Sunday, February 08, 2009

NEW SG ARTICLE: WHY CAN'T WE ACCEPT GOOD SPIRITUAL ADVICE UNLESS IT COMES FROM SUPERMAN

My new Suicide Girls article is up now click here to see it. They also have an RSS feed which is here and may be accessible by people using networks on which the Suicide Girls site is banned. The new article is about my new book and it's called "Why Can't We Accept Good Spiritual Advice Unless It Comes From Superman?" This is one of the central themes of the book.

Of course, some smarty pants out there in comment land is bound to say that mine is not good spiritual advice. Fair enough. But why can't we seem to accept any spiritual advice unless we believe the source of that advice to be somehow divine? I think this is a very important question.

243 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 243 of 243
Harry said...

What the hell's that got to do with Ewing Oil?

H.

Anonymous said...

Me thinks Gummo needs to read Brad's book more closely.

jundo cohen said...

My compliments to the fellow with the ill chosen name

foiuntaingrass_moisture said...

Sigh...
Once again what was a good, informative thread of comments about zazen and shikantaza has devolved into personality issues and anger issues between Brad and Jundo, and what's worse...psychobabble.


Please folks, whatever my motivations (or what you think my motivations are) focus on the discussion. I am sure that it is all due to Brad and I not being breast fed as babies. :-)

Is 'dropping the body and mind' a personal experience or not?

Should/can Brad drop all the 'crap' that is so against Jundo and Jundoism or not?


"Dropping body and mind" is not a personal experience. There is no "person", inside or out. And what I just wrote are just words, so now throw those away and just taste that reality in action!

Absolutely!!

Oh, and "dropping body and mind" is a personal experience cause I am gonna be a "person" every day until I die, especially off the Zafu. And if I cannot taste the "no person" in my "person" at those times, then this practice stays stuck on the Zafu.

By the way, Harry ...

a forum such as this which you have not barred me from (as you did from Treeleaf Zendo when I announced that you do not teach what your teacher or Dogen Zenji teach/taught... which you clearly don't).

You were never barred from Treeleaf, and are always welcome back. You left. You also did not like that I asked you to stop yelling (like now) at other members. I am happy to discuss with you civilly your belief that I do not teach what Dogen and Nishijima Roshi teach/taught. Sometimes I don't play my jazz piano the same way as them.

It is my sincere wish that Brad and Jundo could openly address one another on these issues . . .

That WOULD be nice. I am just writing here about a book on a blog in which the author solicits and invites comments on the book. My opinion is no more valuable than anyone else's opinion.

I'm an angry person, from an angry family, from an angry place/time in an angry world... I look at how I could have turned out (it's BAD) and I think 'Harry, you angry nearly-middle-aged-fuck, you ain't so bad...'.

Now, Jundo, should I drop that off/ can I drop that off? Speak, Priestboy.


You are not so bad Harry, and moreover, you are perfectly just Harry. But, yes, you could probably do well to allow some of the thinking that leads to being bound in --excess-- anger to drop away. If you cannot do that lots of the time (not always, for we are not machines) both on and off the Zafu, then maybe your method of Zazen needs an adjustment? Maybe?

Gassho, Jundo

Harry asked: Would you like to be frank about your feelings regarding the leadership of Dogen Sangha? Who would you appoint?

Okay, let me jump in here too, cause the innuendo squad is using this to distract from the issues. This "organization" exists primarily in the mind of an old gentleman who likes to dream a bit. I would need to be "leader" like a hole in the head, cause it would be like herding cats at a non-existent cat ranch (whatever that means). I once hoped that it would be more of a chance for Nishijima's various heirs to talk to each other and work on some projects together, but his heirs pretty much hate each other and don't talk to each other (it is really sad). I was and am happy to have Brad as the leader, although I felt/feel that their should be a few ethical "checks and balances" on conduct as adopted by almost every Western Sangha to prevent, for example, sex & money scandals. Folks, I've got enough bowling trophies in my closet, and it ain't about the "rewards" you get in life anyway. :-)

Anonymous said...

ta duh! thanks guys. think that I'll go watch south park now. peace out dudes.

