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Meditation Culture

Roots of the mushroom culture?

Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/24/15 5:37 AM
Ok, so apologies if this is either obvious or not of interest to anyone but me, but I was just listening to a talk by jay michaelson: 

http://youtu.be/BLSijdwCxs4

fairly early on he reveals that when they returned from their peace corps adventures in Asia, the Salzburg-Goldstein-kornfield crowd deliberately withheld info about the maps in their teachings because they saw how it was feeding into alpha-male, status-jockeying US culture.                               
However, I can't find anything online to corroborate this?

kinda makes me wonder - with all the 'drama' we've seen around here lately (which I'm sure all boils down to status games of one form or another) if there wasn't a certain wisdom in their approach? 

Is a sangha (of the supportive, encouraging kind that used to feature on KFD) even possible without zero-sum positional games getting enflamed? 

Or are we all doomed to walk around alone in our private 'heavens' communing with nature?! 

*obviously not wishing to denigrate this site that saved my life in any way and very aware now of how my earlier behaviour on here was conceited and attention seeking

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/24/15 6:14 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Robin Woods:


fairly early on he reveals that when they returned from their peace corps adventures in Asia, the Salzburg-Goldstein-kornfield crowd deliberately withheld info about the maps in their teachings because they saw how it was feeding into alpha-male, status-jockeying US culture.                               
However, I can't find anything online to corroborate this?

For anyone who just wants to listen to that bit, it starts around 13'03".

He refers to "fascinating notes" on the decision to remove parts of the Buddhist tradition, but I don't know where you would find these "fascinating notes."

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/24/15 3:12 PM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Hi Robin,

I see all types of contributions here.
Is a sangha (of the supportive, encouraging kind that used to feature on KFD) even possible without zero-sum positional games getting enflamed? 
First, you have an experience of own-dukkha seeing this way.

If you hold onto what you used to have a KFD and hold on to what you think is lost there (support and encouragement), that there is drama around lately, that there is alphma-male status jockeying--- is this not a narrow view saturated in your own dukkha perspective. Clearly, many people are having different experiences than you are as not all threads note the same view and some note opposite views (that these sites are supportive and encouraging, not dominated).

Since you are on a largely Buddhist-methods site, I'll ask why: Why does the Dhammapada note of of the mentality that fixates on "Look how s/he abused me, look how s/he tore me down"-- that this thinking causes "trouble to follow such a person like the wheel that follows the ox that pulls the cart"?

And why do you think the practice constantly points people to practice within their own mind and life, to confront dissatisfactoriness and pain and own-actions there with positive, skillful tools, and to go with oneself and others with in developing a reliable, skilled mind: friendliness, compassion, altruistic joy, even a balanced mind (because of the maddening dukkha).

Look how some are walking between the Koreas this week, De-Bug videos to humanize, and a poem and action by Sana al-Yemen and Malala-- no avatars, no aliases, no protection... 

...so many such people simultaneously still giving donations everywhere of time and resources to better/reverse conditions we* have also ourselves often made-- effective goodwill in utmost stress is loved in the millions.

So  compassion to and in you and I, the ability to develop a friendly, joyful, balanced mind that may function as a gardener sowing those seeds in each one's given name.

There are many practices here. Right now, yours seems to be (have been?) a particular stress. May you/I have a safe place and time to sit with own-mind, impulses, stress/suffering/dissatisfactions and develop those safe, smart, caring, fun means we'd love to see take root anywhere, any time, from anyone.

___________
The royal "we" of our species

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/25/15 6:11 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Clearly, as we have done the reverse of the experiment that they did, and largely made this all about states, stages, progress, criteria, (with exceptions, and not meaning to categorize the whole of the DhO, AN, KFD, etc. community in these terms), we have learned that they were right: it does clearly lead to alpha-male, alpha-female, etc. one-upsmanship, competition, over-calling attainments, obsession with goals over being here in the present, and all of the suffering, bullshit, petty politics and chaos that comes with being open about these things.

This has been demonistrated countless times in spades, so I have to give it to them on that one: they totalled nailed what would happen, at least in that regard. Gold star to them.

We have also seen numerous people bloom, blossom, flower, shine, dig deep, plunge, soar, explore, grow, progress, and attain in ways and in quantities that are far beyond what is typical in the broader community that is exposed to mushroom-culture dharma, this being a statement of averages and not about individuals. Gold star to us.

