Keep Calm and Ban Everyone

sotoposterTwo other friends of mine, Arne Chosfer (cultural critic and bon vivant extraordinaire) and Galley Trot (an accomplished Buddhist scholar and expert in the treatment of Post-Buddhist Stress Disorder) recently joined the Soto Zen Facebook group, offering their perspectives. Hardly surprising, both were banned within a few hours.

Galley Trot
I just joined this site. I havt say: beschizzlefoschizzle, bitches! Good shit. This Tutteji dude and this Erica Sagn are not the site admin in disguise. I mean, everything else here is lame and platitudinous by comparison. Yawww!

Lana Berrington (admin)
Galley – yup.. lame and boring and without drama… that’s what this place is all about. Some people won’t like that.. but you can’t please everyone. ps: please watch your language,

Galley Trot
Oh, forgive me Mother Lana Berrington. “Dude” = “Gentleman”

That final comment apparently made Mother Superior jump the gun, and Galley Trot was swiftly banned from the group. Let’s see what happened with Arne Chosfer:

x-buddhist 1
Like most failed comedians, this “gentleman” [Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho] wants to make it about the audience. It’s not. His act flopped on it’s own merits.

Another Voice of Sanity
Your absolutely right Number 1, Whoever posts a thread that does not receive the desired response that the contributor intended, then that group member should be banned.

Another Voice of Sanity
Whoops! Please strike my last post from the record. I accidently used sarcasm AKA lying. Hopefully I don’t receive an infraction or get banned.

x-buddhist 2
Ah, c’mon now lads! Wouldja ever ‘man’ up at all, for Christ’s sake? Ye’re all acting like a bunch of petty-minded schoolkids!

Another Voice of Sanity
Number 2,With all the cursing and name calling you’ve opportunistically added to Tutte’s thread my first impression was that you were the troll everyone was talking about in the deleted threads of his. Then I thought you were his little buddy just joking around with him. When I realized that you were a part of the opposition against him is when I started to not see his threads as trolling. I’m serious. Your comments were the most offensive part of this whole thing. Talk about school kid mentality.

x-buddhist 2
AVoS, I’m neither for nor against anyone, anything, or any one view.
That is clearly confusing for one such as you, which is presumably why you were struggling to work out whose ‘side’ I was on.

But that’s what gives me the freedom to comment as I do. If you feel offended by my neutral comments then I guess you feel offended. Feel free to sit with your offense if you can. 🙂

Arne Chosfer
So, Number 2, as a good little Soto Zen altar boy, you’re “neither for nor against anyone, anything, or any one view.”

Still, you don’t hesitate to tell someone: “Now fuck off and take your pathetic attempts at trolling someplace else! Ya … twat, ye!” and “My ’associates’ are currently tracking down the ID and physical location of ‘Tutte’ and his supporters.”

What does this say about your character?

x-buddhist 1
AVoS, my friend, here’s how it should go: whoever attempts comedy and fails should be called out for bad material or bad delivery. If they then compare themselves to Lenny Bruce, i.e. a “misunderstood” genius, they should be banned from polite company.

Arne Chosfer
Listen now, Billy boy [x-buddhist 1], and I’ll tell you how it is. First, the ”comedy” worked just fine, and the fact that you and [two other x-buddhists] don’t get this and keep posting your irrelevant (but highy revealing) nonsense, makes it better and better. As for Tutte’s tounge-in-cheek comparison with Lenny Bruce, it was an explicit reference to Bruce’s *late* performances – another point which you completely missed.

x-buddhist 1
Yes, Arne, me wee lad, I did not read the gentleman’s explanation; just as, when I dislike a performance, I don’t buy a ticket for the next. I’m sure it was all quite “tongue-in-cheek” and, for some, may have been hilarious.

Arne Chosfer
I see, you didn’t read, you just quoted. Great performance, Billy boy!

x-buddhist 2
Arses should be firmly and regularly placed on cushions.
They serve no purpose on FB.

Arne Chosfer
May I suggest you go crawl back from under your zafu. And keep your “neutral” comments to yourself

x-buddhist 2
Suggest what you like Arne. I wasn’t talking to you!

Lana Berrington (admin)
Arne and Number 2, will you both just knock it off… !

Arne Chosfer
And now Billy boy’s comments are disappearing, Spooky!

Arne Chosfer
Not with a ban but a whimper.

x-buddhist 2
And so are mine, Arne! Even though my last one was agreeing to knock it off, with a rider!