THOMAS AMUNDSEN said...

Hi Jundo,

You said:

"Thank you for writing. Are you, I suppose, what you define as a "fully enlightened being?" Or maybe you have met in person your image of such a perfect creature? Or is that just something you read about in a Buddhist story?"

I am certainly not a fully enlightened being. I know I am also less realized then either you or Brad, having met Brad several times, and having chatted with you before on E-Sangha.

My belief that the cessation of suffering is possible, that there are "perfect beings" is something I read in a Buddhist story. But, what is more, I have practiced with more realized beings than myself who also believe in this. And I can see the changes in myself. Given that, I am led to believe that it is certainly possible to be completely liberated.

I'm not saying I positively _know_ that such a being exist(ed). I'm just not completely denying it.

Gassho _||_
Tom

Harry said...

Dear Cliffdo,

I won't go into the details of the blocking-of-me-going-back-to-Treeleaf (that was diplomatic for an angry guy!), or the fact that you did it without informing me by a polite, or even businesslike, or even impolite, email.

I only yelled at the people you should have yelled at, so it doesn't count... I didn't yell at anyone actually: I merely requested that a repeat offender insert his self-righteous Buddhist lectures up his anus (I think I said 'ass' and, yes, I'm afraid I'm quite proud of it)... I, of course, would have been giving the self-righteous Buddhist lecture on another day, but nobody would have had the balls, and the decency, to tell me what to do with them.

Yes, I'm in playful form.

I couldn't possibly let perfectly good anger 'drop away' from the zafu as it is exactly what makes the world roll around on the floor like a silly big Zen baby... don't be silly.

I do like it when you're honest. I don't think that all the Dharma heirs really hate each other... but some of them really are assholes (very hard to like) and so maybe its not such an unreasonable situation.

I'm sure it'll a work out for the best.

Regards,

Harry.

THOMAS AMUNDSEN said...

Oh, and to make it clear. I also consider my attempts at liberation to be half-assed as well. Maybe quarter-assed.

jundo cohen said...

I'm not saying I positively _know_ that such a being exist(ed). I'm just not completely denying it.

I don't completely deny either, but I am a skeptical agnostic on such issues. I prefer my Buddhas and Zen teachers not to be "supermen", as Brad rightly puts it. I think the Buddha and old masters got built up in a process of hagiography (folks who don't know the word, please look it up) over time, stuffed onto golden pedestals.

On the other hand, I like my Zen Teachers on that lovely "middle" road somewhere between "superman" and "full time asshole". :-)

Gassho, Jundo

Mr. Assowipe said...

"I think your contributions to this blog would be more effective and credible if you weren't critical of other teachers"

Rich, do you also feel this way about Brad's criticism of other teachers? Or does this not apply to him?

Anonymous said...

oh, I get it! I get it!

Jundo is like the guest you invited for the weekend who doesn't leave, but takes up permanent residence!

Treeleaf, e-sangha and those other places he spends time aren't enough!

But now he's got it, by Jove! He is going to stay and stay and stay and stay and this is where he is going to stay

Welcome to Brad's blog and Jundo's Comments y'all!

jundo cohen said...

But now he's got it, by Jove! He is going to stay and stay and stay and stay and this is where he is going to stay

The host and the guest.

I am sure there is room for everyone. :-)

Gassho, Jundo

Anonymous said...

funny,
brad didn't mention in his blog that his comments section was going to be monitored by a guest host.
maybe it's not so funny after all

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin said...

Well maybe I'm blind, but I don't see this 'repressed', 'passive-aggressive' motivation that certain others claim to see in Jundo. And I'm pretty good at spotting that sort of thing.

His comments seem well-reasoned, balanced, based on experience and in accord with Zen Buddhism that I've learned about elsewhere. And if Brad wrote criticised any of you in his book I'm sure you'd be up here having your say too. (Brad upsets people sometimes, it's not unusual).