Both are true.

Thus, one is then faced with somewhat different questions:

What is optimal for ourselves?

What is optimal for whole communities?

What is the greater good and how is it done?

Is it that the mushroom people are right, and, despite the benefits of open dharma, should we avoid the alpha-person stuff and also let people largely flounder in lesser stages?

Is it that the open, pragmatic dharma people are right and we should avoid the mushy psychologized dharma of the mushroom people and deal with the alpha-bullshit of those who attain to real progress?

How do we keep the open culture and reduce the clear negative side-effects?

Should everyone be allowed to decide for themselves?

Can everyone decide for themselves, as, once the open, pragmatic stuff is out there, you can't really put it back in?

I personally feel viceral outrage at the mushroom stuff, considering it vile.

The Mushroom People clearly feel, well, some very polite and PC version of that same viceral outrage at the open stuff, as I have run into that from people mentioned above, so I know it first hand.

Thus, both cause disharmony. Both are imperfect. Both cause problems and benefits.

Still, for me, given a choice, I will take my attainments regardless of the costs so far. I will take my community regardless of the costs so far.

Do I wish every day that there was less unhealthy competition, less bullshit politics, less posturing, less alpha-crap? Yes, every single day. It has destroyed friendships, threatened others, caused staggering amounts of pain.

Thus, I urge us all to strive for the ideal: great practice, great progress, great maps, great commaraderie, great cooperative, great mutual support, and to avoid unhealthy competition and the rest like the plague, as it is dharma poison, truly, as I know only too well. One need merely look to my longest and deepest dharma friendship to realize how much totally toxic poison it can be.

Be well and practice well,

Daniel

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/25/15 2:12 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Both are imperfect. Both cause problems and benefits.

Yeah, this is how I respect the various schools and their founders. People make best efforts.  

People are/I am/we are changing. This is one reason I sigh when I see terms like "Mushroom People"-- I feel it hostilely reifies a Other and can sustain an offense-defense. Is this what's happening? Is this identification useful?

A professor was criticising mindfullness training in corporations a couple years ago, as in "Is mindfullness training making corporations more skilled in greed and competition, the demise of human potential through increasing the poverty-wellbeing maw?"
But his approach to a particular CEO was devoid of the causes of friendship, friendly together work. Of course, I have done something similar and experienced the same treatment: good intentions coming from so wounded a mind and outlook, that frustrated hostility is used as the approach. Of course this is counter-productive when I or anyone tries this to create a resolution. The Dhammapada, for buddhists, is clear, ill-will creates ill-will. Cause sew their like-effects. Easier written than done when a fearful brainstem is provoked.

Finally, I want to say, for me, path models/attainment-speak do not cause conceit and divisions: I have sat with many groups in many traditions-- the formless traditions and the formed-- stayed luckily for weeks or just the 7-10 days of standard training sessions, and I think conceit is reasonabley anticipated in the models because conceit is a likely expression of the human mind to experience a sense of superiority/victory in learning and knowing.

But the relief is in passing through that unreliable view, that conceit, in that passage there is the gift there is suffusive compassion: People are/I am/you are trying their best in a given moment to feel well/sated/happy/safe-- however that best effort looks, in a short-term or long-term context, under myriad conditions. 

Sometimes great generals make great peace officers because they've passed through earlier conceits, righteousness, and their tired, nearing death by old age and hope that their young relatives and peers won't create bloodshed when they can create wonders.

In my view I have not lost any friends in this process nor have I made enemies of people (i have certain had aversions and presumably inspire(d) the same). As much as it can feel or appear selfish to oneself or to others to sit in self-study, bhavana, contemplation, meditation, personally I feel it is one excellent tool for an authentic/experiential/convinced development of compassion and energy and learning to see the natures of the terrains/conditions.

editx4

Edit 5:
I will take my community regardless of the costs so far.

Thank you for creating and supporting this community. People have many options and clearly you created a place for a dynamic community of all walks, debates, sharing, that fills a need and helps people take up their study, move on, stay still, and so forth.


