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Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2

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Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/22/19 2:30 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Chris Marti 9/22/19 11:57 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Chris 9/22/19 12:20 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Ryan 9/22/19 2:13 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Sriram Arya 9/23/19 4:11 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Jens Theisen 9/23/19 5:19 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Sriram Arya 9/23/19 6:06 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/23/19 7:22 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Jens Theisen 9/23/19 7:51 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Shaun Steelgrave 9/23/19 8:15 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/23/19 8:47 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Jens Theisen 9/23/19 9:00 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/23/19 9:09 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Matt Perry Clark 9/23/19 10:20 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/23/19 10:09 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 curious 9/23/19 2:33 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Milo 9/23/19 1:40 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/23/19 1:45 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Milo 9/23/19 3:32 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/23/19 3:34 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Milo 9/23/19 7:34 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Ward Law 9/24/19 8:14 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/23/19 9:50 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/23/19 10:12 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Sriram Arya 9/23/19 11:03 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/23/19 10:15 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/23/19 9:11 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/24/19 12:51 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/24/19 2:33 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/30/19 3:54 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/1/19 2:06 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/24/19 3:24 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/24/19 4:07 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/30/19 3:28 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/1/19 1:59 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/30/19 2:35 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 terry 9/23/19 9:24 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Richard Zen 9/22/19 11:57 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Griffin 9/22/19 5:42 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/22/19 7:22 PM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Jens Theisen 9/23/19 1:23 AM
RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2 Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/23/19 11:48 AM
terry:
Laurel Carrington:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I saw now that you wish to move the focus back to Culadasa now, Laurel, so I appologize if I made you feel uncomfortable. I didn’t mean to hold you responsible for the topic shift. As you said, it was a gradual shift.

I think you brought up very important issues, Laurel, and in a nuanced way.

You do not need to apologize to me, nor have you made me uncomfortable! But in the past, this forum has gotten into a lot of trouble with slugfests over gender, and while I don’t want to cut off any such discussion, I also don’t want to see it happen again. 

I do appreciate what you’ve said here and I appreciate your passion, which I feel as well. We all have our vulnerabilities, and you are a wonderful asset here for the way you are right out there with your own. I believe in doing the same; Jens has done so as well. I want to renew my commitment to the community here and to our common interests. 


    You are both assets here and deeply appreciated.

    The passions are enlightenment.

terry


I knew that you would be able to take the criticism with dignity.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/22/19 11:57 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Same topic - new thread called "Part 2."

Please carry on in the dignified way you have been.

Thank you,

Chris Marti
DhO Moderator

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/22/19 11:57 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/22/19 12:20 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Does anyone have tips for viewing this site on mobile (I'm asking because, for example, that long Culadasa thread was such a nightmare). I tried Chrome, Opera, Duckduckgo, I can't find a browser that will format it well.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/22/19 2:13 PM as a reply to Chris.
Nope, browsing DhO on mobile is intrinsically painful. I consider it a metaphor for life. :p

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/22/19 5:42 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
(Here's a brainfart, don't take this seriously. But still, it makes you consider some things from different angles.)

Culadasa hypothetically thinking (few years ago): "Man, I really like having sex with many  different women. And awakening makes it so much more enjoyable, you know, cuz you're super-mindful of everything. And my wife must be an arahant by now, after all this meditation. So, if she discovers that I'm sleeping around, she won't suffer (or her suffering will be minimal). So, why would I stop myself from experiencing immense pleasures (to enjoy this last few years of life that I have), just because that will cause my wife to feel pain comparable to a light pinch? I mean, it is ethically doubious, but so is eating meat, and nobody made a huge deal out of the fact that I started eating it again. Now you may ask - why do I want all this sex when I am a jhana master and abide in the 10th stage of samatha? Well, why shouldn't I want it? There are different types of pleasures in life. Nobody would be concerned if they knew, for example, that I like delicious food or I enjoy watching movies every night. People do things that make them happy, awakened or not."

Although this is a joke, there are few overlooked points contained there. However, that line of reasoning forgets three important factors:
1) Culadasa's behaviour was probably perpetuated by neurotic patterns;
2) He was unable to come to agreement with his closest associates in order to make the revelation of the misconduct less humiliating;
3) The fact that the scandal damaged his family, dharma community and the reputation of meditation in general.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/22/19 7:22 PM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
(Here's a brainfart, don't take this seriously. But still, it makes you consider some things from different angles.)

Culadasa hypothetically thinking (few years ago): "Man, I really like having sex with many  different women. And awakening makes it so much more enjoyable, you know, cuz you're super-mindful of everything. And my wife must be an arahant by now, after all this meditation. So, if she discovers that I'm sleeping around, she won't suffer (or her suffering will be minimal). So, why would I stop myself from experiencing immense pleasures (to enjoy this last few years of life that I have), just because that will cause my wife to feel pain comparable to a light pinch? I mean, it is ethically doubious, but so is eating meat, and nobody made a huge deal out of the fact that I started eating it again. Now you may ask - why do I want all this sex when I am a jhana master and abide in the 10th stage of samatha? Well, why shouldn't I want it? There are different types of pleasures in life. Nobody would be concerned if they knew, for example, that I like delicious food or I enjoy watching movies every night. People do things that make them happy, awakened or not."

Although this is a joke, there are few overlooked points contained there. However, that line of reasoning forgets three important factors:
1) Culadasa's behaviour was probably perpetuated by neurotic patterns;
2) He was unable to come to agreement with his closest associates in order to make the revelation of the misconduct less humiliating;
3) The fact that the scandal damaged his family, dharma community and the reputation of meditation in general.


To take it seriously, if he would think that his wife wouldn't suffer or suffer much in case she discovers truth, then why not to tell her in the beginning, since she wouldn't suffer much. That is the key I think, the reason for lying, what are the possible reasons for lying, and what would happen if he didn't lie, and told his family that he want to have sex with those people? Was there fear? If so, fear of what? Causing suffering for them? Getting a disagreement and then losing the opportunity for sex? Or other than losing that, losing his status?

Often when we lie about something, we know in the first place, that there is something that is not right, either on our side or the other side.

And the next question is, when he does this with sex, if he had opportunity for other possibly wrong actions and behaviors, would he do that? Why not? Some other lies would open the door for them.

Next question, if he has lied about this, what are the other things that he has lied about them? Why should not people think that he has not lied about other things?

These question are relevant, because he teaches and talks about a path, that he says virtue is the most important factor in this path, and advertises himself as a role model.

Although I share the same wish with svmonk that this thread would die, but I think these are valid points.

--Edit:
Based on that board letter, it seems that this issue about sex was not completely hidden to his wife, and we don't know exatly what he has lied about.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 1:23 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
[quote=Siavash Mahmoudpour

]To take it seriously, if he would think that his wife wouldn't suffer or suffer much in case she discovers truth, then why not to tell her in the beginning, since she wouldn't suffer much. That is the key I think, the reason for lying, what are the possible reasons for lying, and what would happen if he didn't lie, and told his family that he want to have sex with those people? Was there fear? If so, fear of what? Causing suffering for them? Getting a disagreement and then losing the opportunity for sex? Or other than losing that, losing his status?


