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Saints and Psychopaths

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Saints and Psychopaths
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1/6/11 6:47 AM
This is nothing new or earth-shattering, just a comment that I managed to get a reasonably-priced copy of Bill Hamilton's book from the used books on Amazon, and it is well worth reading. I now understand where Daniel is coming from even better than I did just from reading his book and comments here. What is also interesting about it for me is that it gives a piece of 20th-century cultural history, some of which I lived through. A lot of people who began practicing in the 60's and 70's did so as a result of an LSD experience (I didn't do that, but I remember how popular it was). He gives a clear explanation of how various traditions compare and overlap, and some glimpses into the jet-setting retreat culture of the period. I am wondering how that culture has changed in the past few decades, how it compares to what Bill Hamilton describes in his book. If anyone can comment on this question I'd be grateful.

Laurel

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
1/7/11 12:43 PM as a reply to Jane Laurel Carrington.
The book is also available on Scribd and can be downloaded, printed out etc

http://www.scribd.com/Saints-and-Psychopaths/d/19649507

Andy

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
1/7/11 4:27 PM as a reply to Andy W.
Wow, thanks for the link, Andy. I've been wanting to read that for a while.

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
3/19/18 10:43 AM as a reply to Andy W.
Thank you for the link to Saints & Psychopaths on Scribd.com!

I noticed some pages missing in the Preface, specifically xiv and xv. Does anyone know if these pages are available elsewhere?

This book fills in so many blanks for me, it seems ironic that it  has a couple of its own. :-)
John

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
3/19/18 1:04 PM as a reply to Jane Laurel Carrington.
I read Saints and Psychopaths years ago, along with a number of other books on the subject such as The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power which was quite good. I'm currently watching Wild, Wild Country on Netflix, which is about a 1980s cult in Oregon that was responsible for the largest bioterrorism attack in US history. There's a blog about controversial Buddhist groups called Diffi-cult if you want to read about more recent scandals.

I don't think much has besides the details has changed since the 60s. Humans are still human, after all. People who are spiritually hungry make easy prey for predatory gurus and there are plenty of them out there of various spiritual stripes. What with the current volatile state of world affairs, it wouldn't surprise me if this problem will only get worse over the coming years.

This is why I think we all have a moral duty to avoid supporting teachers with clear and serious ethics issues. And to look closely at any leaders' values and how they uphold them. We are all human and flawed, to be sure, but there are an awful lot of wolves in sheep's clothing out there in the world.

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
3/19/18 1:54 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Yeah, people are the same.

I can tell you for certain that the dharma world is still crawling with narcissists, psychopaths, charlatans, cult leaders, histrionics, borderlines, exploiters and all the rest of it just as much now as it was then. The DhO has been no exception, as even relatively recent history has shown. We are all possible prey for them. The learning curve can be difficult.

Have been thinking about Bill a lot recently as MCTB2 is nearly done, as it was and is basically my paltry attempt to write down those things that he wasn't able to before he died. For all his quirks, he was a truly great man.

May we do our best to avoid unfortunate entanglements that lead to more harm than good,

Daniel

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
3/20/18 12:04 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I read the book years ago, too. His girlfriend's behaviour was plain scary as I remember. I have been fortunate so far to come across good teachers.

Hope we all can send Metta to all those narcissists, psychopaths, charlatans, cult leaders, histrionics, borderlines, exploiters. It must be terrible to be stuck in that kind of hell.

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
3/20/18 9:33 AM as a reply to Mettafore.
Mettafore:
Hope we all can send Metta to all those narcissists, psychopaths, charlatans, cult leaders, histrionics, borderlines, exploiters. It must be terrible to be stuck in that kind of hell.
True dat.

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
3/20/18 10:51 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
The Path on Hulu is also definitely worth a watch. A engaging and thoughtful look at the complexities of trying to build community in the face of varying degrees of sainthood and psychopathy. Hooray for straightforward mentorship!