Hey, I criticise Brad plenty of the time, but not because I was ever in with a chance of being head of Dogen Sangha International Inc! I criticise Brad (as do a lot of people - he's a controversial guy) because constructive criticism is healthy and sometimes it's due. For example, Brad does tread roughshod over the precepts and the precepts are not an optional extra. If you just want to do Zen meditation that's just Zen meditation not Zen Buddhism.

I think you guys should stop being so hostile to Jundo. It's plain to see that some others have a 'beef' with Jundo and some have a knee-jerk hostility towards anyone who criticises Brad (as I have experienced on a number of occasions). Projection and ad hominem attacks wear psychobabble as a disguise.

Stop digging up the past and lets have a reasonable discussion.

Anonymous said...

comments section has been bombarded before by trolls
it is the nature of trolls
even zen trolls
to be trollish
got to roll with it

think of it as just another way
to spin the dharma wheel

and roll with the troll

At The Moment said...

Where is "host"?
Where is "guest"?

Anonymous said...

Stef,

Psychoanalysis as a whole is a scam.

PA said...

LET ME REPEAT: My issue with Brad's book is --not-- that he frequently got angry, sad, depressed or a hard on for a student. My issue is that he (1) seemed in the book unable to see through, or even describe to readers, any of those states from a Buddhist perspective as the "self" created "mind games" that they often are; (2) he seemed unable to bring his Zazen practice to bear on redirecting or reducing any of those emotions when in excess (for example, Zazen will not cure anger, nor should it, but it will reduce the fires of excess anger when one is all tied up in that) (2) he just stayed there month after month and eventually even raised up being twisted up in each of those states (anger, confusion, sleeping with a student, his "I vow to stay an asshole") onto a pedestal as an expected, necessary and even positive outcome of Zen Practice. They are not, any more than driving day after day (not just accidentally once in awhile) on the wrong side of the highway is "good driving" (especially if you are supposed to be a professional driving instructor).

The book's title refers to karma. Zazen won't rid us off our karma,right? So a lot of issues we have etc. are going to come for a while. A lifetime of rubbish. And things will never be quiet and peaceful. I think it's just a question of emphasis - Brad emphasizes the rubbish to show people it's OK to feel that way, we all do. But at the same time throughout his writing he says, sit Zazen everyday - it really helps. Jundo emphasizes the peace and says, look through this rubbish and it's peaceful. Sit Zazen everyday and it really helps.
I like that there are 2 ways. And there really is no need to force people to believe one or the other.

A-P said...

Hello,

It almost seems to me that Jundo is here because Brad invited him to get some action in the comments section.

I like it very much.

I agree with both Jundo & Brad with their opinions and writings and I don't think anyone of us three is more "enlightened" than the others. We are all right and also wrong at the same time.

Buddhist geek said...

Im sorry Braddy chan, but I didn't really like this book. It was fortuituous however, since I realized that zen was bullshit and I didn't need to do zazen to become a wreck.

Harry said...

Today's blog post inspired by recent events... for what it's worth:

In a particularly important and pithy chapter of Shobogenzo called Zanmai-o-Zanmai ('The Samadhi which is King of Samadhis') Master Dogen speaks of three theoretical foci: sitting with the mind which is different from sitting with the body, bodily sitting which is different from sitting with the mind, and sitting which is free of body and mind which is free of "sitting which is free of body and mind" (i.e. the concept of doing it, or anything: no thought, no thinker).


Buddhism, of course, posits that body and mind are not separate. This does not challenge that I think but is just a model used to emphasise points.


As Al points out in the last comments section, Nishijima Roshi, despite clear teachings to the contrary (such as that below), is sometimes criticised as someone who emphasises 'the body', 'posture', the physical aspect of Zazen too much.


Sitting upright is nothing other than thinking. Thinking is nothing other than sitting upright. This can either be the sort of thinking that I might like the act of sitting upright to be, or it can be the actual real thinking that sitting upright is. Its up to me.


It may be the difference between sitting as my own personal psychological redemption, and sitting realised as what it is/ sitting realising me directly as what I actually am really doing.


Regards,


Harry.

Rich said...