Lana Berrington (admin)
arne.. please –

Eric Kow (admin)
cease fire, cease fire…

Alas, Arne wasn’t given a chance to show his gentle side as he, too, was banned – without warning or notification – by the apparatchiks.

***

The purpose of this and the preceding two posts is not to fuck with this particular x-buddhist discussion group  and its moderators, and I have no particular interest in humiliating a few individuals who obviously are not the sharpest tacks on the bulletin board (hence the anonymization).

This should be obvious, but as I just read a comment by another apparatchik, Alasdair Gordon-Finlayson, stating that he doesn’t want to continue “a discussion that’s only been hurtful … while he [me] casts neatly anonymous aspersions on our lineages and moans that we won’t let him muck about in one particular not-at-all-important FB group”, it seems some clarification is needed.

These long excerpts were chosen because they are exemplary cases of how (online) x-buddhism functions.

The practice of banning participants from boards like this (or label them “trolls”) have been discussed at length elsewhere, just as the sly condescension and passive-aggressiveness, sometimes exploding  into open hostility.

Tom Pepper recently mentioned how, in defense of Thich Nhat Hanh, “a man claiming to have been a long-term resident of Plum Village emailed me that if he could find out where I lived he would come and burn my house down and murder my children,” and “a follower of Thannissaro Bikkhu, more restrained, only promised to ‘kick my ass’ if he ever met me.”  And here are some examples from a recent, private conversation I had with a Soto Zen devotee, after I was kicked out from another Zen Buddhist discussion group (the third this week, I think):

You just got booted from another group DICKHEAD Ha HA I win again luzer.

Who got booted asshole….eat shit and die..

Your performances   will earn you a trip to hell for the suffering you and yours cause….

I’ll be watching for you…hopefully you can get your meds adjusted or do some self admitting for a few weeks to your local Psych unit…

When telling outsiders about the way compassionate, wise and open-minded x-buddhists respond to criticism, or that subversive, un-American practice known as “irony”, one is often accused of exaggeration, so providing some typical examples could, at least, serve as a warning.

The long and exasperating  “dialogues” at the Soto Zen forum are exemplary  in other ways as well. A number of well-known x-buddhist moves  are on full display here, and the excerpts posted here would be suitable for a Speculative Non-Buddhism 101 course. So why don’t you apply the SNB heuristics on this material and show us your critical and analytical chops in a comment.

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22 thoughts on “Keep Calm and Ban Everyone

  1. I’m not sure if I’m on topic here but it’s interesting that, with the content that is being generated on this particular facebook forum, if you stripped it of it’s “Soto Zen” title it would be hard to tell it apart from any other forum on any particular subject.

    There are some moments where the muppet factor kicks in and the quotes are thrown around about getting back to Zafu’s or using “Right Speech”, but mostly it relies on the eternal forum structure of having a handful of people enforce their own interpretation of what is right or wrong with censorship and bans.

    Reading through what is left there it comes across more as some kind of Buddhist inspired neo-dadaism rather than any kind of serious debate or pursuit of a subject matter. I’m probably just a jaded ex-x-buddhist but I can’t see what is actually being accomplished in their content.

  2. Sorry to hog the comments, but the first reply was a bit rushed. I’m struggling to articulate where I would place this particular forum in terms of X-Buddhist behaviours because a lot of the taxonomy escapes me, but I do think that Soto Zen (in the X context) presents a baffling form of “avoidance coping” or some similar kind of thing. It is where I want to lead with the reference to dadaism, the co-opting of the “Zen Master Whacky-Crazy Roshi” behaviour that seems to be all through this particular forum / X-School.

    Zen particularly seems to have this kind of cargo-cultism where everyone has read the same few passages about fingers pointing at the moon, killing buddhas, being mindful, shit sticks and grinding out a million lifetimes on a Zafu; then go on to assume this means there’s nothing else to it besides whatever pops into their head at a particular moment. This in itself becomes an entirely defensible position, “because mindfulness”, or “because kill the buddha”, or “because shoes on head”.

    This kind of thinking and behaviour seems to present people with some kind of comfort zone where they will never have to deal with something as fundamental and difficult as relationships or conflicting ideas using any tool but escapism.

    To take some examples on the forum that reference the post here on the arguments with Soto Zen / Fearing the X, firstly –

    “when someone insults me…i bow and say thank you…”

    I genuinely hope this is someone participating in the Soto-Non-Sequitur quote game because I can’t picture it being healthy when someone gets to the point where this is honestly how they want to engage with the world. It does nothing, and says nothing, which I suppose is what some people on this forum aspire to, but it progresses nothing in the world, nor does it deliver any value. I could reasonably estimate that they have rarely bowed to anyone out of genuine cultural heritage or reflex outside of facebook as well.

