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11-18-05 11:08  •  Leaders

Schmendrick: They must be... insane [to want power]... like the way that Hitler was insane... how the hell did so many people with the same insanity get so much power at the same time?

Usually only the insane want power bad enough and are willing to do what ever it takes to grab power and hold it despite the carnage and evil they cause.

Sensei: That's a popular and cynical view of things. I don't think its that simple.

Note the use of the term: usually.

Sensei: There are some leaders who pop up once in a while that I think are worthy leaders.

Sure and we've been pretty lucky in that regard, but you should consider what happened to JFK, Robert Kennedy, MLK, Malcolm X, even Ghandi.


11-17-05 11:05  •  Flower

Chaz: Of course there's a god. Can you make a flower grow?

Sure, I get out of its way.

Chaz: Consider who or what generates the life that makes a flower grow.

The flower is the one who generates the life that makes the flower grow.

Chaz: so the flower was never was a seed uh... and what was the seed where that come from?

The flower, seed, pollen/ova - flowers on back unto the first unfolding of the universe - are continuous in existence as the universe unfolds its nature.

They are the natural expression of the way the matter/energy space/time acts in these conditions, i.e. the didn't come from any where or any one. They are the expression of how this is.

11-17-05 11:05  •  Love vs. Attachment

T: Its true that love's opposite is pain...

I disagree. Pain and love are not mutually exclusive of each other. There is pain in love as well as pleasure and neutrality of feeling. Too much pain can hurt love, but love can also at times overcome great pain and sometimes it gives pain meaning. Likewise pain can at times define love and show its depth. Like so many things seen as "negative," pain serves many important purposes in our lives.

T: ...but to me it just seems like love is just a form of ego attachment...True love has no opposite.

I do not have more than one way to love. All of my love is true love.

You have an interesting bit of buddhistesque treatment of ego and attachment. I'm not sure I want to go through it all, but you might consider the difference between practicing non attachment and trying to break attachments.

Attachments feed on interest and attention. Breaking them or feeding them is no different. Non attachment is neither pulling them closer or pushing them away. It is just letting them alone, without interest or attention.

T: who that person is, inside...see people for who they truley are...the outer core of who he or she is...

Everything I am is who I truly am. My masks are truly my masks. My inner self is truly my inner self. My outer core is truly my outer core. There is not one aspect of myself which is not truly that aspect of myself, be it games, honesty, lies or truth.

T: When I see a pattern forming, like i start to get attached to someone through what they do for me, I try to realize on another level that it does not benefit my true being to allow it to take over.

I think you are too worried about your "true being" and the fear of attachments.

Doing and being done for is fun and it strengthens interpersonal bonds, as does depending and being depended upon. Attachment is a more subtle problem than these simple and necessary acts.

In this case the attachment is not to someone doing something for you, it is to having an unsullied "true being." That attachment to spiritual "purity" is a common and pernicious problem in seekers, I wish you luck with it.

T: The point is, my soul/inner peace is the most important thing in my life

To make soul/inner peace a goal is to lose it as an effect here and now and to hurt those who value you.

T: yea thanks for making me wrong. I am not "making you wrong".

I appreciate your view more than you think because I've tried doing things that way and being the way you describe. In the end I hard to seek else where.

Remeber when you break an attachment with a person, you aren't just breaking an attachment, you are breaking the bond with the other person and that breaks them as well. You might be above letting such things bother you, but everyone else is not so blessed.

I'm not just pulling this stuff out of a hat. I have been decades at figuring it out. If you actually respect my view as you say, you will consider what I've said carefully and test it.

To sum it all up, the problem of caring too much is not solved by not caring at all.

11-17-05 11:05  •  Enlightenment

Francesco: I chased enlightenment for a good number of years. Why? I'd now say I did so almost exclusively for my own betterment.

It gradually dawned on me that what we were doing was incredibly passive and self-involved. Again, that is no crime, but its certainly not very 'noble' and we certainly weren't saving the world.

You seem to believe that enlightenment is "a good thing", and that enlightened leaders will be better than unenlightened ones. I beg to differ.

What you are doing is still incredibly passive and self-involved.

Why should enlightenment be a "good thing" when seeing past the need for "good things" and "bad things" is part of the awakening?

If there is one thing which is oft repeated at least in zen circles, its that enlightenment isn't subjective. It shows in every action, every minute, all the time. It is demonstrable and recognizable for what it is.

Francesco: Why in Gods name would anyone want to be KNOWN as being enlightened??

To my understanding it isn't that they want to be known that way. Its that they are that way and people know it.

If I might wax poetic...

If you are truly a light unto yourself, you cannot hide in the darkness.

Francesco: I'm stirring you guys out of your somnolescence. That can't be passive and self-involved now can it?

Sure it can.

Francesco: So being enlightened is about being beyond this world?

That is not what I said. There is nothing beyond this world or beyond your innate abilities about it. There is nothing supernatural about it.

Francesco: Beyond 'good' and 'bad'?

No, seeing past the need for using them. Good and bad are ideals we impose on our understanding of reality. But it is possible to perceive reality more clearly if we don't impose those ideals first.

I can't always do it, but I can do it to a degree enough to see the difference it makes in say, the suffering in cleaning up the odd critters the cat eats and then barfs on the carpet.

Good and bad touch you only when you make them touch you by creating the judgement. One of the ways to know you create the judgement is that it is possible to manipulate what is good or bad by reconsidering the ramifications, just like the good luck/bad luck story of the farmer. Something which is actual, is what it is.

This reality has no inherant morality.

Francesco: Don't trust any leader who lays claim to enlightenment in any way shape or form. Just to be on the safe side...