Edit 7: And your article on "blowing it" I think was a gift for any community. Who doesn't blow it? I certainly do. How would I have any idea what I'm saying to others here if I didn't see my own practice and events, including what could be called failings, missed/spoiled opportunity. Not possible. We're helpful in all the sharing. the recovery, the revisit, the re-takes, the safer study, the improved process, the letting go. the understanding.

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/26/15 6:47 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.
re: Robin Woods (5/24/15 5:37 AM)
" Is a sangha (of the supportive, encouraging kind that used to feature on KFD) even possible without zero-sum positional games getting enflamed? "

'Sangha' is used in a variety of ways across the moderinst spectrum. I think the root meaning came from something like family or clan. Today it’s used widely (e.g. in Vipassana/Insight Movement groups) to mean those who show up regularly for dharma talks. I have heard it also usedsimilarly in a Kiriya Yoga group (3rd generation followers of Parmahansa Yogananda). That's proabably just the tip of the iceberg of usages.

In traditional Theravadan context (at least some), sangha means the brother/sister-hood of those into the path attainments (according to some sutta-s, I think). At the Tathagatha Meditation Center (Mahasi-monk staffed monastery in San Jose, CA), sangha is used to designate the ordained monks. Those who attend retreats are called 'yogis'. Those who show up for services or celebrations, or donate food for the monks or retreats, are called 'devotees'.

One aspect I find appealing in DhO is the possibility of sangha approximating that Theravadan sense (and probably not dissimilar from the way Robin Woods talks of KFD) – people supportively relating in terms of pursuing hardcore practice, where the specifics need not be exclusively Theravadan, or even Buddhist (but communication can be easier with some acknowledgement of this context).

Side-effect of the internet-based platform is the practice of learning to put up with all the 'noise'.

A story Than-Geof (Thanissaro Bhikkhu, TG here) tells: when first entering a monastery in Thailand, he occupied a hut off near the border of the grounds, and discovered quickly that just over the border was some kind of small store for the locals, where the owner ran a loud boom-box with music, starting early morning, and through the day. TG went to Ajahn Fuang (the abbot), complaining how is he supposed to meditate while bothered by this noise? Fuang replied: it's your mind that's bothering the noise.

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/26/15 11:44 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
LOL. F*** me. I could've hardly expected a better answer to my question than that! Have you ever thought about writing about this stuff? ;)

For some reason I had the tremendous good fortune to fall in with you guys and get some real permanent mental quietning/insight. 

My personal attempt to bridge the paradox for myself then is gonna now to be to focus my practice entirely on the 'mushy'/Salzberg/lovingkindness side of the fence - which now actually makes sense in a way it NEVER would have before.

With Metta. Sincerely. 




  

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/26/15 12:58 PM as a reply to Robin Woods.
I myself have serious concerns about what Daniel wrote, so much so that I've written a very detailed critique of the serious problems with it, but elsewhere.

I will not post it here on the DhO, precisely because Daniel's so-called "open culture" is much more "open" for some sociodemographic groups of people than for others. I'm in the non-alpha-male (not "alpha-person") outgroup, so I no longer post here on the DhO or participate anymore in this supposedly "open" community, except to say, now, just that much. I come here to recoup comments for the book, and that's it.

However, as a cultural studies scholar, I'm thinking of writing a full scholarly critique of what Daniel has written here and elsewhere on the DhO and submitting it to a peer-reviewed journal on gender construction and the insidious and only ostensibly apolitical politics of spiritual communities and their status quo us-and-them linguistic fiats.

Jenny

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/27/15 8:45 AM as a reply to Jenny.
[ Removed because I don't have the time or energy to get into an argument ]

Simon

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/26/15 8:31 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
I myself have serious concerns about what Daniel wrote, so much so that I've written a very detailed critique of the serious problems with it, but elsewhere.

I will not post it here on the DhO, precisely because Daniel's so-called "open culture" is much more "open" for some sociodemographic groups of people than for others. I'm in the non-alpha-male (not "alpha-person") outgroup, so I no longer post here on the DhO or participate anymore in this supposedly "open" community, except to say, now, just that much. I come here to recoup comments for the book, and that's it.

However, as a cultural studies scholar, I'm thinking of writing a full scholarly critique of what Daniel has written here and elsewhere on the DhO and submitting it to a peer-reviewed journal on gender construction and the insidious and only ostensibly apolitical politics of spiritual communities and their status quo us-and-them linguistic fiats.

