I've arrived and to prove it I'm here! Here in London, England! Woo-hoo!
This is a brief stop before I go on to do talks in France, Poland, Germany, Finland, Holland, Ireland and Israel. Crazy, huh? But it's fun.
As a result of all this traveling, I haven't had much time to look at the nearly 300 comments posted on the last entry. But thank you for posting.
And before I go further, yet another Dimentia 13 record is now available as an MP3 download! So go get Mirror Mind! It's a trippy record, let me tell you! It features big hits like Twice The Speed Of Time, Roolz Is A Rule, and Psychedelic Mushroom Cloud Explosion! Plus Naked Truth, which is about J. Krishnamurti.
Anyway, I have noticed something funny every time I do a post about Big Mind™, which is that those posts always attract a number of anonymous comments whose purpose seems to be to move the discussion away from anything to do with Big Mind™. Not to get all conspiracy theorist on y'all, but I do know from past experience that some of the Big Mind™ crew take an interest in what I've been writing and have done this same sort of stuff openly on other sites where my comments have been re-posted. Elephant Journal, for example, where the head of the Big Mind™ organization got into some of this last year.
But whatever. But the latest thread started in this vein has to do with, "How dare Brad be so irresponsible as to give advice to sufferers of PTSD!!!" Some of the ensuing discussion has actually been interesting. But I do want to say that I'm unaware of having ever given any advice to sufferers of PTSD (that's post traumatic stress disorder, by the way, if you're not up on the latest American categorizations of life). One of these guys posted something I'd written on Suicide Girls that doesn't sound like advice to me.
In any case, whether I have or have not "given advice," I to tend to assume a certain degree of intelligence among my readership, and I will continue to do so. Dan Savage, who does give advice to all kinds of people, always says that his is an advice column and not binding arbitration, that his readers and listeners to his podcast are not obligated to take the advice he gives. Whoever reads or listens to him, he says, is responsible for themselves.
I completely agree. I assume that people who read my stuff know that I do not know them personally and that I am not omniscient and omnipotent. I don't present myself as having all the answers even for me, let alone for anyone else. I actually try not to say things that appear to be advice, but even if I do sometimes slip and give advice, I consider that whoever reads/hears that advice has to decide for themselves if it's useful or not. I further assume that a fair portion of my readership discards anything I might have to say as the ravings of a lunatic. Or as one guy in the comments said, someone not as "deep" as Genpo Roshi (I certainly hope I'm not!).
My own two Zen teachers were always very reluctant to advise anyone on anything. Even when I specifically asked them for advice, they'd almost never give me any. The best I could get from them was maybe something like, "Well, when I was in a similar situation here's what I did." That seems to me now to be a really good way of handling it. Though it was often frustrating when I really wanted guidance. But guidance is probably not what most of us really need. We need to learn to be our own guide.
In any case, carry on discussing. I'm gonna go see the record shops of Camden Town!