    Of all the considerations, I think the topic of “value in the world” is what rubs me the most about participation in X-Buddhism. All of the schools feel like they are blind to the fact that they encourage the creation of individuals who either feel entirely justified in everything they do because they have “right intent” and “practice”, or have no need to act now because “their minds are not yet perfectly formed” enough to do anything.

    The Soto Zen forum here is a more overt example – all of the clever “things just got difficult, lets all shout random words until the tension passes” responses look like something from Anchor Man, but I’ve seen equally as useless behaviours with much more complexity from other schools.

    Addressing “right intent”, I have seen far too many X-Buddhists who will act out their aggression towards someone then turn around afterwards and comment on how it was “seed for practice” and how much they need to “meditate on their anger” or “purify for their actions”. Which is an excellent way to not only justify your behaviour, but ensure the entire thing remains firmly about you. It’s not often I’ve heard “I need to apologise for being an abrasive person” instead.

    Secondly, the “not until I’ve perfected my mind / merit” discussion comes up too many times. It’s incredibly hard to get some schools of X-Buddhist to participate in any activity other than Buddhism, because it’s the most important, critical activity that a human being can do. Volunteering will have to wait, being engaged with the community will have to wait, dealing with your own basic behaviour will have to wait. Modern Mahayana seem particularly addicted to this stance – until I am perfect, I can do nothing, because the actions might be wrong, and only my Guru or Lama can decide what is right until that point.

    Fundamentally, none of this achieves anything. Nobody is learning, they are just conducting “Buddhist Theatre” over and over again hoping that suddenly all the mess goes away and they can be free of all the difficulties of life. All of these hundreds of thousands of dollars spent attending courses and retreats, endless hours toiling away meditating and trying to run away from your own shadow, for what purpose?

    The ultimate form of this is the “Mindfulness / Buddha Nature / Big mind” approach where people seem to be encouraged to literally give up any attempt at reason, insight or reflection and conduct themselves in any way they choose to, providing they pay attention to it. It’s the Thich Nhat Hanh “deploy the bombs as long as you do it mindfully” school of practice. It’s been covered before but it is the perfect scam – change nothing and feel better about it.

    I’ve taken the long way there but the banning, editing and refusal to participate in these discussions is a symptom of this entire ass-backwards practice of X-Buddhism, it’s something I can only describe as an elaborate system of “avoidance” or “flinching” in relation to reality. As soon as something challenging comes up, there’s quotes to cover over it. There’s a pre-made rebuttal, explanation, justification. There’s an excuse for inaction and resignation. There is “Right Speech” to justify suppression of discussions. Finally, if it keeps going on long enough, there is “mindfulness” to “engage with it”, which never feels far off shoving your fingers in your ears and chanting “nah nah nah can’t hear you” in response to something unpleasant. Ultimately, these are all just really common behaviours amongst people that have somehow been giving a covering of yellow robes to give people a justification for engaging in them.

    With the whole of X-Buddhism I’ve often wished that Westerners had as many negative stereotypes about Buddhists as they do Muslims, because at least then it would scare off the hordes of bookshop-roshi’s that are out there building up this critical mass of “nothing”.

    • Before commenting I ought to make clear that I have some affiliation with those moderating the Soto forum,but that I also am somewhat sympathetic to his holiness tutteji roshi …Lots of assumptions are being made in your comment and by others who share your view. So: re bowing after an insult..why not? How is this not engaging? Is there only one way to respond to an insult? You say it progresses nothing and delivers nothing and this idea runs through your critique. But zen as an approach promises nothing: delivery and progress are constructions,albeit useful ones (at times) which it is the job of Zen to show as being constructed.After this is seen, it is up to the individual to act on this revelation if it may be called that. It seems that you would like people at that point to justify and defend themselves. This seems to me where tutteji’s work begins. Most cannot justify and resort to clichés as you point out. But the assumption is that Zen people or Buddhist people should somehow do better than “regular” folks,that they will be more engaged and not resort to amuletic behaviour to stave off reality. But zen people are just people. I think this is scary to some tutteji/non Buddhist types, and disappointing perhaps. Some of these zen/ x Buddhist types are amazingly engaged and some use zen to hide.this is fine, because we are not robots: practice of Zen/buddhism shouldn’t and cant guarantee anything. Anything can become a tool for avoidance it seems: maybe even posting anonymous critique of Buddhism? Anyway, I’ll leave it there for now.thanks.