Perhaps he feared for the suffering and confusion on the part of all those deluded souls that believe there are older men who don't want to have sex with lots of young women.

Perhaps he just thought that honesty is a form of pointless cruelty in that case, both towards the Sangha and his wife.

People want to be lied to. That's why religions exist in the first place.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 4:11 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Thanks Chris. 

If I may, for the sake of closure, would like to add some clarifications to address some issues raised in the latter part of the previous thread.

First of all, my intention here is not to equate some well meaning people here to some people who wantonly spew hatred all around. At the same time, If I may say so, it helps to tread sensitive topics very carefully.

On the topic of whether punishments are an effective way to address transgressions, or whether compassion might produce better overall results, we honestly don't know. But if you take away the punishments, IMO crimes will go up. I'm sure that there are some very sick people out there who are not acting on their crazy schemes just because there is a possibility of being found out and handed down some harsh sentences. Whether or not it helps healing or it causes more mayhem by breaking family structures around them it is hard to prove one way or the other. To conclude, punishment as a deterrent seems to have some uses, whether or it not there is a better approach and whether that can be implemented on a grand scale - we just don't know yet.

On observation of social norms, In a society, one needs to have a model of general expectations of the other in order to get anything done that involves others. It is better to observe them where ever possible, even if part of your brain says it is okay, it is no big deal. For example, in the case of speeding, it is probably fine most of the time, but it increases the risk of running into some unsuspecting pedestrian or a cyclist, simply because the other person is less likely to expect a vehicle above the prescribed limit. 

Again, the above are just my current take on some of the topics discussed and some sort of attempt to clarify my stand, in order to improve discussion. Please don't take it as definitive conclusions and I'm open to changes and/or updates, which are more likely to happen than not. And I'm not going to touch the morality vs awakening debate now, as there is a long way to go and hope I can avoid all the traps that come with increased abilities which I might unlock along the way.

~Sriram.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 5:19 AM as a reply to Sriram Arya.
Sriram Arya:
I'm sure that there are some very sick people out there who are not acting on their crazy schemes just because there is a possibility of being found out and handed down some harsh sentences.

It's funny how when there's a world war somehow everyone is sick in this way, and when there is peace everyone thinks that people who want to do evil things are only a few and that most people are really good.

I don't want to spew hate around, Sriram. I just think you're kidding yourselves, and you do that to feel better about yourselves.

Culadasa provided me and the world with more help than probably any one posting here did - and yet, most people here think they have the right to go at him. I'm pretty sure that's the opposite of a "passion for justice", to use the grandiose term that showed up here before.

Before any one of you thinks you are better than him, make sure that your contribution to society is as useful as his was.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 6:06 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
I don't want to spew hate around, Sriram. I just think you're kidding yourselves, and you do that to feel better about yourselves.

Kidding myself on what exactly ? Care to elaborate?



RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 7:22 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
As I was the one using the phrase passion with regard to counteracting injustice, I would like to point out that I nowhere in the thread talked about ”having a go at” Culadasa or showed any inclination in that direction. I explicitly stated early on that I was in no position to judge anyone. I don’t know what would be ”justice” with regard to Culadasa. Nor have I thought about it, as it is frankly not any of my business. Justice and injustice pertained to different kinds of oppression in the society. I have never said anything about being better than him. I don’t know how you are reading my texts, but you seem to have your very own interpretations going on that have very little to do with what I actually wrote. Maybe it would be a good idea for you to follow curious’ advice.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 7:51 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
As I was the one using the phrase passion with regard to counteracting injustice, I would like to point out that I nowhere in the thread talked about ”having a go at” Culadasa or showed any inclination in that direction. I explicitly stated early on that I was in no position to judge anyone. I don’t know what would be ”justice” with regard to Culadasa. Nor have I thought about it, as it is frankly not any of my business. Justice and injustice pertained to different kinds of oppression in the society. I have never said anything about being better than him. I don’t know how you are reading my texts, but you seem to have your very own interpretations going on that have very little to do with what I actually wrote. Maybe it would be a good idea for you to follow curious’ advice.
You tried to turn a thread about the adultery of an accomplished guy into one about female oppression, you even insisted the topic stays there. That's "having a go" at Culadasa. And it's not only you.

Sriram even brought Trump into this (or what's the "all sides" jab about?), so I very much doubt I'm imagining things.

You want to indulge in your feminist oppression fantasy, that's fine.

Do that, I'm leaving this space to you and your buddies as it doesn't seem like I'm going to get anything here but grief.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 8:15 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
well that was dramatic.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 8:47 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
No, I did not. The discussion had already meandered into talking about the numerous cases of dharma teachers misbehaving in ways that Culadasa didn’t, and the issue had been raised as to how we should avoid such things happening. Those teachers were male and they abused female students. I expressed my support for the woman who wanted to talk about what we can expect from dharma teachers with those abuses in mind. The person to whom I was speaking did not mind, as I knew he wouldn’t.

I haven’t got the faintest idea as to what fantasy you are referring to, as the topic was real world issues that are well known.

Okay, take care!

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 9:00 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I haven’t got the faintest idea as to what fantasy you are referring to, as the topic was real world issues that are well known.

Okay, take care!

Women paying for stuff with sex is well know, yes. You thinking it's oppression is the fantasy.

You take care too.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 9:09 AM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
That wasn’t even close to what I was talking about.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 10:20 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hi everyone, I’ve really enjoyed reading this thread. Has Culadasa made his response to these allegations yet, I know he said he was preparing an ‘explanation’, shall we say, while consulting with his ‘advisers’.

It seems rather odd he should take so long to respond, the facts as he sees them should be pretty straightforward and need little processing. It’s going to need a mighty clever wriggle to come out of this one, lol.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 11:48 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I just want to say, in case people new to the forum are reading this thread, that I don’t believe that the opinion expressed above, that female dharma students who have been sexually abused (not talking about Culadasa now) are really just paying for stuff with sex, is representative to this forum. I know that there have been concerns about why there are so few women on this forum, so I thought it might be a good idea to be clear about this. Except for in this thread, I have only seen the issue being taken seriously, as it should be.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 1:40 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I do want to circle back and clarify a few points from my own comments. These were addressed to sexual abuse, assault, and rape more generally, as the conversation in the thread had evolved in that direction. To circle back to Culadasa's case specifically, there is a lot we don't know, as is often the case. Based on what we've been told, his alleged actions have been characterized as consensual sexual misadventure (Largely with prostitutes), adultery, and possible appropriation of organizational donations for payment of prostitution. If we take Dharma Treasure at their word on this, then coercion, assault, and rape did not come into play, and students were not directly involved. Again, taking Dharma Treasure at their word, I don't see this rising to quite the same level as coercive acts of assault/rape/abuse, but it is obviously unbecoming and has caused great damage and mistrust, and there's no way he could continue to teach in his former position. My comments stand in full for other teachers who have committed rape/assault/abuse and other acts of sexual coercion.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 1:45 PM as a reply to Milo.
Exactly. Me too. And I thought that was pretty clear from the context. Still, it is worth repeating.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
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9/23/19 2:33 PM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
Jens, I see you are leaving the forum. Best of luck. Much compassion to you. If you read this, one interesting point of insight to note is that, during the reobservation phase in the path of insight, we all tend to become a bit argumentative. That doesn't mean that we are wrong (or right), but it is interesting to observe this phase clearly when it does occur, as that presents an further opportunity for insight. This argumentativeness seems to happen to all practitioners.