Jenny
Jenny, thank you for your continuing effort and leadership.  So, we can recognize the problem.  Do you have any suggested solutions?
I created a thread to find them:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5732882

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/27/15 12:17 PM as a reply to Noah.
Over the years I have attempted to reduce some of the us and them of it, which, linguist or other wise, is actually a real phenomena, regardless of mental conceptualization and expression, and it is the phenomena vastly more than the language that is worthy of addressing.

My last attempt to talk with Joseph about this, that being May 24th, 2013, at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies gathering called The Contemplative Development Mapping Project, at which he gave the opening talk, lead to nothing. Interestingly, the gathering was specifically about scientists who wished to share practice details, map theory and the like in order to be able to design studies that could use the maps and stages and criteria as things to be compared to external measures of those qualities. His opening talk said the exact reverse: that they shouldn't talk about practice details with each other, shouldn't use the maps, and that they should only talk about practice like that with their dharma teachers. For the rest of the gathering, the scientists who had gathered ignored his advice and talked openly about practice, maps, states, stages and now to study them scientifically. 

After his talk, I approached Joseph, who is a very nice guy in person and with whom I have had had some interviews many years ago. I re-introduced myself, and with my very best professional and friendly social skills asked him if we could talk about this in a straightforward and skillful way, and he said, "Oh, yes, I remember you. We had some interviews long ago," and then turned his back to me and walked away. It was very disheartening, as I don't like these rifts in the dharma world at all, and I saw that as a rare opportunity to try to have some sort of skillful dialogue about these things. That he totally snubbed my kind offer of dialogue was very disappointing.

Thus, we can critique the language I use to talk about this, and that is fine and reasonable, but perhaps we should get real and actually talk about the phenomena of it, which is, from my point of view, vastly more relevant.

I am going up to a dharma teachers gathering in New York at Omega Institute next week, and I am sure there will be many opportunities to talk about this same topic. Hopefully, I will bring my best and most skillful speech and intentions to that important work. Wish me luck,

Daniel

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/27/15 12:16 PM as a reply to Robin Woods.
Robin Woods

Roots of the Mushroom Culture.

Just my current view,

Not disclosing information, is withholding information.  This is a selfish act, not an act of kindness.  

To withhold information because one thinks that other people are not ready for certain information is conceit.  

To think that one knows that one is not capable of using certain information for the benefit of all and withholding information for that reason, is vanity.

There may be times when people are not ready for certain information, but I believe it is best that they decide that for themselves.

I mean really who has time to spend 20 to 30 years figuring out what has already been discovered?

What if Science withheld the Pythagorean Theorem, or withheld the Human DNA map, and forced every generation to rediscover it for themselves?  Or how to make a fire...

Hmmm...  I probably have more thoughts down in the ole mental caverns, or in the mental cloud layers...

But, they are just thoughts, fragile, ephemeral....

Psi

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/27/15 12:55 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Good luck!

I can imagine it must be difficult to contribute and give so much, have the most skillful intentions and actions, yet receive so much blow back.

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/27/15 7:02 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Over the years I have attempted to reduce some of the us and them of it, which, linguist or other wise, is actually a real phenomena, regardless of mental conceptualization and expression, and it is the phenomena vastly more than the language that is worthy of addressing.

My last attempt to talk with Joseph about this, that being May 24th, 2013, at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies gathering called The Contemplative Development Mapping Project, at which he gave the opening talk, lead to nothing. Interestingly, the gathering was specifically about scientists who wished to share practice details, map theory and the like in order to be able to design studies that could use the maps and stages and criteria as things to be compared to external measures of those qualities. His opening talk said the exact reverse: that they shouldn't talk about practice details with each other, shouldn't use the maps, and that they should only talk about practice like that with their dharma teachers. For the rest of the gathering, the scientists who had gathered ignored his advice and talked openly about practice, maps, states, stages and now to study them scientifically. 

After his talk, I approached Joseph, who is a very nice guy in person and with whom I have had had some interviews many years ago. I re-introduced myself, and with my very best professional and friendly social skills asked him if we could talk about this in a straightforward and skillful way, and he said, "Oh, yes, I remember you. We had some interviews long ago," and then turned his back to me and walked away. It was very disheartening, as I don't like these rifts in the dharma world at all, and I saw that as a rare opportunity to try to have some sort of skillful dialogue about these things. That he totally snubbed my kind offer of dialogue was very disappointing.