Mr. Assowipe said...
"I think your contributions to this blog would be more effective and credible if you weren't critical of other teachers"

"Rich, do you also feel this way about Brad's criticism of other teachers? Or does this not apply to him?"

Yes, in general I do but there may be an exception if a teacher is causing direct harm. There are a lot of comments by Jundo that I like and I am happy he is filling a big void in this blog. I hope to have more time to comment on them and expand on some of things I said like 'letting go of thoughts ad feelings'. But I have a real job and this is not a game but the reality of life and death.

Anonymous said...

It might actually be rather interesting to get both Jundo and Brad writing and commenting on the same forum - here or elsewhere - but then again often when two people with adamant views and opinions clash the result is just annoying and awkward headbanging when neighter side is willing or able to see the other's points of view.

Now this so called debate between the two roshis remains a bit loose when Jundo makes specific rebuttals and comments here and Brad replies in a generalish way through his blogs posts and books.

Anonymous said...

this is what Jundo has been asking for: mano a mano with Brad

so let's book Madison Square Garden!! talk about dharma combat!

but I'd rather see them throw pies at each other

or enter and air guitar contest

to determine who is the bestest

Anonymous said...

'buddhist mind games'
are the ego's dressing up in buddhism to continue its same old same old self-preserving/defensive habits of mind.
Jundo points finger at Brad, but remember Jundo is a lawyer by profession: his ego dresses up in buddhism accordingly:
he lines up his evidence, his facts, he makes his citations
Remember he needs the audience of a jury/courtroom and I guess that's where this blog and we come in.
So he's putting Brad on trial in the comment section of Brad's own blog
There is a certain amount of skanky brilliance to this, but that's an attorney for you.

What is he like over on his own Treeleaf site? Go take a look and see for yourself. Everything is controlled, posting behaviors must fall within an 'acceptable' range. From at least two people posting here, it would seem when he was challenged, he invited the challengers to leave or pejoratively labeled them and then invited them to leave.

There is veneer to his view of the precepts which in a short term setting might look ok in that there is someone, a person, namely you, following a specific precept. but in the long run this creates an 'as if' action, following an idea of a precept, an idea of a follower of a precept and not just the effortless action of it (there being no person, there being no precept).
The effortless action is just the self being the self and just this life as it is.

As 'wrong side of the road' as it may appear to Jundo, Brad's writing reveals self finding itself exactly where it is, with nothing to push away and nothing to grasp.

Jundo appears to find in this honesty and insight vulnerability he can now capitalize on: crevices he can further chip away at to find more to expose to censorious light. But Brad wasn't writing confessions, at least, that's not what I experienced; he was writing the truth of his life as he lived it this past 1 1/2 years.

To my way of thinking there is the livingness of zen, like the germ of life in a seed. There is also the structure, like the seed pod or casing around the seed. For the practice of zen to continue it needs both structure and livingness.
Neither one is 'bad,' and neither one is 'good.' Both are essential to continuation (the great matter of lifeanddeath).These two aspects (depending on your viewpoint) compliment each other, preserve each other, or 'destroy' each other.

For a long time the structures of zen have been revered. Many students coming to zen practice, to buddhism fall in love and have love affairs with the structures, even marry the structures and become one with structure. The livingness of zen is emerging. Living always continually emerges. Right now from where you are, (not from where you think you should be or where you think you should aspire to be, or where someone else thinks you should be).

Pot-kettle-black said...

"Yes, in general I do but there may be an exception if a teacher is causing direct harm."

I think Brad truly believes certain teachers are causing great harm. Jundo also believes this...it so happens that Brad is one Jundo thinks is causing this.

This is just standard justification and operating procedure for all dogmatic religious authorities. Every 2 bit preacher denouncing other preachers from different sects also thinks the same thing. The Baptist minister wants to save his congregation from being influenced by those poor deluded Jehovah Witnesses. The Mormons denounce the Scientologists because they believe they're causing people harm. Catholic Priests condemn Buddhist teachers because they believe they are leading people to hell. Same with Islam and the rest.