Metta and don't stop being a searcher. And don't stop observing the breath!

Malcolm 

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 3:32 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Exactly. Me too. And I thought that was pretty clear from the context. Still, it is worth repeating.

Yes, on review of this thread it was clear to me that some commentors were coming at this from the perspective of Culadasa specifically while others were talking about things in a more general sense. That lead to priorities that probably seemed threatening or unfair when viewed from the other context. I hope this will help address any potential ill will this discussion may have inadvertantly generated.

For Terry: I don't excuse the prostitutes from their behavior in Culadasa's case. Are they predators? I'm not sure about that, and it probably depends on how broadly you interpret the term. I tend to associate the predator label with people who hide their intentions to ambush and coerce people when they are most vulnerable. Prostitutes can entice men, but they don't typically back them into a corner or pretend to be anything but what they are.

Edit: for cases like the ones you cited from your own experience, where both partners were drunk, I agree that's a gross and damaging misapplication of the predator label. We should indeed have compassion for people in this situation. Let us try to develop the discretion to tell the difference. As other commentators noted, this may be uniquely problematic in the USA.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 3:34 PM as a reply to Milo.
That’s why it is always a good idea to ask what people mean instead of accusing, and listening to the explanations rather than insisting on maintaining the misunderstanding.

As for the women who were selling sex, we don’t know whether they were selling sex to Culadasa or had mutual relationships with him. We also don’t know any details about their situation. In general, I think it would be very misleading to call women selling sex predators. A majority of them have very tough social situations, and it is not uncommon for them to suffer abuse from their clients.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 7:34 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That’s why it is always a good idea to ask what people mean instead of accusing, and listening to the explanations rather than insisting on maintaining the misunderstanding.

As for the women who were selling sex, we don’t know whether they were selling sex to Culadasa or had mutual relationships with him. We also don’t know any details about their situation. In general, I think it would be very misleading to call women selling sex predators. A majority of them have very tough social situations, and it is not uncommon for them to suffer abuse from their clients.

Actually I'd conveniently forgotten that large numbers of sex workers are forced into the trade and not there by choice and/or under threat of violence. We don't really know the details in this case.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 10:12 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Same topic - new thread called "Part 2."

Please carry on in the dignified way you have been.

Thank you,

Chris Marti
DhO Moderator

   I missed the chance to reply to some messages in part one... like to sriram...

Hi Terry,

Are you suggesting that we have to put victims and perpetrators in the same pedestal because some of the perpetrators are more harshly punished ? Also are you advocating that victims do soul searching instead of punishing the perpetrators ?

(snip)

IOW, There are some very fine people on both sides, Eh?

~Sriram.


aloha sriram, namaste,

   This discussion, as far as I am concerned, is being held on multiple levels.
   
   The surface level, perps bad, vics good, and fine people on both sides, is worth examining in its own right. Perhaps the light of love may be shined on perps and vics alike. Perhaps the fine people (and their dogs/nafs) are fighting the lesser jihad. Real people struggle for improved understanding.

   A deeper level involves the insight that morality and justice are rationalizations and excuses for hatred, jealousy, envy and revenge. The talion principle needs revisited. Allah is not just and moral, s/he is compassionate and merciful. As the psalm says, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever." Real ("empty") compassion does not seek or exhibit morality or justice. As blake said, "Prisons are built with stones of Law, brothels with bricks of Religion."

   Even deeper is the  level at which we are learning how to think for ourselves, rather than accept a conventional view, or a view handed to us on a charger. Or views informed by anger, lust, greed or hatred. Or views held by authorities. The level where insight replaces conventional wisdom. Where we learn something new; unlearn something old.


terry




from "the zen teachings of master lin-chi" trans burton watson:



   "Followers of the Way, you take the words that come out of the mouths of a bunch of old teachers to be a description of the true Way. You think, 'This is a most wonderful teacher and friend. I have only the mind of a common mortal, I would never dare try to fathom such venerableness.' Blind idiots! You go through life with this kind of understnding, betraying your own two eyes, cringing and faltering like a donkey on an icy road. saying, 'I would never dare speak ill of such a good friend, I'd be afraid of making mouth karma!'

   "Followers of the Way, the really good friend is someone who dares to speak ill of the Buddha, speak ill of the patriarchs, pass judgment on anyone in the world, throw away the Tripitaka, revile those little children, and in the midst of opposition and assent search out the real person. So for the past twelve years, though I have looked for this thing called karma, I've never find so much as a particle of it the size of a mustard seed."

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 10:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Same topic - new thread called "Part 2."

Please carry on in the dignified way you have been.

Thank you,

Chris Marti
DhO Moderator

milo said:



Who said we wouldn't call female sexual offenders predators? They are comparatively rare but not unheard of. They have a different profile than male predators in that they tend to abuse children and/or to act in partnership with a male predator. The high profile ones I can think of have been school teachers, and they've gone to prison for it. Seems a lot less likely you'd encounter a female predator in a dharma teacher context given the profile, but yeah, if you find one you'll have no argument from me that they should be held accountable.

What I'm trying to say is not that we should not hold that 10% of assaults/rapes accountable, but that focusing on the 90% would have an outsize effect on dealing with the problem. As men, we have an opportunity (Some might say a responsibility) to take point on that on as our project, and address it through changing male culture. It's all too easy for us to say things like "But they do it to!" and use that as our excuse to sweep the bulk of the problem back under the rug. And we're pros at that tactic. 

As far as the compassion angle, what do you suggest? I've personally known several sexual predators. All of them were men. All of them seemed like 'nice guys.' All of them blended into society and were seemingly normal before their actions came to light. All of them abused, extorted, harassed, and/or assaulted dozens of women. All of them freely admitted what they had done once they were caught. After they were caught, the talk around the water cooler with my fellow men was all about how terrible it was for them, how nobody could have seen it coming, and how it was awful that it would damage their lives and careers, not about the victims or how to prevent it in the future. This is concerning. I'm looking for some kind of practical solution to these problems in the dharma community and in society at large, but the attitude I see from my fellow men is not encouraging. What kind of message are we sending to future would be offenders?

I'll add that I do see the merit in nuance and compassion in situations you describe. Every one of these situations is different. So how do we fix the cultural problems without burning people in those marginal situations where no one is really at fault? 

  aloha milo,

   There is a misunderstanding involving the word "predator" here. A persistent misunderstanding. The word really doesn't fit, it is a pejorative designed to make the perpetrator of a crime appear to be an animal. However brutal a crime is, an animal is not responsible. Only a human can be held responsible, and that person is not an animal. They are one of us.

   Back to dryden's "secular masque," there is the line:

Pointing to Diana.  Thy Chase had a Beast in View;

   This is the sense of "predator" I was using the term, not the animalistic rape, torture and murder that eveyone seems to default to. The pursuit of "love" with all the confusion of love and sex the word implies. The urge to couple affects all of us, some more strongly than others, and at different times of life. I simply don't accept that the urge to mate affects one sex more than the other. That's a biological absurdity, and would defy natural selection and the theory of evolution.