Thus, we can critique the language I use to talk about this, and that is fine and reasonable, but perhaps we should get real and actually talk about the phenomena of it, which is, from my point of view, vastly more relevant.

I am going up to a dharma teachers gathering in New York at Omega Institute next week, and I am sure there will be many opportunities to talk about this same topic. Hopefully, I will bring my best and most skillful speech and intentions to that important work. Wish me luck,

Daniel

Thanks for responding, Daniel.  I personally would never critique the language that you use and actually find it to be very precise, kind and inclusive.  My idea for starting a thread was only for further evolution and improvement, not really to "fix" anything (I was just kinda bouncing off what Jenny was saying).  This improvement (both in terms of pragmatic vs mushroom and also in terms of including women and other groups) couldn't and shouldn't be all on you to come up with, so a new thread on making improvement would simply be a space for everyone to brainstorm.  

Best of luck talking to Joseph Goldstein and everyone else.  In the end it doesn't matter what they think.

Cheers,
Noah

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/28/15 6:27 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
I myself have serious concerns about what Daniel wrote, so much so that I've written a very detailed critique of the serious problems with it, but elsewhere.

I will not post it here on the DhO, precisely because Daniel's so-called "open culture" is much more "open" for some sociodemographic groups of people than for others. I'm in the non-alpha-male (not "alpha-person") outgroup, so I no longer post here on the DhO or participate anymore in this supposedly "open" community, except to say, now, just that much. I come here to recoup comments for the book, and that's it.

However, as a cultural studies scholar, I'm thinking of writing a full scholarly critique of what Daniel has written here and elsewhere on the DhO and submitting it to a peer-reviewed journal on gender construction and the insidious and only ostensibly apolitical politics of spiritual communities and their status quo us-and-them linguistic fiats.

Jenny
So Robin and Jenny and anyone else who takes an interest in this:

There are a series of talks through the 2015 John Locke Lectures called "Accommodating Injustice", with Professor Rae Helen Langton, which I would be interested in watching and then chatting about together.

Here are the titles of each week so far:

Lecture 1 (29th April) 'Accommodating Authority' [Handout] [MP3]
Lecture 2 (6th May) 'Accommodating Norms' [Handout] [MP3]
Lecture 3 (13th May) 'Accommodating Knowledge' [Handout] [MP3]  
Lecture 4 (20th May) 'Silence as Accommodation Failure' [Handout] [MP3]
Lecture 5 (27th May) 'Accommodating Attitudes' [MP3]

The lectures are free as are the handouts through the same site linked above
(http://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/podcasts/john_locke_lectures)
and I could visit for an hour of community wi-fi through Hangout on Sundays, I think.

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/29/15 12:17 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Jenny:
I myself have serious concerns about what Daniel wrote, so much so that I've written a very detailed critique of the serious problems with it, but elsewhere.

I will not post it here on the DhO, precisely because Daniel's so-called "open culture" is much more "open" for some sociodemographic groups of people than for others. I'm in the non-alpha-male (not "alpha-person") outgroup, so I no longer post here on the DhO or participate anymore in this supposedly "open" community, except to say, now, just that much. I come here to recoup comments for the book, and that's it.

However, as a cultural studies scholar, I'm thinking of writing a full scholarly critique of what Daniel has written here and elsewhere on the DhO and submitting it to a peer-reviewed journal on gender construction and the insidious and only ostensibly apolitical politics of spiritual communities and their status quo us-and-them linguistic fiats.

Jenny
So Robin and Jenny and anyone else who takes an interest in this:

There are a series of talks through the 2015 John Locke Lectures called "Accommodating Injustice", with Professor Rae Helen Langton, which I would be interested in watching and then chatting about together.