All believe they are saving people from harm by their criticism. They all believe it's different in their own case, just like Brad and Jundo do. They tend to point to Dogen's own criticism of other zen masters as justification. From my pov, this just puts Dogen in the same boat. The old chan masters would criticize what they considered mistaken views of other teachers, but rarely ever mentioned other teachers by name. This seems to be a very questionable Japanese contribution to Zen and Buddhism in general. Sectarian, ego-driven one up manship is pervasive in their writings. Nichiren is particularly harsh in his critique of zen in general.

Rather than simply justify this sort of talk by appealing to authority, I would suggest investigating the real and personal reasons that we choose to put down others. We do it in all phases of our lives, not just in religion. Only my political party or leader is correct. My country is the bestest. My dad can whip yours.

I may believe that homeopathy is a dangerous and harmful practice. If so, I could clearly point this out and why I believe it OR I could just personally attack people like Jinzang, calliing them frauds, asswipes, dickheads, etc. Which is more effective? Which is more aligned with compassion and wisdom?

Brad once said:

"If we don’t criticize these things because we fear we may violate the precepts we’re doing a terrible disservice to people who want to know what real Buddhism actually is."

Here's the problem with this as I see it; "Real Buddhism" (TM) is an idea, a concept. The leaders of Aum Shinryko think they know what Real Buddhism is and so it's OK to kill people if it furthers their own idea of it. Zen master Rama believed 'his' was the Real Buddhism, so does Genpo, Brad and countless others. With ideologies, all else becomes subservient to your own ideas. It's ok to kill in the name of communism, to lie to bring sinners to jesus or to act unethically (or break precepts) when it furthers your own ideology. It's OK to disparage and personally attack others if it furthers your ideology. In Brad's case this is Real Buddhism.

What is Real Buddhism? Is Buddhism a doctrine or dogma, a set of ideas that we give assent to?... whether that is Brad's idea or mine or Genpo's? This puts it in exactly the same category as any other ideology or idealism. For all of Brad and Nishijima's talk of Buddhism not being idealism, when you think or say 'this is Real Buddhism' and 'this is not real buddhism', isn't this exactly making Buddhism into a form of idealism, even if you want to rename this idealism "realism"? It's still a product of conceptual thinking and comparison.

I could give a shit less whether I am a Real Buddhist or am practicing Real Buddhism. My commitment has always been to finding what is the true nature of reality directly, not according to some dogma or ideology. That's why I took-up zen practice and studied the teachings of the Buddha (and others).

This is a common problem with zen students, even advanced students and teachers. They have some glimpse of realization (call it what you will) and instead of deepening or extending this insight, they immediately begin spinning concepts, then teaching these concepts and strong personal opinions as if they were the Truth itself.

In my view, Buddhism is all one big upaya or skillful means. (I see Jinzang is of the same view, btw.) . It isn't the only one, nor is it even the best one for every single individual. Within Buddhism itself, some approaches or sects seem to work better for some individuals and not for others. For all Brad's railing against Tibetan buddhism, it seems to have worked well for people like Jinzang, just as Theravada works well for others. Even though I have only practiced zen, I can see that other approaches work well for different people. Of course if you think the point of zen is to hold the correct ideas, assent to the correct dogmas, sit in the sacred posture and uphold the True doctrines, no other approach, school or sect could be the Real Zen or True Buddhism. But if you think Zen is about discovering the true nature of your own self and the direct uncovering of reality itself (they are one), then it isn't about holding a particular ideology or set of beliefs "about" reality. Not just getting some brief glimpse or wonderful experience, but the full actualization of your true self moment by moment.

The ancients said; If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill the buddha. Why? If you see the Buddha, he's not the real Buddha, it's a concept of buddha and you should kill it in order to see the real buddha. Similarly, if you find Real Buddhism on your road, kill it. No one can actually show you the Real buddha or teach Real buddhism because it's not an idea, ideal, dogma or doctrine that can be imparted by any practice, book, teacher, even a buddha.