   Malcolm was speaking of approaching life with the idea of not doing harm. I try to approach life with wei wu wei, with the idea of doing non-doing, having no aims whatever. Even our good intentions often lead to bad effects, better to let the tao work things out, and go with the flow, expecting the universe to be balancing and righting itself.

   From the perspective of non-doing, all pursuit of "love" is predatory. Women want to reproduce as much as men. Naturally. Men want women and women want men. Mistakes are made, people are hurt. Compassion is always appropriate.

   There is the aspect of forgiveness here, and healing. Is a victim healed by seeing that a perpetrator is severely punished? Should a forgiven perp be less punished by society?

   Serial philanderers who have no real feeling for their conquests are relatively rare, and I don't doubt they have their counterparts; every adulterer has a partner. Cynical conmen are generally not repentant, and many sexual offenders are regarded by experts as all but hopeless in terms of rehabilitation, especially pederasts. What can we do, stone them? Abuse them or see that someone abuses them?

   I see the problem, as with all criminality, more in terms of public health than in terms of "justice" or "morality." It's the way I was trained.

   All situations are nuanced. Our "adversary system" of so-called justice should be scrapped. However, it is better to punish these crimes, even if some injustice occurs, to deter assaults. The social balance we currently experience works better than the conditions some previous epochs have endured. There is lots of room for improvement.

   Thus, I have no practical solutions, other than to speak out and encourage people to take a more enlightenend view. Anything that humans do is part of us, part of our "shadow side" if you like. There but for the grace of god go us; if I were a man, if I were a woman, same same.

   As for no one at fault, I remember another notorious case in oregon where two drunk people drove their car into that of a young mother, who was killed. The woman was a well-loved lifelong local resident and the local folk were out for blood. The two drunks each claimed the other was driving, and no one could prove otherwise. In separate trials, both were acquitted. What can you do? Justice is a chimera.

   Lastly, take this "predator" yates who pays ten or twenty women to have sex with him. Willing women, who do it for a living. How would you punish this person? What, exactly, is this person doing wrong, and to whom, and what is to be done? I don't know. Perhaps, caveat emptor.


terry

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 9:11 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Same topic - new thread called "Part 2."

Please carry on in the dignified way you have been.

Thank you,

Chris Marti
DhO Moderator

linda said:


I believe you, terry, and appreciate your clarification, but I don’t agree with you with regard to the causes. I don’t believe biology has that effect on men. That would mean that men are predators by nature, and that’s not my experience at all. I think it is mainly a structural and social problem, the former having to do with power dynamics and the latter with shared storylines that make up our reality. We are limited by the stories we tell. If we say that men can’t help it around some young girls, that belief puts limitations to men’s restraint and moral capacity. I think higher of men than that. Feminism does not equal hate. For many (most?) of us it is the conviction that we can tell better and less limiting stories than this.




aloha linda,

   The fifteen year old girl must be protected. The system failed her, not just the men who abused her. It was not apparent to the authorities who placed her in these homes that she would be likely to be assaulted. But after one assault, she should have been placed in a home in which a potential victim could be assured no problem would arise. After two assaults, whoever placed her in the third home was negligent. This has nothing to do with how wrong the abusers were, it is about taking practical measures to assure the safety of vulnerable members of society.

   I prpbably should have condemned the word "predator" out of hand. Like "enlightened" we are either all enlightened or none of us is. If sex is something to be sought and enjoyed, then we all are born predators.

   We may have to agree to disagree on the biological nature of sex. Male behavior is biological, all of it; as is female behavior. By definition. That sexual misconduct is "mainly a structural and social problem" without reference to biology I can't agree with. Which society and what structure solves these problems? Their intractability points to basic biology As a world culture we are still trying to overcome the tendency to treat women as inferiors because they are physically weaker. Any feminist knows we have a long way to go. In this sense, I am a feminist too.

   The resistance men have to temptation depends on the temptation and the man. I'm ever in favor of using judgment and compassion over applying blanket rules supposed to cover all cases.

terry

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 9:24 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Same topic - new thread called "Part 2."

Please carry on in the dignified way you have been.

Thank you,

Chris Marti
DhO Moderator

jens said:


Historically and everywhere else in the world, the idea that women prey on men sexually was and is considered absurd.

You contemporary Americans are really the only ones who went down that road.




aloha jens,

   I refer you to genesis, where eve offered adam forbidden fruit. Figleaves followed. Fear of female sexuality is a feminist trope. Consider the condition of women under fundamentalist islam.

   Men and women are just not that different, That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

   All extremes should be brought together. Men and women are not two.

terry

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 9:50 PM as a reply to Milo.
Milo:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Exactly. Me too. And I thought that was pretty clear from the context. Still, it is worth repeating.

Yes, on review of this thread it was clear to me that some commentors were coming at this from the perspective of Culadasa specifically while others were talking about things in a more general sense. That lead to priorities that probably seemed threatening or unfair when viewed from the other context. I hope this will help address any potential ill will this discussion may have inadvertantly generated.

For Terry: I don't excuse the prostitutes from their behavior in Culadasa's case. Are they predators? I'm not sure about that, and it probably depends on how broadly you interpret the term. I tend to associate the predator label with people who hide their intentions to ambush and coerce people when they are most vulnerable. Prostitutes can entice men, but they don't typically back them into a corner or pretend to be anything but what they are.

Edit: for cases like the ones you cited from your own experience, where both partners were drunk, I agree that's a gross and damaging misapplication of the predator label. We should indeed have compassion for people in this situation. Let us try to develop the discretion to tell the difference. As other commentators noted, this may be uniquely problematic in the USA.

   Prostitution is a problem in all countries. Not all prostitutes are female. A feminist might point out that pimps are predators too.

   There is something very sad about a man who solicits a prostitute in order to pay for sex. Or a woman who feels she has to sell her body for food and shelter. More than this, we have a culture in which men want it and women provide it, and there is a lot of persuasion and inducement taking place. The extreme of sexual assault is really the tip of the iceberg. The tendencies are in everyone. If men only did it when a woman really wanted it, without any persuasion or inducement at all, there would be a lot fewer couples.

   I'm not sure these obvious facts deserve a lot of discussion. I don't think the usa has unique sexual problems, at least not compared to europe or canada.


terry

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 10:09 PM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
Jens Theisen:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I haven’t got the faintest idea as to what fantasy you are referring to, as the topic was real world issues that are well known.

Okay, take care!

Women paying for stuff with sex is well know, yes. You thinking it's oppression is the fantasy.

You take care too.

   It's all grey, brother. "Women paying for stuff with sex" involves extortion as often as personal greed.

   Lets look at ourselves honestly and try to see how often self-deception plays into our sexual relations. "She wants me" is such a turn on that we may think, "she wants me even though she says otherwise." Oh, come on, baby, let's do it. Pressure and resistance can become an elaborate game of display and seduction, and who knows if she who was talked into it ever really wanted it in the first place. It has been said that men talk to women in order to have sex, and women have sex with men in order to talk.

   Vive la difference.


terry

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/23/19 11:03 PM as a reply to terry.
aloha sriram, namaste,

   This discussion, as far as I am concerned, is being held on multiple levels.
   
