with Ayn Rand or Adolph Hitler? People are just dumb apes (me too) it's not really their fault.

Also - holding other people up to ANY standard is a hiding to nowhere. Best you can hope for is to live up to your own standards
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: LMNO on April 06, 2016, 12:56:14 pm
To quote old Uncle Bucky, "I appear to be a verb."
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Q. G. Pennyworth on April 06, 2016, 01:14:46 pm
Thing is, there are no cabbages.  Just billions of people who more or less all assume they are one of the few awake people in a world of sheep/robots/cabbages/whatever.

Fact:  Nobody is a cabbage all the time.
Fact:  Nobody is a fully-functioning human all the time.
Fact:  No special religious (or any other) training will change those facts for anyone.

Yoink?
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 06, 2016, 04:27:28 pm
Thing is, there are no cabbages.  Just billions of people who more or less all assume they are one of the few awake people in a world of sheep/robots/cabbages/whatever.

Fact:  Nobody is a cabbage all the time.
Fact:  Nobody is a fully-functioning human all the time.
Fact:  No special religious (or any other) training will change those facts for anyone.

Yoink?

Sure.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 07, 2016, 05:00:29 am
The value of a rock is what it can do. The same can be said of a person.

I disagree.  The value of a person is, I would posit, found in what s/he does.  You don't have to cure cancer or invent a new musical genre or...I dunno...invent a pair of self-removing pants.  You just have to fucking do something.  And do it as hard as you can, then do it harder.

Love cooking, but you're piss-poor at it?  Do it anyway.  "Skill" is a fancy word for the huge pile of failures behind you.  Maybe you'll never be the best, but dammit you did something, and that's more than most of the people around you can say.

It's not in the mastery, it's in the doing that a person becomes a human.

I've been exploring the forums and I must say I'm a fan of your work.

Cheers.

Note: Modified in the face of a very good point.

I like this quite a lot.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mesozoic Mister Nigel on April 07, 2016, 05:03:10 am
The value of a rock is what it can do. The same can be said of a person.

I disagree.  The value of a person is, I would posit, found in what s/he does.  You don't have to cure cancer or invent a new musical genre or...I dunno...invent a pair of self-removing pants.  You just have to fucking do something.  And do it as hard as you can, then do it harder.

Love cooking, but you're piss-poor at it?  Do it anyway.  "Skill" is a fancy word for the huge pile of failures behind you.  Maybe you'll never be the best, but dammit you did something, and that's more than most of the people around you can say.

It's not in the mastery, it's in the doing that a person becomes a human.

I've been exploring the forums and I must say I'm a fan of your work.

Cheers.

Note: Modified in the face of a very good point.

I think you're right in dropping the "can" from that sentence. We Are What We Do and all that.

I've been falling into the same cabbages/SHEEPLE trapinoneof my other series, too. It's such a common one I should probably start digging to see if there are any good essays already written about it to help. It really is a challenge to talk about "my personal path to being a less shitty me" without disparaging the shittier version of yourself, and by extension the shittier versions of people you see around you. And Roger's right that it's unfair, because we're all shitlords from time to time, and you might just be catching someone on a shit day, or you might just not be paying attention to the bipedal stuff they're doing right in front of you. At the same time, self improvement takes work, and motivating yourself or someone else to do the work (whatever it is) almost always relies on DON'T BE A SHITHEEL ALL THE TIME.


YUSSSSSS THIS.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Cramulus on April 08, 2016, 07:11:22 pm
Fuck Them.  The rock polisher changes you into something that other people find appealing.  Let them dive head first into the machine if it’s what they want to do.  Plot your escape; make good your escape.  Be wrong—vigorously, go to somewhere that makes you uncomfortable, find something important to do and do it like it’s the last thing you’ll do.

:mittens:

There's a Joseph Campbell quote on my wall. I look to it in times of doubt:
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.

I'm curious - your post is coming from the far side of Buddhism. You sound like a "post-buddhist", one who was trapped and escaped.

Looking back on it, what did you get out of it? Would you recommend that path to others?

Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: LuciferX on April 09, 2016, 12:28:04 am
Do-be-do-be-do, I take the opposite view.  I am neither a thing to improve nor an action to perform.  When I withdraw "into" the immediacy of skillful action, arête, my true value readily emerges.  With this transliteration, sharp edges are signs for the most excellent.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mundus Imbroglio on April 09, 2016, 02:54:25 am
Fuck Them.  The rock polisher changes you into something that other people find appealing.  Let them dive head first into the machine if it’s what they want to do.  Plot your escape; make good your escape.  Be wrong—vigorously, go to somewhere that makes you uncomfortable, find something important to do and do it like it’s the last thing you’ll do.