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
3/21/18 8:16 AM as a reply to Jane Laurel Carrington.
 It’s a very fun and great read and the warmth and simple wisdom and openness of the author really comes through. 

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
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3/24/18 5:12 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Don’t forget the lost souls and drifters! They’re actually the ones who you might form an amazing connection with, only to have your heart broken when they drift off to Byron Bay / LA / Mexico / the Amazon onto their next spiritual quest! ;)

Sometimes it’s tough being a “pragmatic” Dharma person ;) 

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
3/24/18 9:22 PM as a reply to JohnM.
John Andrew Munroe:
The Path on Hulu is also definitely worth a watch. A engaging and thoughtful look at the complexities of trying to build community in the face of varying degrees of sainthood and psychopathy. Hooray for straightforward mentorship!

Started watching it. Thanks for the recommendation, Laurel (same person—well, same dna—as the o.p.)

RE: Saints and Psychopaths
Answer
3/25/18 2:11 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Andromeda:
I'm currently watching Wild, Wild Country on Netflix, which is about a 1980s cult in Oregon that was responsible for the largest bioterrorism attack in US history.

I just finished Wild Wild Country a few days ago and it was quite a strange journey to watch it all play out the way that it did; a little jostled because prior to the series I went from experimenting with variations of dynamic meditation (since it loosely overlapped with a curiosity), found out it originated from 'osho' and then accidentally discovered they were part of a commune involved in the attack near where I live. The claim was his secretary sheela formed the cult-like religion around him and members were semi-coerced into attacks despite practicing a meditation for emotional catharsis, all while experimenting with what they called a buddhafield (similar to Holy Hell). I was craving a little more in-depth stuff after reading parts of this, and then netflix up and released an entire series.

I might need to finally read Saints and Psychopaths to get a grasp on this stuff as I get the sense aspects of that was narrative smokescreen for metta practice, but when it's fed through attachment to protect a person claiming to generate a buddhafield (osho), it gave rise to a cult-like following whether accidental or purposeful, one thing led to another and culture-clash descended into insider/outsider over-protective retaliation when they should have let it gracefully degrade as an open label placebo to keep itself going without fear of failure. The beauty of open label placebos is they tend to still work even when someone knows it is or might be one.

epub of Psycholaths&Saints
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2/1/19 3:32 PM as a reply to Jane Laurel Carrington.
I went through the (not so big) pains of OCR'ing this book and now I have it almost polished, saved as Sphinx (sphinx-doc.org, system programmers like to use), meaning it can be compiled straight into html or epub (and others, like manpage emoticon) ). I am attaching the epub as teaser.

I would appreciate someone with the skill&time&... to do a proof-read and fix stuff in the saints.rst (also attached), it seems it is mostly things like periods at the end of setence with the OCR missed and such details, perhaps one fix per page in average.

If we do this, we have a quality epub of this remarkable book, much better than the scanned PDF. (Pages missing in the PDF are also included.)

Volunteers? emoticon

RE: epub of Psycholaths&Saints
Answer
2/2/19 4:46 AM as a reply to Eudoxos ..
I moved to the 21st century with collaborative editing.

The source for the e-book moved to github https://github.com/eudoxos/saints/ . If you are familiar with github, you are welcome to create pull requests with any mistakes you found and I will merge them. The resulting files (HTML and ePub, possibly other formats later if wanted) at https://eudoxos.github.io/saints/ will update automatically. Links to the HTML/ePub are at https://github.com/eudoxos/saints/#how-to-get-it .

Old-style "I am attaching a fixed version of saints.rst" is also okay.

Enjoy and please help fix mistakes emoticon

RE: epub of Psycholaths&Saints
Answer
2/4/19 11:18 AM as a reply to Eudoxos ..
I tried to push a branch to your repo - permission denied. Do you need to give me permission or am I messing up? I'm github/richlee using rich-at-laughingblade-dot-com.
TIA Rich