   The surface level, perps bad, vics good, and fine people on both sides, is worth examining in its own right. Perhaps the light of love may be shined on perps and vics alike. Perhaps the fine people (and their dogs/nafs) are fighting the lesser jihad. Real people struggle for improved understanding.

   A deeper level involves the insight that morality and justice are rationalizations and excuses for hatred, jealousy, envy and revenge. The talion principle needs revisited. Allah is not just and moral, s/he is compassionate and merciful. As the psalm says, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever." Real ("empty") compassion does not seek or exhibit morality or justice. As blake said, "Prisons are built with stones of Law, brothels with bricks of Religion."

   Even deeper is the  level at which we are learning how to think for ourselves, rather than accept a conventional view, or a view handed to us on a charger. Or views informed by anger, lust, greed or hatred. Or views held by authorities. The level where insight replaces conventional wisdom. Where we learn something new; unlearn something old.


terry


Aloha Terry,

You like to equate victims and perpetrators or to entertain the possibility of such. Well, there are some similarities, in that they are both human, and there are same evolutionary and similar biological forces at play. But beyond that, and especially when it comes to how to readdress the situation, integrate the society and get it back to its previous functional state, it is very difficult to treat them the same way.

One of them has their personal space violated, their goals in life shattered, and possibly carrying deep traumas due to the said interaction. Their social lifes are disrupted, future thrown into a disarray and might face a long and lonely struggle to get back on their feet. While the other, after the success of failure of their endeavours, once the highs or lows are over, are free to begin scouting for the next target. How would you address this situation? How to get the victims to get back to their previously functional state when their perpetrators might be out there looking for them or another similar target ?

People are free to fight or struggle or put their effort into whatever they think is important for their lives, as long as their choices don't disrupt others who have nothing to do with them or haven't agreed to take part in what ever they are partaking.

We can take justice and morality as granted for now, and can view them as excuses for hate when they haven't delivered the ideal results. But if you look at recorded history, these systems weren't there to begin with and lot of people have worked very hard to put these systems in place to address some of the fundamental issues. If you think hatred is what sustain these systems, I have to say you need to look deeper.

We can always evolve or move to a better level of understanding, provided we incline ourselves towards right tools and right frameworks. That is the reason we are here, that is the reason why we are all here. But unfortunately, some of us get denied this basic right for no fault of their own, and I'm of the view that one should not turn their blind eye towards it and should do whatever possible to readdress this imbalance.

~Sriram.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/24/19 12:51 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Chris Marti:
Same topic - new thread called "Part 2."

Please carry on in the dignified way you have been.

Thank you,

Chris Marti
DhO Moderator

linda said:


I believe you, terry, and appreciate your clarification, but I don’t agree with you with regard to the causes. I don’t believe biology has that effect on men. That would mean that men are predators by nature, and that’s not my experience at all. I think it is mainly a structural and social problem, the former having to do with power dynamics and the latter with shared storylines that make up our reality. We are limited by the stories we tell. If we say that men can’t help it around some young girls, that belief puts limitations to men’s restraint and moral capacity. I think higher of men than that. Feminism does not equal hate. For many (most?) of us it is the conviction that we can tell better and less limiting stories than this.




aloha linda,

   The fifteen year old girl must be protected. The system failed her, not just the men who abused her. It was not apparent to the authorities who placed her in these homes that she would be likely to be assaulted. But after one assault, she should have been placed in a home in which a potential victim could be assured no problem would arise. After two assaults, whoever placed her in the third home was negligent. This has nothing to do with how wrong the abusers were, it is about taking practical measures to assure the safety of vulnerable members of society.

   I prpbably should have condemned the word "predator" out of hand. Like "enlightened" we are either all enlightened or none of us is. If sex is something to be sought and enjoyed, then we all are born predators.

   We may have to agree to disagree on the biological nature of sex. Male behavior is biological, all of it; as is female behavior. By definition. That sexual misconduct is "mainly a structural and social problem" without reference to biology I can't agree with. Which society and what structure solves these problems? Their intractability points to basic biology As a world culture we are still trying to overcome the tendency to treat women as inferiors because they are physically weaker. Any feminist knows we have a long way to go. In this sense, I am a feminist too.

   The resistance men have to temptation depends on the temptation and the man. I'm ever in favor of using judgment and compassion over applying blanket rules supposed to cover all cases.

terry


   Let me take another crack at this. In trying to avoid dualisms, we can still get caught in dualism and think we are being even-handed. I got to thinking some more about linda's assertion that sexual behavior in men is influenced by social conditions and structures, and I realized that she has a point. My "biologism" is polar to feminism. I was thinking the essential polarity is "men and women" in the biological sense. But there is also a polarity between sex and gender, as feminism has taught us.

   From the wikipedia article on simone de beauvoir:

"The Second Sex, first published in 1949 in French as Le Deuxième Sexe, turns the existentialist mantra that existence precedes essence into a feminist one: "One is not born but becomes a woman" (French: "On ne naît pas femme, on le devient").[ With this famous phrase, Beauvoir first articulated what has come to be known as the sex-gender distinction, that is, the distinction between biological sex and the social and historical construction of gender and its attendant stereotypes.  Beauvoir argues that "the fundamental source of women's oppression is its [femininity's] historical and social construction as the quintessential" Other."

   That sex and gender are non-identical has become a familiar idea. Recently, on their driver's licenses in hawaii people have been allowed to have "x" as gender in addition to the traditional m/f. Even from a biological standpoint, I have long been familiar with the not uncommon cases of what we call "ambiguous genitalia" in babies. We generally make them female as it is easier to form a pouch and snip off the protruding bits than the reverse. And it is well known that children will generally adopt the gender they are brought up to be in such cases without any difficulty. 

   Unfortunately for my argument, this lets morality and justice back into the discussion as well, as part of the social milieu. Our social sense of what is moral and just restrain our biological urges.

   It's the old nature vs nurture polarity all over again.

   My apologies, linda (and all you feminists out there, indignant or not) for my one-sided attempt to characterize your view as one-sided. Thanks for the extended dialog that has opened my eyes a bit wider.

   Finally, I am wondering: is compassion, then, nature or nurture? Is it all culture and no biology, or all biology and no culture, or are they entirely different ways of looking at the same nonduality?

terry



from "the teachings of lin-chi" trans burton watson:


   "Followers of the Way, those who have left household life need to study the Way. I myself in past years turned my attention to the vinaya, and I also delved into sutras and treatises. But later I realized that these are just medicines to cure the sickness of the world, expositions of surface matters. So finally I tossed them aside and sought the Way through Ch'an practice. Later I encountered an excellent friend and teacher, and then my Dharma eye at last became keen and bright and for the first time I could judge all the old reverends of the world and tell who was crooked and who was straight. But this understanding was not with me when my mother gave birth to me - I had to probe and polish and undergo experiences until, one morning I coud clearly see for myself."

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/24/19 2:33 AM as a reply to terry.
I’m very glad that you thought about this, terry. I appreciate it.