      • Looking back I can see some sloppy thinking of my own around “it’s fine” and “just people”…more thinking to do on my part..

      • Sorry now I’m hogging the comments…but your idea of “Buddhist theatre” seems very fruitful in that Zen is certainly performative, and as a result lacks intellectual bite of any kind…hmmm..sorry will stop hogging now…

      • >> So: re bowing after an insult..why not? How is this not engaging? Is there only one way to respond to an insult?

        It’s a tactic identical to the deletion of comments and banning of users – it only serves to shut down the conversation. It is also taken completely out of context – it’s parroting the kind of behaviour seen in Koans that was never intended to be taken as a literal record of conduct. Additionally, bowing has ethnic and cultural significance that is not being respected by co-opting it into this kind of nonsense.

        >> But zen as an approach promises nothing: delivery and progress are constructions,albeit useful ones (at times) which it is the job of Zen to show as being constructed.

        >> Sorry now I’m hogging the comments…but your idea of “Buddhist theatre” seems very fruitful in that Zen is certainly performative, and as a result lacks intellectual bite of any kind…

        Where to these assertions come from? Even looking at the more mainstream presentations of Soto Zen, the Shobogenzo and other texts are present which are enormous intellectual endeavours, even ignoring the weight of analytical and intellectual content present in the Mahayana scriptures and original Suttas. Zen didn’t suddenly forget that all of these existed and still seems to make direct reference to a range of Suttas and Records.

        I’ve made it through about half of the Shobogenzo, even accounting for the complexities of translation it’s not “lacking in intellectual bite”. It could take someone a lifetime to fully study the text and tie it in with the cultural and social contexts that existed at the time in Japan in order to realise what it was attempting to accomplish.

        The cargo-culting that goes on in the West with regards to Buddhism astounds me. People target a handful of the scriptures that support their temperament and lifestyle and then claim to have “practice” and “wisdom”, any attempt to rebut the effectiveness of this is met with “but you’re just caught up in concepts still!”

        Practices such as emptiness (which is where some of these insult / bow ideas loosely come from) are considered to be the end point of an incredible amount of study and reflection, not something to be imitated at will.

        I say this as someone who personally recognised that I wouldn’t be able to function as a “Buddhist” due to the cultural weaknesses I have – I don’t speak Chinese, or Japanese, I don’t have the ability to understand many of the historical or social contexts for the literature, and what I can learn, I learn as a privileged middle classer who only has access to coffee-table quality Buddhist texts.

        I went through the process of removing all of my possessions, funnelling my income into charities, volunteering, anything that I thought could assist with Buddhist practice, but also recognising that you _have_ to make real changes to your lifestyle and behaviours for there to be value in this. Even having gone to those lengths, I could never feel the same sense of entitlement to create a public icon for Zen Buddhism and start shallowly repeating quotes and memes about the subject.

        It’s destructive, and mis-representative, and adds no value – consider it, what does it do? Who does it help? Who does it change? I’ve seen people suffer incredibly because of this third hand bullshit, if you want to see a life collapse, see what happens to someone after they have had “Buddhist Mindfulness” recommended as a “cure to their depression” only to discover that it’s not the entire picture much too late in the process to do anything about it.

        Go out and volunteer, work at a soup kitchen, actually read some Suttas and reflect on how you can become a better person, pick anything that would be more beneficial than posturing over these subjects which teachers neither the speaker or the listener.

        >> But the assumption is that Zen people or Buddhist people should somehow do better than “regular” folks,that they will be more engaged and not resort to amuletic behaviour to stave off reality. But zen people are just people.

        This is one aspect that the X-Buddhist meme is trying to identify though – people aren’t even participating in a humanist manner. I’m not talking about forums and rubbish quotes and banning here either – breaking down the flow of discourse, refusing to engage in debate and discussion, functioning on the assumption that you have some kind of knowledge or process that is special and apart from all of the other people around you – again, what value does this add?

        I have been through hundreds of posts on the Soto Zen FB group in the last few days and I have yet to see a single discussion on compassion, engagement, how to develop ourselves, the crippling effect of commercialism and distraction on our lives. The only thing that looked like real compassion was someone rebutting another when they were being incredibly disrespectful towards a shared post about a Zendo in Japan, dismissing it as being empty, or Zen having no possessions or whatever one-upmanship of “no mind” dribble was going on at the time. Is this Buddhism? Is this reaction to the suffering in the world and the need for compassion? Can we even question if it is or not without the discussion being shut down?