:mittens:

There's a Joseph Campbell quote on my wall. I look to it in times of doubt:
The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.[/size.]

I'm curious - your post is coming from the far side of Buddhism. You sound like a "post-buddhist", one who was trapped and escaped.

Looking back on it, what did you get out of it? Would you recommend that path to others?

Hello,

I like that quote.  I may have to have that tattooed...somewhere.

Regarding your questions, they're interesting and I'm not sure that either has a simple answer.   I was born into a very conservative (if, looking back on it, hypocritical) Southern Baptist denomination wherein you could do basically anything you wanted once you were submerged in water by a preacher--didn't even really have to feel bad about it.  God loves you because you took a bath with your clothes on.

Buddhism, then, and the self-accountability that came with it, was a revelation.  There was no "grace" or "forgiveness" or somesuch; no looking back.  You screwed up real bad, you pick yourself up and put that in the "DO NOT DO AGAIN" column.  Then you keep going.  I like that and I still appreciate that.  A world where everyone has to come to terms with all of the horrible shit they've done is, in my experience, a generally better world than one in which anything can be "cast as far away from God's mind as West is from East" (or something like that--it always seemed to me that "east" and "west" meet at basically every point on a spherical world).

I "came out the far side" of Buddhism due in part to an increasing realization that most (not all) teachers are more than happy to, in one way or another, relieve you of responsibility.  After all, when everyone just does what the teacher says, the community gets along harmoniously and the teachers get to do...well...everyone (https://newrepublic.com/article/115613/zen-buddhist-sex-controversies-america-excerpt).  Now, I'm not about to judge what two consenting people do behind closed doors, or behind the Buddha statue, or wherever two consenting people decide to do things, but this is illustrative of the problems which have been with American Buddhism for half a century.  There are even instances where a teacher is "transmitted" (meaning her or his teacher declares her or his level of awakening to be the same as theirs, as their teachers did, and so on back to--allegedly--the Buddha) and then the transmitting teacher tries to "revoke" the transmission as a way of controlling the younger teacher.  The political aspect of it can be disgusting.

All this having been said, I think that it was a net positive experience, and I think that I'm significantly less of an asshole than I previously was.  I've met some truly great teachers and monks and hermits and laypeople, and I've met people who pay more for a robe symbolizing homelessness and poverty than they would for a new BMW (they get...quite fancy (http://risdmuseum.org/art_design/objects/5431_mantle_worn_by_a_buddhist_monk_kesa)).  I've seen temples with only the abbot living there, and part of his day is fixing the leaks in the roof; I've seen temples where there is a "minimum donation" to take part in activities.  I think that I will always be a little bit Buddhist, in the same way that I'm still a little bit musician even though my hands have been mangled to the point that I can't actually play my primary instrument anymore. 

I learned to meditate, to not believe everything that I think, and to maintain a healthy distrustful of authority figures until such a time as they have satisfactorily proven that they are, in fact, not out to literally or metaphorically fuck everyone around them.

And that, my friends, is a valuable lesson.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: LuciferX on April 09, 2016, 10:28:16 am
Absent authority, on personal recognizance, without mercy, is there a responsibility that concerns you beyond the circumspection of being fucked?
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mundus Imbroglio on April 09, 2016, 11:48:22 am
Absent authority, on personal recognizance, without mercy, is there a responsibility that concerns you beyond the circumspection of being fucked?

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking; could you clarify?
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Junkenstein on April 09, 2016, 05:26:59 pm
Absent authority, on personal recognizance, without mercy, is there a responsibility that concerns you beyond the circumspection of being fucked?

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking; could you clarify?

Unless you speak Meth, you're going to struggle.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: The Good Reverend Roger on April 09, 2016, 05:53:32 pm
Absent authority, on personal recognizance, without mercy, is there a responsibility that concerns you beyond the circumspection of being fucked?

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking; could you clarify?

No, "clarify" isn't his responsibility.   :lol:
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: LuciferX on April 09, 2016, 11:05:50 pm
Absent authority, on personal recognizance, without mercy, is there a responsibility that concerns you beyond the circumspection of being fucked?

I'm not exactly sure what you're asking; could you clarify?