I don’t think anything is all culture and no biology. I think there is always an interplay. But even dogs with a huge appetite can be taught to wait for permission before they help themselves to the food. Thinking that men are unable to do the same thing would be unfair to men. The anthopologist Clifford Gertz said that what makes human beings different from other animals is that our biological instincts are so limited that we would be helpless without culture. I think he has an important point there, although I think at least some animals have more of a culture than he realized, and many of the domesticated ones are unfortunately rather helpless on their own as well (which has to do with the fact that human culture changed the biology through breeding, but not exclusively; it also has to do with what the pets have learned). We can’t deny that our biology is part of who we are, but how it manifests is very much socioculturally conditioned.

As for compassion, I believe that we are biologically conditioned to be able to feel it, but it has to be nurtured.

As for sex and gender, that is a very complex interplay that remains scientifically unknown in large parts. You brought up that most who were born with ambiguous genitals grow up believing that they have the gender that they have been assigned. Still, not all do, which is why I personally think it would be better to let the person choose for themselves as they grow up. I don’t understand the cultural need to desperately put a person in one box. Science today has found that the notion of two biological sexes is a huge simplification and actually pretty much a social construction. It also suggests that transgender with body dysphoria has biological roots related to what hormones the brain was conditioned to work with early in its development. Then of course the manifestations of this are limited by the storylines available in our culture. Personally I think the distinction between sex and gender is also problematic as it implies that there is such a thing as biological sex isolated from sociocultural influence, and sociocultural sex isolated from biology (I have seen far too many people interpret it that way, anyway, and that has led to unnecessary conflicts, for instance between some groups of feminists and transgendered people). As far as I can see, all manifestations of sex/gender have both biological and sociocultural components. All sciences are limited by sociocultural conditions, too. If there is any ”pure biology”, we are unable to access it. I don’t think there is, though, since interaction has affects even on the quantum level. I think everything is intertwined. Therefore it would also be utterly naive, I think, to assume that we can transcend our biology completely through culture.

Not everything is as hardwired as we tend to believe. Also, some things are much more hardwired than we tend to believe. I think this is an excellent example for the Buddhas teaching - it is important to abandon all our firm views and remain open to what is.

...

I do agree that the system failed this girl too. She was vulnerable, which had very much to do with social conditions, and the system did not protect her the way it was supposed to do. But those foster fathers did wrong, and they shouldn’t have. If we keep making excuses for their behavior, that will condition more similar behavior.

...

Note to new readers: this has nothing to do with Culadasa, which I hope is obvious. This thread has led to a number of new discussions as it brought forward many reflections on human behavior, with and without awakening, and dependent origination.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/24/19 3:24 AM as a reply to terry.
speaking of "the second sex" by simone de beauvoir (trans pershley, 1953), this from p. 8, the translator's preface:

   "Here as in France and elsewhere, despite changes in educational technique, and with remarkably few exceptions, the vast majority of girls are still more or less explicitly directed toward predatory coquetry and consequent masculine support in marriage or otherwise as a prime aim in life, in contrast to boys, who are primarily schooled in violence and initiative and urged towards a life of productive activity."


my emphasis...

(pass the coquettes)

t

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/24/19 4:07 AM as a reply to terry.
It seems like you and that translator from the 1950’s use the word predatory the same way, then. I’m not so sure that it strengthens your case, terry. emoticon

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/24/19 8:14 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
If I had to bet on it, I'd say that this was a case of massage therapy that turned sexual. Time will tell.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/30/19 2:35 PM as a reply to terry.
another quote from simone de beauvoir, "the second sex," p79-80:

the full text is found readily online...this copied from:


https://archive.org/stream/1949SimoneDeBeauvoirTheSecondSex/1949_simone-de-beauvoir-the-second-sex_djvu.txt





Sexuality certainly plays a considerable role in human life: it could 
be said to penetrate it completely; physiology has already 
demonstrated how the activity of testes and ovaries is intermixed with 
that of the soma. The existent is a sexed body; in its relations with 
other existents that are also sexed bodies, sexuality is thus always 
involved; but as the body and sexuality are concrete expressions of 
existence, it is also from here that their significance can be ascertained: 
without this perspective, psychoanalysis takes unexplained facts for 
granted. For example, a young girl is said to be "ashamed" of 
urinating in a squatting position, with her bottom exposed; but what is 
shame? Likewise, before asking if the male is proud because he has a 
penis or if his penis is the expression of his pride, we need to know 
what pride is and how the subject's aspirations can be embodied in an 
object. Sexuality must not be taken as an irreducible given; the 
existent possesses a more primary "quest for being"; sexuality is only 
one of these aspects. Sartre demonstrates this in Being and 
Nothingness; Bachelard also says it in his works on Earth, Air, and 
Water: psychoanalysts believe that man's quintessential truth lies in 
his relation to his own body and that of others like him within society; 
but man has a primordial interest in the substance of the natural world 
surrounding him that he attempts to discover in work, play, and all 
experiences of the "dynamic imagination"; man seeks to connect 
concretely with existence through the whole world, grasped in all 
possible ways. Working the soil and digging a hole are activities as 
primal as an embrace or coitus: it is an error to see them only as 
sexual symbols; a hole, slime, a gash, hardness, and wholeness are 
primary realities; man's interest in them is not dictated by libido; 
instead, the libido will be influenced by the way these realities were 
revealed to him. Man is not fascinated by wholeness because it 
symbolizes feminine virginity: rather, his love for wholeness makes 
virginity precious. Work, war, play, and art define ways of being in 
the world that cannot be reduced to any others; they bring to light 
features that impinge on those that sexuality reveals; it is both through 
them and through these erotic experiences that the individual chooses 
himself. But only an ontological point of view can restore the unity of 
this choice. 






RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/30/19 3:28 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
It seems like you and that translator from the 1950’s use the word predatory the same way, then. I’m not so sure that it strengthens your case, terry. emoticon


aloha linda,

   Of course you are right.  I don't usually date my sources but the reference was to contemporary conditions and that was relevant.

   The term, "predatory coquetry" is hopelessly outdated. On the other hand, if you know what we are talking about, the language can be set aside. The "predatory" pursuit of men by women - often denied but rarely absent in general social life - will have to find another term to express it. Suffice it to say that it is not entirely biological in nature. I know we like to say male sexuality is much more destructive, but if you think it through it is simply not that clear cut. You need to have an open mind. Here in hawaii I like to say, "we all live on an island together," but this is as true of the global village. We are all complicit, even if we fight it. "We have met the enemy and he is us" (pogo).

   I grew up during the so-called sexual revolution. All the women I knew were "on the pill," concentrated female hormones. It seemed to make them more feminine than ever, which also seemed ironic as they were all feminists as well. Nothing like femininity to make a man's heart swell. In the commune, for fifteen years, they were my sisters.

   The book itself is very insightful. Simone de beauvoir graduated second in her class to simone weil; what a class that must have been!

   If my "case" is the male point of view as opposed to feminism, it is well lost. I'm not concerned with holding the right opinion. Truth is always nondual, and the words are all washed away in a flood of penetrating insight.