        I’m obviously not as invested in this as some people are, and I don’t know half as much as people on either side of the X-Buddhist fence, but I know that if I abandoned any sort of practice tomorrow I could still help others in life, find peace, understand the priorities that the world is going to face in my lifetime. I can apply my mind to this, using my social and intellectual capacity, and provide value. Can this discussion extend into Buddhism anymore or is it off limits? Again, can that question even be asked?

  3. I work with children. Sometimes the children become disenfranchised and group together in bitterness. They don’t actually resolve anything, they just sort of whine together. These comments sort of read like that. For better or worse (worse, I think) no one takes your group seriously because you have yet to say anything meaningful in a coherent way. For now you are like the children, more concerned with complaining loudly and making noise then effecting change.

      • So your response to me saying your comments are incoherent is to say my comment is incoherent? Keep up with the risque critiques and the throwing of flames. You guys are really stirring stuff up out there. Such power! Such incisive criticism! Such galvanizing words!

  4. I could easily fill my blog with censorship of what I call the Y-Buddhists (e.g. SNB), some of them are not much better than the X-Buddhists whom they target. Whenever I do so, it becomes obvious that they are just as pissed of as the X-Buddhists when a point is made of their own ideological weakness.

    • Hi Gui Do,

      The issue here was not “censorship” (a ridiculously misused term) as much as x-buddhist stupidity, hypocrisy and inability to deal with critique.

      If you have something to say about “ideological weaknesses” (and it’s not the same, lame, reactionary crap that’s already been discussed ad nauseam), please go ahead and do so.

  5. I understood “censorship” to be an expression of “the inability to deal with critique”.

    The ideological weakness of the Y-Buddhists (if they are even allowed to be subsumed into one coherent group) is their old-fashioned dialectical thinking. Although some of the authors they like to quote are known as being fond of marxism, I do not see that the Y-Buddhists reflect about their own prejudices enough. For example they do speak of circular arguments of the X-Buddhists – but stay in their own vicious circles (which make it necessary to adapt their premises, one of the latest was that the poor were excluded from Buddhist “wisdom”). I also detected a certain deficiency in the knowledge of zen, where phrases like “hotwiring” our common thinking were used long before a Y-Buddhist thus tried to paraphrase their favorite philosophers. If you have followed some of the Y-Buddhist’s blogs, you will find Y-Buddhist’s “stupidity, hypocrisy and inability to deal with critique” as well, although it may be delivered with a higher IQ or versatile rhetoric (though not with less aggressiveness or lack of conduct), I remember Pepper’s Theravada-limited view on the atman e.g. It seems that their view on ehtics is rather old-fashioned and “black-and-white”, they seem to be quite average in their incapibility to understand both sides of a moral problem (which could, according to moral science, be the characteristic of a developed moral subject).

    And of course there is that predictable demand (that you just applied yourself) which is not much better than being thin-skinned, through which Y-Buddhists try to guard against claims as mine: “the same, lame, reactionary crap that’s already discussed ad nauseam”. Just replace “reactionary” with “ideological”, and you get what X- and Y-Buddhists have in common.

    • Hi Guido,
      This is probably a waste of time, but let’s give it a try: If you want to have a serious discussion here, you should at least try and be a bit more specific. I don’t know what discussion(s) you’re referring to, what it means that “the poor were excluded from Buddhist ‘wisdom'”, and how such a statement would be an example of a “vicious circle”. I’m familiar enough with what you call “Y-Buddhist blogs” to know that Pepper’s critique of Buddhist crypto-atman has little to do with Theravada views. I also don’t get your point (if there is one) about ethics. What “moral problems” are you talking about here?

      Hi 壞蛋/坏蛋,
      Thanks for your kind words. A small correction: I am not in retirement, but in retreat.

  6. Yawn!
    Come on, Gui-Do! Grandmaster Tutteji is coming out of his retirement, giving you an opportunity to present some intelligent critique of SNB here on his most excellent blog – and this is all you’ve got?

  7. Guido is a waste of time. And I already wasted it. Nobody needs to do it anymore. He has no interest in understanding non-buddhist concepts. He already knows everything under the sun. He’s the typical I-am-beyond-everything-because-I-am-enlightened. He says about himself: I am not doing Zen, I am Zen. And what regards morals, good old Eido Shimano is his exemplar of superior ethical behavior. From the unenlightened point of view he’s a misogynic fuckard popping up with a new pseudonym everytime he has fucked up an old one – what he likes to do mostly with weird (to put it very friendly) opinions about sexuality. Leave the poor guy alone.