I was reading what you said about Buddhism, about personal responsibility, and it it seemed primarily about avoiding doing the wrong thing.  Instead, I was wondering if there was "something" positive you got out of it other than being "significantly less of an asshole".  Its interesting how otherwise the whole venture seems subtractive, not that there's anything wrong with that.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Mundus Imbroglio on April 10, 2016, 06:27:53 pm
I was reading what you said about Buddhism, about personal responsibility, and it it seemed primarily about avoiding doing the wrong thing.  Instead, I was wondering if there was "something" positive you got out of it other than being "significantly less of an asshole".  Its interesting how otherwise the whole venture seems subtractive, not that there's anything wrong with that.

I see.  I don't necessarily think about my experience those terms, as there exists a linguistically positive and negative way of expressing any idea so far as I am aware.  In this instance, I think that it's more my own linguistic proclivities which may be coloring what I said as "subtractive."

To use your example, it seems to me (and I acknowledge that this may be something that others don't do) that implicit in the statement "avoid doing the wrong thing" is a suggestion that one should try to do the right thing.  You can talk about "being less shitty" or "being better," and while there are certain subtexts to both, they're similar sentiments I think.

Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: PoFP on April 10, 2016, 07:07:16 pm
In terms of the metaphor of life as a polisher, I see it as both additive and degressive. It's not just larger or smaller rocks taking chunks off of you. You have little bits and pieces of other smaller rocks getting stuck in some of the crevices that are created from the bigger reductions. You're not just one type of rock by the end of this life. You are a conglomerate of every rock you've interacted with. and you change the shape of other rocks in the same way. We're being shaken in a big bag of rocks and lettuce and EoC's plaque, and there's not much we can do about it.

I guess you could say we're not just rocks. We're a little like magnets, even if the attraction/repulsion is minor. And there's more than 2 charges. Based on that charge, you may determine what parts of other rocks are more likely to stick and attract or be repelled.

Either way, I LOVE the initial post, and the message it was getting across. It's definitely as good a place as any can be to start growth.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: LuciferX on April 10, 2016, 10:10:52 pm
This morning I was reading the Mahamudra on mind:
Quote
Since it is not composed of any substance or mark of duality, it cannot be fully described by an analogy.  It has not been produced by any cause in the beginning.  It is free from birth.  Being empty of all identity in the present, it is without a dwelling.  Finally, neither can it's passage be traced nor can it's emergence cease; it remains ever unceasing.  Since it has not been born from a cause, it cannot be destroyed through conditions.  Because it's origin is not rooted in time, it encompases all times.  Being detached from a substantive reality of arising, settlement, or cessation, it remains an uninterrupted stream.  The intrinsic nature dwells indiscriminately in all beings alike - awakened and unwakened, good and bad - transcending finite progression and regression.  It exists in all sentient beings whether or not they are aware of it, leaving no possibility for anyone to either gain or lose it.  It is immutable as it is not subject to transient increase or decrease.
Got this last night from the big tumbler in the sea.
(http://50.6.73.68/picit/1460322574.8086.jpg)
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: PoFP on April 10, 2016, 11:09:54 pm
Got this last night from the big tumbler in the sea.
(http://50.6.73.68/picit/1460322574.8086.jpg)

Great. EoC's plaque leaked into the ocean again. Now sea rock looks like it has acne worse than a horny teen. If he could keep his gaping maw shut, we wouldn't need all these oil spills.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: Meunster on April 11, 2016, 12:32:43 am
Rock polishers build character. Buy one now. Insert small parts into it daily until yoU're satisfyingly having Of character. Iike a orgy of Love. more character then A book character, H.G wells character, not young adult trash.

In conclusion; rock polishers are orgies of rocks. They make the rocks Pretty. Real orgies is like being in a rock polisher, but you come out less pretty. But with more character.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: PoFP on April 11, 2016, 12:46:53 am
Rock polishers build character. Buy one now. Insert small parts into it daily until yoU're satisfyingly having Of character. Iike a orgy of Love. more character then A book character, H.G wells character, not young adult trash.

In conclusion; rock polishers are orgies of rocks. They make the rocks Pretty. Real orgies is like being in a rock polisher, but you come out less pretty. But with more character.

 :lulz: I like this interpretation too.
Title: Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
Post by: LuciferX on April 11, 2016, 02:01:56 am
"Well, then – mind-nourishment!" said Big Concealment. "You have only to rest in inaction and things will transform themselves. Smash your form and body, spit out hearing and eyesight, forget you are a thing among other things, and you may join in great unity with the deep and boundless. Undo the mind, slough off spirit, be blank and soulless, and the ten thousand things one by one will return to the root – return to the root and not know why. Dark and undifferentiated chaos – to the end of life none will depart from it. But if you try to know it, you have already departed from it. Do not ask what its name is, do not try to observe its form. Things will live naturally and of themselves."
- Hong Meng (On the Taoist side of thigh slapping)