All that any teacher can do is use some form of upaya. As long as the teacher understands that she is usiing upaya, this can work. (and yes, Zen is truly a "What works for you" teaching) But if the teacher believes that his upaya (method, approach, practice) is the Truth itself, all sorts of delusion and confusion will arise. The 8 fold path is a skillful means, koans are skllful means and zazen itself is skillful means, as are the sutras and writings of the old masters. 84,000 dharma gates means that there are many approaches to find what works for you. Many paths can point you to what is Real, but there is no 'one, true, real path' or one, true real zen...because all paths are really no paths at all. You can't actually 'get there' by any path whatsoever. They are only upaya. Buddhas use conceptual thought to point beyone conceptual thought.

Anonymous said...

you're only on the 'wrong side of the road' according to the person who made 'road' and who made 'wrong and right' sides of it.
there is no 'wrong' or 'right' side of your way through unmarked LIFE
from where Jundo sits, Brad's life looks wrong
From where I sit Brad's life doesn't look 'wrong', but Jundo's perception of the 'wrongness' of Brad's life looks wrong to me, not as he perceives it for himself, but as he promotes his perspective as authority on the rightness and wrongness of another's life.
Aren't perspectives fun? they can make you feel so...so self righteous!

Jinzang said...

Psychoanalysis as a whole is a scam.

Psychotherapy works at least as well as drugs. for common disorders.

I realized that zen was bullshit

You realized no such thing. You came to a conclusion without doing the experiment.

Al said...

I've created a new aggregation blog for the Zen Community at http://community.zen-sangha.org. The Zen Community blog is meant to aggregate the blogging of the Zen Community. The idea is to give a snapshot of what is going on in the Zen blogosphere.

I've blogged about this on my own blog in more detail at http://www.arcanology.com/2009/02/12/new-zen-community-aggregation-blog/.

What it does is read the RSS feeds of other blogs and republishes the posts from these feeds on the site. The Mozilla community uses that for its members at http://planet.mozilla.org, for example, to pull in Mozilla posts from blogs all over the world. This is common in the software development world. I want to do the same for Zen bloggers.

What I am looking for is other Zen bloggers who are willing to let their content be republished at the site. I won't pull anyone's feed without permission and, in most instances, I can make it so the feed only pulls categorized posts if people mark Buddhist or Zen posts in a certain category for those that write on many topics.

All links on the posts themselves point back to the original blog and comments are off so people will go to the original blog if they have comments. I would like to add your blog to the site, if I can get your permission. If you have any suggestions for other blogs or wish to forward this message to others in order for them to contact me, please do so.

Thank you,
Al Billings
albill@arcanology.com

Anonymous said...

if it's Brad you want to talk to about this, then comments section is not the most reliable way to reach him
better would be to contact him at spoozilla@gmail.com
at least that's my impression from his blog

Anonymous said...

Psychotherapy works at least as well as drugs. for common disorders.

Ah, now psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are two different animals, and the while the later is a total scam some aspects of the former are not without some merit in the psychoworld. What merit actually remains to be seen, and while - as mr. Jizz points out - it is sometimes as effective as drugs for common disorders it can either mean that both therapy and drugs are as effective or as ineffective as just having a friend you can talk to. No need to pay excessive amounts for that!

Now, psychotherapy as a general term is pretty controversial too and much of it is just hocus-pocus-psychobabble.

Observator said...

I must say, that looking at all the combats etc. between two of the "supposedly enlightened" dharma heirs of Nishijima, I can't help but notice that this lineage can't really be taken very seriously.

And when two of the authorized teachers of this lineage seem to be skeptical about the existence of satori alltogether, I can't help but to think that there might not be any authentic teachers at all in this lineage.

This makes me doubt that if Nishijima ever had a deep satori, he might have settled to authorize people who haven't got very deep insights as teachers. Perhaps he didn't find any, or perhaps this is just one of those lineages where enough practise time is considered as qualification to have dharma transmission.

Now I undesrstand better why Brad wasn't very fond of receiving the whole dharma transmission thing alltogether. Well, let's hope that some of you teachers will get genuine insight someday.

gniz said...