  8. Here is another mantra of the Y-Buddhists: “Is that everything you got?” (often not even establishing that they got more, as in the comment above).

    I pointed out that Y-Buddhists end discussions almost as easily as X-Buddhists – both sides are not interested in certain stuff the other side has to say.

    Tutteji: I will probably try to answer your questions more precisely in English in autumn on my own Neozen-blog because it would be a longer piece. A vicious circle in this case would be looking at capitalism with a (limited) marxist view and thus not be willing to see another reality, that anything we might call “wisdom” (or “bullshit”) in Buddhism is available to all, and those things that are taught in expensive retreats etc. are worth a shit.

    Here is another vicious circle: to call a sexaddict or someone just paying for sex “misogynic” (that is feminist ideology) or homophob (like Matthias once called me): I remember how I then tried to went public with an assfuck I did – in Buddhaland-Forum – and how for some strange reason the whole story did not go through, probably because I didn’t use a poetic synonym for “ass” – anyway, it ended with both of us being banned. (By the way, the last time I got banned was after I said my favourite topic would be “Buddha as a pansy” and why that had to lead to a male sangha – if you have to be a Jew to make Hollocaust-jokes, I thought I am qualified enough to make gay-remarks.)

    Pepper’s view is indeed limited, as in a couple of important Mahayana-sutras the atman is highlighted as an important concept vs. the anatman. So when Pepper points out that some teachers obviously speak of an atman, he overlooks that there is good reason for it in the tradition (not in his one, I suppose). Although it is correct to say that this atman would not be a “soul”. Pepper’s own citation list gives a hint to where he derives his knowledge from: http://nonbuddhist.com/wiki/index.php?title=Tom_Pepper_Citation_Table

    Matthias Steingass is full of those other Y-Buddhist mantras, let’s mirror them: “Matthias is a waste of time. Matthias has no interest in understanding zen-concepts.” If he would knew them – and not only satire – he would have detected the “I am zen” as a quote by Deshimaru Taisen, given in an interview to someone who practises in his lineage. I told Matthias already that I am talking to Buddhists via Buddhist terms in some places on the internet and elsewhere because they are able to understand what I mean: This interview was about not doing zazen (which must come as a shock to Deshimaru fans as to most X-Buddhists – and even some Y-Buddhists) but incorporating zen wisdom into daily life. I had given examples on Matthias’ blog, it is exactly the opposite of Y-Buddhist rhetorics: not “I am beyond everything” but “I am into it” (e.g. going to the slums of SE-Asia or taking care of someone misfortuned – and especially, not being “rich” in the material sense).

    The sentences about Shimano are Matthias’, not mine. I explained to him that I go with a scientific finding that the most moral person is the one who is able to understand different viewpoints in a conflict, and I compared THAT to what Zen means with being “beyond (conceptions of) good and bad”. Shimano and much greater sexual culprits were exposed in my blogs, but with the need to differentiate and with one recent detention order now (Thich Thien Son). Still I feel an obligation (and capacity) to understand someone like Thien Son who has never taught anything worthwhile to me (contrary to Shimano and Sasaki, and I gave examples in Matthias’ and my blog). I feel an obligation to detect the ideology and mental disorder in some of the witness reports of the Shimano- or Sasaki-Archive whereas I believed the first witness in the Thien Son case from the beginning (I met him personally). I still believe that is the way to do it, looking at a problem from as many different angles as possible.

    Let me put it this way: I do not require people either to read zen texts nor any ideological or scientific essays etc. to understand what I am saying (and when Matthias is quoting me speaking not to him, but to (X-)Buddhists, that is no contradiction because those Buddhists also get me). If I am not understood, I try to say it again differently, in simple terms. The Y-Buddhists repeatedly asked others to do a certain curriculum. When they succeed to put more complicated sociological or philosoophical matters in simple words (like “dis-enchantment” – Wallis -, the one goal zen training can be said to have, or “hotwiring the brain” – Steingass – which is exaclty what happens when one gives up his main former notions and conceptions of the world and why Laruelle’s ideas are rather old – “non-philosophy” overcoming dialectical thinking or a prior decision is what “non-religion” – zen – does when overcoming dualism or the requirements for zen-training, including meditation, although not understood or practised by many) it becomes obvious to me that their struggle is one against certain strains in Buddhism (organized, ritual, mythical, commercial, abusive etc.) which I have also fought in my blog for years.

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