   Freedom, as de beauvoir says, requires an ontological point of view. We are sexual beings in every cell, x or y, with few exceptions. Yet we are first and foremost beings, and the understanding of being has advanced little since the fifties. Heidegger created a revolution in philosophy, and philosophy has not digested his work quite yet. Sartre tried with "being and nothingness," his take on heidegger's "being and time," but failed to understand him. De beauvoir criticized and corrected sartre, and understood heidegger as well as anyone has yet. Her "ontological basis" is not that of a simple subject. We are our shared worlds; we share some worlds with some, other worlds with others.


terry



from simone de beavoir, "the second sex":

p66


These biological data are of extreme importance: they play an all- 
important role and are an essential element of woman's situation: we 
will be referring to them in all further accounts. Because the body is 
the instrument of our hold on the world, the world appears different to 
us depending on how it is grasped, which explains why we have 
studied these data so deeply; they are one of the keys that enable us to 
understand woman. But we refuse the idea that they form a fixed 
destiny for her. They do not suffice to constitute the basis for a sexual 
hierarchy; they do not explain why woman is the Other; they do not 
condemn her forever to this subjugated role. 


and

   
p82-83

Psychoanalysis could only find its truth within a historical context. 

Likewise, woman can no more be defined by the consciousness of 
her own femininity than by merely saying that woman is a female: she 
finds this consciousness within the society of which she is a member. 
Interiorizing the unconscious and all psychic life, the very language of 
psychoanalysis suggests that the drama of the individual unfolds 
within him: the terms "complex," "tendencies," and so forth imply 
this. But a life is a relation with the world; the individual defines 
himself by choosing himself through the world; we must turn to the 
world to answer the questions that preoccupy us. In particular, 
psychoanalysis fails to explain why woman is the Other. Even Freud 
accepts that the prestige of the penis is explained by the father's 
sovereignty, and he admits that he does not know the source of male 
supremacy. 


and


p82

Instead of accepting that desire is disguised as anxiety or is overcome by fear, we should 
consider this sort of pressing and frightened appeal that is female 
desire as a basic given; it is characterized by the indissoluble synthesis 
of attraction and repulsion. It is noteworthy that many female animals 
flee from coitus at the very moment they solicit it: they are accused of 
coquetry or hypocrisy; but it is absurd to attempt to explain primitive 
behaviors by assimilating them to complex ones: they are, on the 
contrary, at the source of attitudes called coquetry and hypocrisy in women.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
9/30/19 3:54 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I’m very glad that you thought about this, terry. I appreciate it.

I don’t think anything is all culture and no biology. I think there is always an interplay. But even dogs with a huge appetite can be taught to wait for permission before they help themselves to the food. Thinking that men are unable to do the same thing would be unfair to men. The anthopologist Clifford Gertz said that what makes human beings different from other animals is that our biological instincts are so limited that we would be helpless without culture. I think he has an important point there, although I think at least some animals have more of a culture than he realized, and many of the domesticated ones are unfortunately rather helpless on their own as well (which has to do with the fact that human culture changed the biology through breeding, but not exclusively; it also has to do with what the pets have learned). We can’t deny that our biology is part of who we are, but how it manifests is very much socioculturally conditioned.

As for compassion, I believe that we are biologically conditioned to be able to feel it, but it has to be nurtured.

As for sex and gender, that is a very complex interplay that remains scientifically unknown in large parts. You brought up that most who were born with ambiguous genitals grow up believing that they have the gender that they have been assigned. Still, not all do, which is why I personally think it would be better to let the person choose for themselves as they grow up. I don’t understand the cultural need to desperately put a person in one box. Science today has found that the notion of two biological sexes is a huge simplification and actually pretty much a social construction. It also suggests that transgender with body dysphoria has biological roots related to what hormones the brain was conditioned to work with early in its development. Then of course the manifestations of this are limited by the storylines available in our culture. Personally I think the distinction between sex and gender is also problematic as it implies that there is such a thing as biological sex isolated from sociocultural influence, and sociocultural sex isolated from biology (I have seen far too many people interpret it that way, anyway, and that has led to unnecessary conflicts, for instance between some groups of feminists and transgendered people). As far as I can see, all manifestations of sex/gender have both biological and sociocultural components. All sciences are limited by sociocultural conditions, too. If there is any ”pure biology”, we are unable to access it. I don’t think there is, though, since interaction has affects even on the quantum level. I think everything is intertwined. Therefore it would also be utterly naive, I think, to assume that we can transcend our biology completely through culture.

Not everything is as hardwired as we tend to believe. Also, some things are much more hardwired than we tend to believe. I think this is an excellent example for the Buddhas teaching - it is important to abandon all our firm views and remain open to what is.

...

I do agree that the system failed this girl too. She was vulnerable, which had very much to do with social conditions, and the system did not protect her the way it was supposed to do. But those foster fathers did wrong, and they shouldn’t have. If we keep making excuses for their behavior, that will condition more similar behavior.

...

Note to new readers: this has nothing to do with Culadasa, which I hope is obvious. This thread has led to a number of new discussions as it brought forward many reflections on human behavior, with and without awakening, and dependent origination.

aloha linda,

   I never said biology was an "excuse" - just part of the understanding. It may be so that understanding leads to compassion which leads to mercy. Many people oppose compassion on the grounds that it "excuses" people. They call this "justice." The families suffer too, remember. Harsh penalties for every offender - the rule of Law - is a check against corrupt judges. Allowed "judgment," the well-connected are let off lightly. There are no simple answers, and the balance we have achieved as a society is not to be sneered at. The 21st century has been remarkably free of war, compared to the 20th; we must be doing something right. 

   Other wise I agree with you, pretty much. Domesticated animals are symbiotes. Some ants "breed" aphids to use as the equivalent of cows.

   One of the concepts of american pragmatism that I like is that of "fallibility." We never have the last word on any subject. As "human intellect" - individually and/or collectively - we learn new things and change our perspective at every moment. What "we now know" will be altered as time goes on. Nothing we "know" is fixed or certain, except that we don't know anything with any certainty. Nothing we think at any moment is significant, only the evolving understanding. The clear water, the limpid pool, of consciousness at rest, the mud settled. The peaceful ocean beneath the waves. The balance; the pivot. The way. The nameless, the Mystery...


. . .

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
10/1/19 1:59 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
It seems like you and that translator from the 1950’s use the word predatory the same way, then. I’m not so sure that it strengthens your case, terry. emoticon


aloha linda,

   Of course you are right.  I don't usually date my sources but the reference was to contemporary conditions and that was relevant.

   The term, "predatory coquetry" is hopelessly outdated. On the other hand, if you know what we are talking about, the language can be set aside. The "predatory" pursuit of men by women - often denied but rarely absent in general social life - will have to find another term to express it. Suffice it to say that it is not entirely biological in nature. I know we like to say male sexuality is much more destructive, but if you think it through it is simply not that clear cut. You need to have an open mind. Here in hawaii I like to say, "we all live on an island together," but this is as true of the global village. We are all complicit, even if we fight it. "We have met the enemy and he is us" (pogo).

   I grew up during the so-called sexual revolution. All the women I knew were "on the pill," concentrated female hormones. It seemed to make them more feminine than ever, which also seemed ironic as they were all feminists as well. Nothing like femininity to make a man's heart swell. In the commune, for fifteen years, they were my sisters.

   The book itself is very insightful. Simone de beauvoir graduated second in her class to simone weil; what a class that must have been!

