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Lemmings
Answer
2/3/12 7:32 PM
Actual lemmings do *not* commit mass suicide, but the term "lemmings" has come to symbolize the inability of people to think for themselves and to follow one or more comrades off the deep end. So I use it here in its symbolic rather than its literal form.

I ask--are you a lemming? Are you looking for someone to follow? And will you follow this person through their own particular engagement with issues related to their particular life?

Doesn't anyone here want to stop and think about the fact that Tarin's relationship to Richard has determined what will and will not be tolerated here on the forum re: criticism?

Before I proceed further, let me make a few things clear: the purpose of this post is to disparage no one as I have nothing disparaging to say--the purpose of this post is to draw attention to the fact that the changeable nature of some of us on this forum is not related to our own investigations, our own experiences of the individuals we are discussing, or anything related to our own direct experience.

What we have here is people on the internet talking about people they have never met, that they have only heard others "report" about, and then judging these people they have never met on the basis of things other people have said on the internet. Here I am talking about myself and about anyone else that we know "virtually" but not "actually." Hearsay is typically not admissible in a court of law for good reason; hearsay is not reliable.

Let me reiterate: this is not a "take down" of anyone or an attempt to vindicate anyone else--this is simply me pointing out the utter silliness of this guru-cultism, that builds people up and then takes them down, on the basis of other guru-cultism. If this is the method by which one hopes to become free, one is utterly doomed.

Realize that you know nothing of someone you have never met and never will until you directly experience them--and even then, you may not really see who they are depending on the state of your own mind at the time. So do not be surprised by "reports." Also, do not invest too much in these reports from people you may also have never met.

What you CAN do is apply the method and see if it works for you. If it does not, stop doing it. If it does, continue--regardless of what you think of the people involved in it. It is really that simple because you have to work out your own freedom for yourself--no one can do it for you.

Have some courage. Look to yourself and no one else. The instructions are there--follow them and not a "person," whoever that person might be.

Everything that you need to know, whatever method you choose to follow, is available to you. The work for you all now is with yourselves; hence I abandon this forum to those who enjoy such spaces, debates, and ecumenical anality. But in my final message, I urge you all to consider the limits of on-line advice and the assumptions that are often made about people on the basis of things they write on the internet.

Good luck.

Stefanie

RE: Lemmings
Answer
2/3/12 9:45 PM as a reply to Steffie K D.
Nice points. The people I trust the most are those who have allowed me the space to figure things out on my own. I have certainly had times when I clung to what others advised me or relied on the assumption someone would always be here to guide me. It never helped all that much and I later concluded that anything they told me was something I could have easily figured out if I put in a little more effort myself (i.e. was being impatient). In a couple recent posts I have spoken up to encourage people towards more autonomy... more or less saying, quit being so co-dependent, don't expect others to do your legwork, and just do it yourself.

I'm not sure what others are really expecting to get from somebody who seems older, wiser, more advanced, etc. than themselves (which is often why people turn to others for advice). For whoever is reading and might find it helpful: For me, it was mostly encouragement or friendly support in a moment when I felt like I was struggling, less than it was technical or methodical input. It's helpful to be mindful of this when reaching out. Is it actually technical help that genuinely cannot be figured out with a bit more experimentation and venturing into the unknown... or is it simply a friend/kindred spirit that is sought? There is nothing wrong with wanting a friend, so be honest about what is needed, otherwise interactions are likely to be steered in all sorts of directions that totally miss the point and are insincere.

And with that being said, Stef, thank you for giving me the respect and encouragement that I damn well had it in me to figure it out with this smart brain. emoticon

Steph

RE: Lemmings
Answer
2/5/12 12:44 PM as a reply to Steffie K D.
Thank you Stefanie emoticon! Be well!
Ross

RE: Lemmings
Answer
2/5/12 3:07 PM as a reply to Steffie K D.
Thanks Stef, hopefully people will take this advice on board and realize that there's only one way to test and verify this stuff for yourself:

What you CAN do is apply the method and see if it works for you. If it does not, stop doing it. If it does, continue--regardless of what you think of the people involved in it. It is really that simple because you have to work out your own freedom for yourself--no one can do it for you.

Which points directly to what a lot of people seem to have missed in this whole thing, and which also expresses some of the most basic principles of this very site:

In general our basic principles and attitudes favor:

- pragmatism over dogmatism: what works is key, with works generally meaning the stages of insight, the stages of enlightenment, jhanas, freedom from suffering in what ways are possible, etc.
- diligent practice over blind faith: this place is about doing it and understanding for yourself rather than believing someone else and not testing those beliefs
- openness regarding what the techniques may lead to and how these contrast or align with the traditional models
- personal responsibility: you take responsibility for the choices you make and what you say and
- a lack of taboos surrounding talking about
- the assumption that the various aspects of meditative development can be mastered in this
- the spirit of mutual, supportive adventurers on the path rather than rigid student-teacher relationships
- and the notion that the collective wisdom of a group of strong practitioners at various stages and from various traditions and backgrounds is often better than following one guru-type.


Hope life continues to go well for you, take care and good luck with whatever comes your way.

RE: Lemmings
Answer
2/5/12 4:59 PM as a reply to Steffie K D.
Dear Steff,

Thanks very much for your thoughts.

I am sorry to see you go, but we all have to follow our muse.

I am not sure if there was more or less Richard bashing or praising before or after Tarin and Richard's recent relationship changes, as there was tons of it before and has been since before the First Great DhO Schism, though perhaps something in the quality has changed for the moment, but I am not sure exactly how and not sure it is a permanent trend.

It is unfortunate how personal and faddish this stuff does get, even with people we don't really know, and your points are great ones.

Regardless, should you wish to return and fill in the void that has been left you are welcome, as Tarin, Trent, Jill, yourself, etc have all been relatively absent for a while, and I think that in that vacuum the other stuff fills in, not that it should in some perfect world, but things are as they are, and it is so easy to lose sight of the essential things and that battle continues to have to be fought, and help with that particularly important work is appreciated.

While we all need to figure this stuff out on our own, it is nice to have people around who know how it is done, as they do help.

All the best,

Daniel

RE: Lemmings
Answer
7/2/12 3:44 AM as a reply to Steffie K D.
Deleted original rubbish- it was just plain rude. It is great advice, a belated thanks to Stephanie.