I don't know that I've ever had much genuine mystical insight myself....I tend to resonate somewhat with people like Brad and Jundo that kind of poo-poo that stuff to some extent.

At the same time, my teacher Steve, who seems to have more genuine realization than any of these clowns (including myself) has spoken often about deep understandings that he's had into the nature of thoughts, vision, his eternal self, etc.

So i cant totally discount that stuff because someone i know and sort of trust has had some experiences far beyond my own. Maybe they really do exist and 99.9 percent of people just dont have them or fake them?

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Brad, I forget, which anonymous post are yours and which are mine?

Anonymous said...

Gniz, is this teacher of yours you are referring to a Zen teacher? Because if he is, what exactly does he mean by eternal self - I think the whole concept of no-self is pretty fundamental to Buddhism!

Rich said...

Anon said:
"Many paths can point you to what is Real, but there is no 'one, true, real path' or one, true real zen...because all paths are really no paths at all. You can't actually 'get there' by any path whatsoever. They are only upaya. Buddhas use conceptual thought to point beyone conceptual thought."

Brad just said that he doesn't read his own blog's comments because they are mostly trolls commenting. So I guess the comments section doesn't have anything to do with Brad, but he is really missing some good shit like the above and the complete comment that went with it.

gniz said...

Nope my teacher is not a zen teacher and i dont practice zen so i guess you can disregard everything i say as having no merit.

Stephanie said...

Great posts from "Pot-kettle-black" and Anon @ 8:45AM.

This comments section is getting to be a cocked-up mess with all the different conversations going on, but I still wanted to respond to a couple of things:

1) You must have read a different book than I did, Jundo, because it seems to me Brad did exactly what you say someone should ideally do. He spent the book describing numerous stressful or difficult situations that he was able to handle without freaking out or going off the deep end. As for Brad's vow to "be an asshole forever"--this was obviously tongue in cheek; mild-mannered Brad's definition of "being an asshole" is simply to be truthful and true to who he is. I don't see how any of the behavior documented in the book caused anyone much harm. Brad's brief foray with intoxicants seemed to have as much to do with being a gracious guest as any real burning desire he had to do those things. As for the sex stuff--I found it all pretty sympathetic, nothing shocking or outrageously out of line. I just don't see someone flailing around in an "imbalanced state" as you seem to.

2) Psychotherapy is indeed increasingly supported by empirical evidence as a method of alleviating suffering and promoting well-being. Certainly, it doesn't lead to a result as comprehensive or sweeping as does a committed spiritual practice can, but in some cases, it gets at things that can be missed even in a sincere and intense spiritual practice, and that can impede a spiritual practice.

As for psychoanalysis--any form of psychotherapy in practice today owes its existence to the seminal influence of Freud and other early psychoanalysts. Hardly anyone practices "classical psychoanalysis" any more, with the minimally responsive therapist and the couch, etc., but the theories and practices that have come since and built on these early models continue to be supported as effective models of the human mind and as promoting effective intervention strategies.

Certainly, one cannot expect to simply cure people of all psychological distress. Psychotherapy is not a magic bullet. But it does help people, and it is very different to the also very important 'intervention' of talking to friends and loved ones. Therapists interact with clients very differently than friends interact with friends, know what to look for in a person and how to address it.

Not everyone has to get into therapy but it certainly is not a "scam."

jamal said...

gniz is feeling no love. :(
I think he got a chip on his shoulder. he's got a lot invested in this steve dude who he kinds of sorta trusts, maybe. this might be why he likes to bust buddhist balls. it's his ego scratchin and clawing..

Anonymous said...

Cee-Lo Green! He so freaky!

Let your freak flag fly!

Let your freak out!

Big and chunky freakitude!

Anonymous said...

In honor of a major computer age milestone:

bugs$ date +%s
123467890
bugs$

Here's some computer zen from an early pioneer:

"I realized that from now on
a large part of my life would
be spent finding and correcting
my own mistakes."

--Maurice Wilkes, 1949

Will said...

Some poeple f**k and some people don't.

However, most of us eat.


Gassho

Anonymous said...

五島列島
水産加工
牡蠣
きびなご

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