Here are the titles of each week so far:

Lecture 1 (29th April) 'Accommodating Authority' [Handout] [MP3]
Lecture 2 (6th May) 'Accommodating Norms' [Handout] [MP3]
Lecture 3 (13th May) 'Accommodating Knowledge' [Handout] [MP3]  
Lecture 4 (20th May) 'Silence as Accommodation Failure' [Handout] [MP3]
Lecture 5 (27th May) 'Accommodating Attitudes' [MP3]

The lectures are free as are the handouts through the same site linked above
(http://www.philosophy.ox.ac.uk/podcasts/john_locke_lectures)
and I could visit for an hour of community wi-fi through Hangout on Sundays, I think.

Wow these seem really complicated.  I'm gonna have to start slow at picking away at this material...  Any spoilers to peak my interest?  Thats laziness kicking in.

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/29/15 2:02 AM as a reply to Noah.
Sure.

Here is the abtract for the 2015 John Locke Lectures  which could be used as a frame:

What we do with words can help or hinder justice in ways that exploit rules of accommodation: a process of adjustment that tends to make speech acts count as 'correct play'. Accommodation can enable speakers and hearers to build unjust norms and distributions of authority, sexual subordination, and racial hatred. Of special interest are ‘back-door’ speech acts, which work in subtle ways via presupposition and its relatives, generics, or thick concepts and epithets. Accommodation can undermine knowledge, by disguising injustice, altering standards and stakes, and destroying credibility. In placing limits on ‘correct play’, it can silence. 

Attending to these dangers makes visible certain solutions. Accommodation reveals speech acts as something we do together with words: the acts and omissions of hearers, as well as speakers, contribute to what is done. Free speech itself looks different, demanding richer resources: state and individual action, not just inaction, could be needed to make it real.


________________________
Daniel, Good luck with the retreat. I'm glad you're going.

I see a lot of people, myself included --- and it's a huge pleasure to meet them accidentally on retreat and have those days of quietly sitting together --- taking up the practice seriously because of your example. The other person who deeply moved me at a cricital time is the example of Bhikkhu Bodhi. The above and beyond generosity, stability and openness of Ingram and Bodhi both absolutely got me to drop a lot of stuff and sit with own-mind and own-actions, to calm down and to study-- still do.

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/30/15 4:47 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Clearly, as we have done the reverse of the experiment that they did, and largely made this all about states, stages, progress, criteria, (with exceptions, and not meaning to categorize the whole of the DhO, AN, KFD, etc. community in these terms), we have learned that they were right: it does clearly lead to alpha-male, alpha-female, etc. one-upsmanship, competition, over-calling attainments, obsession with goals over being here in the present, and all of the suffering, bullshit, petty politics and chaos that comes with being open about these things.

This has been demonistrated countless times in spades, so I have to give it to them on that one: they totalled nailed what would happen, at least in that regard. Gold star to them.
Daniel

There is lots of useless drama here, but I think it's noteworthy that it's usually not related to being open about states, stages and progress. (Except for people claiming again and again that "Vipassana nanas don't exist!!!111!!")

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
5/31/15 2:51 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Not as much drama about these things since the First Great Schism that produced the various sister fora, true. However, were you to look back to, say, 2010, you would have a very different opinion, I would guess, as it was thick with it then, and it was that sort of politics, among other things, that helped to split things and keep them apart, at least in part.

Further, it forms persistent background politics that wouldn't be obvious just from reading this forum unless you really have an eye/ear out for it, but, if you go across the sister forums and read between the lines, it stands out starkly and darkly.

There is a lot of politeness that has been hard learned from previous bitter struggles that keeps things more in the background now, but it is still definitely there as part of the shadow side of states and stages dharma even when it is not jumping to the fore in clashes of the Titans.

I would wager that, were all the sister forums, sub-groups and splintered off dharma factions to find themselves forced back into one forum by, say, the perverse antics of some internet trickster diety, the sparks would fly as they did in the past. High walls have made for good neighbors, or at least superficially tolerant neighbors. There is something to be said for that, but, in other ways, it is less interesting.

RE: Roots of the mushroom culture?
Answer
6/1/15 6:42 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
re: Daniel M. Ingram (5/25/15 4:11 AM as a reply to Robin Woods.)
"Thus, both [mushroom & open-pragmatic 'sects'] cause disharmony. Both are imperfect. Both cause problems and benefits."
The Wheel of Dhamma presupposes the Wheel of Samsara, and does not propose to eliminate the latter – but to provide a path of liberation therefrom for the, for any individual?