Irony as Conformism

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  • Carl L Thunberg och Carin Jungmann gillar detta.
  • James Hogg I think you’re a victim of satire, but you can regard it as a kind of flattery.
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho Believe it or not, this is not satire: (I’m still trying to figure out if this guy is incredibly stupid or unbelievably cynical about his own profession)

    Treeleaf Zendo, An Online Soto Zen Buddhist Community
  • Justin Farquhar Sorry to breach the parody wall wall by asking a serious question, but… the hyperbole of the journalism aside, why shouldn’t employees at Google experience the (real) benefits of mindfulness (focus, stability, inner peace etc)? And why shouldn’t another Google employee help them to do so?
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho Justin: The parody walls come crashing down at the moment, both here and over at the blog. But that’s the stated purpose of transintegralism. I could respond in at least two ways to your question:

    1. I bring up this example because it is a particularly good example of how something purportedly relating to freedom is appropriated, sold, and used as a sedative by oppressive forces (not just talking about Google, of course). “Mindfulness” as the opiate of the middle classes.

    2. One could also question how “real” the benefits of so-called mindfulness practice really are. Are these guys actually “putting nothing in boxes and selling it”?

  • Matthias Steingass There’s this response at treeleaf by Enkyo: “It’s [i.e. Tutte’s site] cool in a disturbing kind of way. I’m shocked to see how easy it is to whip up b%^&*& it and make it look so convincing. Some good web designing skills, a creative marketing mind and a lot of spare time and there you have it.” I bet he doesn’t go any further re the implications of his insight. And that – seeing it and going on with business as usual – is real (and dangerous) stupidity.
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho There we have it again, Zizek’s “What if this distance, far from posing any threat to the system, designates the supreme form of conformism, since the normal function of the system requires cynical distance?”
  • Matthias Steingass Indeed. And that’s why ultimately parody is not enough. But in the meantime, until we figure something else, it is enlightening (sic!) to watch how these guys react. Folk, Horn, etc. are perfect examples of how the system, this ideology incorporates critique. I guess that means too it is worthless to engage in any prolonged discussion with them.
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho We’ll see. And, anyway, I aspire to become theLaibach of spirtuality.
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho i.e. I hope my activities have been more of an ironic “over-identification” with the system than merely a way of upholding a cynical distance towards it while fully participating. Where the lulz factor fits into this, I’d rather not think about.
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho Perhaps we should ask Jundo what he thinks about ir all.
  • Matthias Steingass You definitely do something very useful and illuminating. We could collect some examples how your parody deflates spiritual bullshit and how it (the SB) reacts to it by admitting the strange resemblance of the parody to there ‘work’ while at the same time going on a usual. This would make for a text at The Non-Buddhist. Have to think about it.
  • Matthias Steingass Yes, Jundo, let’s challenge him.
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho I just sent a message. Hope he responds.
  • Jundo Cohen Tutte, I would like to propose that you and I teach a seminar in “Mindlessness” (c) “Timeless-Time Planning”(c) and “Be a Buddhist Chick Magnet” (c) (just copyrighted the terms) for Silicone Valley types. Big Bucks to be made, and I want a Harley like Gempo. Gassho, Jundo
  • Justin Farquhar Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho 

    1. This quasi-Marxist viewpoint (and which seemed equally unconvincing from Zizek about Western Buddhism) is an ideological position that is simply not shared by all or even very many. It’s the old ‘Buddhism/meditation is a cop out’. And it doesn’t add up. What alternative to Western ‘capitalism’ is being offered? How do we know this alternative is better for ordinary people? Where is the workers paradise now? Russia? China? Cambodia? And where is the evidence that the practice decreases participation in politics anyway? And which politics? I’ve read parallel criticism from neo-Nazis (that too many people are ‘sedated’ into political inactivity). And is extreme (esp. anti-democratic) political activism necessarily a good thing? The greatest suffering in the 20th Century was created by extremist ideologues of the far right and far left.

    Chade-Meng Tan (Meng) isn’t offering social reform. He isn’t offering ideological instruction. He’s helping others to allieviate suffering and find greater happiness in their lives. It works. There is no mis-selling. And the practice has no known effect on interest in social reform / political action. In my own experience in fact there is a positive correlation between Buddhist/Mindfulness practice and broadly leftist activism.

    That it acts as a political opiate for the middle classes is undemonstrated. That the implied but undefined alternative society is better for people is undemonstrated (history if anything would suggest otherwise).

    2. There is ample peer-reviewed, clinical evidence for the benefits of mindfulness. For example, here in the UK, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (an independent body that advises the NHS) recommends Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy as an alternative to anti-depressants, and the NHS is in the process of rolling this out. You could access some of the research evidence by googling “mindfulness evidence” for example, and it is regarded very positively now, with much further evidence to be done.

    So yes, it does work. And nor do normal mindfulness teachers make very much money at all. I trained to teach it myself and sometimes run courses for my work colleagues (for free, in my own time).

  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho Justin: Thanks for your response, I appreciate it. I really can’t give you a lengthy response at the moment (and I doubt a FB page would be a good place for that, although input from whoever is reading this is welcome). If you would like to continue this discussion, I’d suggest you post a comment over at my

    Tutteji Wachtmeister – Spiritual Teacher on the Cutting Edge of Evolution
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho Jundo: You’re a master of the Zen way of “show, don’t tell”. I appreciate your demonstration/enactment/performance/embodiment, what have you, of what was being said about “cynical distance”.
  • Matthias Steingass Hi Justin, thanks. Of course something new (e.g. beyond mindfulness without a clue) is “undemonstrated” by definition. And of course: mindfulness works (in one way or another). That has been demonstrated already by the ancient greeks. So what for the geeks?
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho Oh, btw, the transintegralist movement isn’t simply parrotting Zizek. We’re all for hard-core Stalinism. (In case there was any doubt about that.)
  • Matthias Steingass Yea, I forgot to mention it.
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho Well, the person over at Kenneth Folk who suggested Matthias is a “Buddhist Nazi” was right. This is the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of spirituality.
  • Matthias Steingass Exactly. Actually I am writing a book “The mindful Nazi”. Coming to Amazon soon.
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho Just kidding, Justin. We’re just like the rest: absorbing whatever comes our way, repackage it, and sell it:

    The Art of HRM. The Russian Classic on Human Resource Management by Lavrentiy Be…Visa mer
  • Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho Doesn’t this start sounding like a Marx Brothers routine?
  • Matthias Steingass Actually… I feel a bit hypoglycemic. I guess I get me some lunch and meditate a bit about Marx and his Brothers.
  • Justin Farquhar Tutte Wachtmeister Dai Osho, Matthias Steingass,

    I enjoy what you do here. You do it well. And IMO many of your targets are valid.

    I will post to your blog later if I have time. I’m off to reinforce the capitalist state by sedating myself and my son with ‘Despicable Me 2’.


2 thoughts on “Irony as Conformism

  1. Zizek can take out my rubbish any day.
    Mr Steingass I can’t find your book on amazon. Not out yet? It sounds quite promising, BTW have you seen the movie “The Believer”?
    God bless the kabbalists (of course!), they beat us zen-beats to it, its really about time someone with a sizzling intellect released some hard-core-compelling Media to ignite the Contradictions Collapse™ process in the minds of the nay-sayers.

    Evolution Baby (pun intended), check out the ravenous “Secrets of Western Tantra” by Christopher S. Hyatt, PhD. for a few quotes to splice into your forthcoming work if its not too late…

  2. Pingback: Embrace, Deflect, Evade: An X-Buddhist Strategy Against Criticism « Speculative Non-Buddhism

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