   If my "case" is the male point of view as opposed to feminism, it is well lost. I'm not concerned with holding the right opinion. Truth is always nondual, and the words are all washed away in a flood of penetrating insight.

   Freedom, as de beauvoir says, requires an ontological point of view. We are sexual beings in every cell, x or y, with few exceptions. Yet we are first and foremost beings, and the understanding of being has advanced little since the fifties. Heidegger created a revolution in philosophy, and philosophy has not digested his work quite yet. Sartre tried with "being and nothingness," his take on heidegger's "being and time," but failed to understand him. De beauvoir criticized and corrected sartre, and understood heidegger as well as anyone has yet. Her "ontological basis" is not that of a simple subject. We are our shared worlds; we share some worlds with some, other worlds with others.


terry



from simone de beavoir, "the second sex":

p66


These biological data are of extreme importance: they play an all- 
important role and are an essential element of woman's situation: we 
will be referring to them in all further accounts. Because the body is 
the instrument of our hold on the world, the world appears different to 
us depending on how it is grasped, which explains why we have 
studied these data so deeply; they are one of the keys that enable us to 
understand woman. But we refuse the idea that they form a fixed 
destiny for her. They do not suffice to constitute the basis for a sexual 
hierarchy; they do not explain why woman is the Other; they do not 
condemn her forever to this subjugated role. 


and

   
p82-83

Psychoanalysis could only find its truth within a historical context. 

Likewise, woman can no more be defined by the consciousness of 
her own femininity than by merely saying that woman is a female: she 
finds this consciousness within the society of which she is a member. 
Interiorizing the unconscious and all psychic life, the very language of 
psychoanalysis suggests that the drama of the individual unfolds 
within him: the terms "complex," "tendencies," and so forth imply 
this. But a life is a relation with the world; the individual defines 
himself by choosing himself through the world; we must turn to the 
world to answer the questions that preoccupy us. In particular, 
psychoanalysis fails to explain why woman is the Other. Even Freud 
accepts that the prestige of the penis is explained by the father's 
sovereignty, and he admits that he does not know the source of male 
supremacy. 


and


p82

Instead of accepting that desire is disguised as anxiety or is overcome by fear, we should 
consider this sort of pressing and frightened appeal that is female 
desire as a basic given; it is characterized by the indissoluble synthesis 
of attraction and repulsion. It is noteworthy that many female animals 
flee from coitus at the very moment they solicit it: they are accused of 
coquetry or hypocrisy; but it is absurd to attempt to explain primitive 
behaviors by assimilating them to complex ones: they are, on the 
contrary, at the source of attitudes called coquetry and hypocrisy in women.


I don’t believe men’s sexuality is destructive by nature. I think the destructive sexual behavior in some men has very little to do with sexuality, and more to do with power. I also believe we have a culture (or set of cultures) which fosters sexual conduct that makes mutual concent much more complicated than it should need to be.

There are many different versions of feminism. The common denominator is the view that gender-based oppression is not okay. I very much doubt that there is a nature to female sexuality that consists of ”the indissoluble synthesis of attraction and repulsion”, not that I would know as I am non-binary myself. Structural aspects do lead to weird patterns sometimes, though.

RE: Culadasa Misconduct Allegations - Part 2
Answer
10/1/19 2:06 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I’m very glad that you thought about this, terry. I appreciate it.

I don’t think anything is all culture and no biology. I think there is always an interplay. But even dogs with a huge appetite can be taught to wait for permission before they help themselves to the food. Thinking that men are unable to do the same thing would be unfair to men. The anthopologist Clifford Gertz said that what makes human beings different from other animals is that our biological instincts are so limited that we would be helpless without culture. I think he has an important point there, although I think at least some animals have more of a culture than he realized, and many of the domesticated ones are unfortunately rather helpless on their own as well (which has to do with the fact that human culture changed the biology through breeding, but not exclusively; it also has to do with what the pets have learned). We can’t deny that our biology is part of who we are, but how it manifests is very much socioculturally conditioned.

As for compassion, I believe that we are biologically conditioned to be able to feel it, but it has to be nurtured.

As for sex and gender, that is a very complex interplay that remains scientifically unknown in large parts. You brought up that most who were born with ambiguous genitals grow up believing that they have the gender that they have been assigned. Still, not all do, which is why I personally think it would be better to let the person choose for themselves as they grow up. I don’t understand the cultural need to desperately put a person in one box. Science today has found that the notion of two biological sexes is a huge simplification and actually pretty much a social construction. It also suggests that transgender with body dysphoria has biological roots related to what hormones the brain was conditioned to work with early in its development. Then of course the manifestations of this are limited by the storylines available in our culture. Personally I think the distinction between sex and gender is also problematic as it implies that there is such a thing as biological sex isolated from sociocultural influence, and sociocultural sex isolated from biology (I have seen far too many people interpret it that way, anyway, and that has led to unnecessary conflicts, for instance between some groups of feminists and transgendered people). As far as I can see, all manifestations of sex/gender have both biological and sociocultural components. All sciences are limited by sociocultural conditions, too. If there is any ”pure biology”, we are unable to access it. I don’t think there is, though, since interaction has affects even on the quantum level. I think everything is intertwined. Therefore it would also be utterly naive, I think, to assume that we can transcend our biology completely through culture.

Not everything is as hardwired as we tend to believe. Also, some things are much more hardwired than we tend to believe. I think this is an excellent example for the Buddhas teaching - it is important to abandon all our firm views and remain open to what is.

...

I do agree that the system failed this girl too. She was vulnerable, which had very much to do with social conditions, and the system did not protect her the way it was supposed to do. But those foster fathers did wrong, and they shouldn’t have. If we keep making excuses for their behavior, that will condition more similar behavior.

...

Note to new readers: this has nothing to do with Culadasa, which I hope is obvious. This thread has led to a number of new discussions as it brought forward many reflections on human behavior, with and without awakening, and dependent origination.

aloha linda,

   I never said biology was an "excuse" - just part of the understanding. It may be so that understanding leads to compassion which leads to mercy. Many people oppose compassion on the grounds that it "excuses" people. They call this "justice." The families suffer too, remember. Harsh penalties for every offender - the rule of Law - is a check against corrupt judges. Allowed "judgment," the well-connected are let off lightly. There are no simple answers, and the balance we have achieved as a society is not to be sneered at. The 21st century has been remarkably free of war, compared to the 20th; we must be doing something right. 

   Other wise I agree with you, pretty much. Domesticated animals are symbiotes. Some ants "breed" aphids to use as the equivalent of cows.

   One of the concepts of american pragmatism that I like is that of "fallibility." We never have the last word on any subject. As "human intellect" - individually and/or collectively - we learn new things and change our perspective at every moment. What "we now know" will be altered as time goes on. Nothing we "know" is fixed or certain, except that we don't know anything with any certainty. Nothing we think at any moment is significant, only the evolving understanding. The clear water, the limpid pool, of consciousness at rest, the mud settled. The peaceful ocean beneath the waves. The balance; the pivot. The way. The nameless, the Mystery...


. . .


I believe in compassion, but I don’t see how assuming that those men just couldn’t help abusing the child helps anyone. Wouldn’t it be better for them to assume some agency and realize that they don’t have to act on every impulse? They would be better off, and so would the children.