Author Topic: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.  (Read 2285 times)

LMNO

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2016, 12:56:14 pm »
To quote old Uncle Bucky, "I appear to be a verb."

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #16 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.

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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #17 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.
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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #18 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.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #19 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.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Cramulus

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #20 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?

« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 08:31:10 pm by Cramulus »

LuciferX

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #21 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.
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Mundus Imbroglio

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #22 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.  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).  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.

LuciferX

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #23 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?
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Mundus Imbroglio

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #24 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?

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #25 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?

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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #26 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:
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- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

LuciferX

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #27 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.
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Mundus Imbroglio

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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #28 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.


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Re: Notes from the other side of Buddhism.
« Reply #29 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.
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