There is a vast difference between what leaders claim and what they are.

There have been a few leaders who while they may or may not have been enlightened, saw through the bullshit.

Washington for example had every opprotunity to seize the government like Napoleon or Boliver, but he didn't. He could have ruled til he died, but he gave it up after 8 reluctant years and saved us from the ruin of Rome (i.e. how do you get rid of the idiot at the top?).

Edward the VIII abdicated the throne of Engand to marry his sweety.

King Asoka was a cruel and ruthless king who converted to Buddhism and thereafter actually attempted to rule his kingdom according to its peaceful tenets.

The trick with any leader is to ignore the claims and examine the actions.

11-14-05 10:17  •  Upaya

Ed. note: "Upaya" is a buddhist concept of skillful means.

b: so the house is burning, and buddha wakes up and walks out. he stands outside the house munching on cheetos, calmy telling everyone that the house is burning....

but noone seems to see it..... hmmm..... buddha then tells a lie to get people out of the house.

are people in this tribe aware of the idea of upaya? what is upaya, and how does the buddha use, or teach with upaya?

Wouldn't it be better to worry about all this after you get out of the burning building?

Upaya done by a buddha to achieve a specific beneficial cause and then discarded is not upaya done by a non buddha for selfish benefit and then reused inappropriately.

The precepts warn against upaya for good reason. Once you go down that path it is a dangerous and slippery slope.

11-10-05 10:17  •  Attachment

Paul: When you find yourself attached to outcome, or your ego seems to be running things more than anything else, what do you find is the trigger? What do you do to pull yourself out of it?

Don't worry so much.

Paul: i don't know though... why is it always a question of attachment.... we can't walk around all the time saying to ourselves, "oh, i'm not attached." you know someone you love gets hurt or your dog runs out into the road and you're like, oh....i'm not attached....really?

There was a master whose son died.

While he was burying him, he was weeping openly and his disciples were very disturbed by this.

Why do you weep so when you have taught us not to be attached?

He said, I weep because I am sad.

Being unattached doesn't mean you are a rock.

It's not the same as being detached were you have no feelings or try to deny them.

Non-attachment means you let the feelings take their normal course without seeking them out, trying to hold them, trying to get rid of them, or trying to remake them.

When you are not sad, you are not sad.
When you are sad, you are sad.
When you are done being sad, you are done being sad.

Non attachment is accepting life as it is without any extra effort on your part.

It is trusting your ability to act as you should using your inborn nature.

I say don't worry because worry is the start of attachment.

If something happens you will handle it as you do and you will learn if you need to.

All the parts are there and working if you can relax a bit and let them.

11-10-05 10:11  •  Bodhisattva

Allan O': And one day, should I find myself at the zenith of enlightenment, I pledge to remain a bodhisattva, committed to the enlightenment of all beings.

All beings don't need your commitment.

Allan O': I don't accept that you speak for all beings. However, I will cross you off my list.

You should consider what the word “all” means.

It doesn't matter if you cross me off your list or not since that doesn't remove me from the set of all beings.

A bohdisattva is still a failed buddha.

Allan O': You may wish to see someone about your chronic gainsayitis.

What kind of gadfly would I be with out a sting?

Face it, the bodhisattva stuff is just religious claptrap for the masses because of a shortage of gods.

It makes no sense either rationally or in buddhist terms.

The whole point of being a buddha is not returning.

Gone, gone, wholely gone, completely gone. Hah!

11-10-05 10:11  •  Unconditional Monogamy

Jeanne: Just because I love my husband unconditionally doesn't mean he can sleep with someone else. We have a committment and I expect us both to stick to it. That doesn't make him a slave - don't be judgemental.

There no judgement here. I'm just trying to give you insight into something which seems foreign to you.

Of course you never said you wanted a slave, but that is what you get when you place your loyalty to an ideal above the desires of your partner and force him to be obedient to those ideals - or else.

I place the desires of my partner above the ideals of how a relationship should be. This makes a no-fault relationship. There is nothing she can do that is forbidden and a deal breaker.

That sounds scary, but it works. We have a deep and committed relationship without the normal baggage. When something does happen either of us can walk on a moment's notice if we need to get some space. No divorce, no "seperation," no recriminations. We can also walk back as well.

Everything is based on mutual trust, mutual sharing and full permission.

We stand together because we choose to and we know that it is our choice because we are fully free to do otherwise. No requirments, no conditions of faithfulness or whatever. Just love and a choice freely made.

Does that mean anything goes? Of corse not. We have our likes and dislikes, our gives and takes. This is a working relationship and it ebbs and flows through the vicissatudes of life.

Because of who we are at the moment the practice of this way of relating just happens to give us exactly what you hold as your ideal, a monagomous commited relationship...something more than 50% of marriages totally fail at.

We have merely allowed that if that needs to change, it can.

Jeanne: you say there is no judgement here......alright, whatever.

It is my observation and I do find it weird, but to make it a judgement I would have to say what I observed is wrong, right, evil or good.

Jeanne: why do you have to make it seem like it must mean that they arent fully loving?

It is not that they aren't fully loving, its that they aren't unconditionally loving. As to why they aren't, it has to do with what unconditional means.

No conditions, no requirements, no unlesses, no only ifs, love given freely as a gift with no strings attached and nothing asked in return.

Perhaps that is not your thing, but you should at least hear of the possibility and be able to distinguish it from conditional love where there are has to's, musts and better nots.

11-07-05 7:11  •  High on Life

Ron: now I'm on 40mg of Paxcil and 20mg of Buspar. I'm pretty OK. hak cof snuk

So am I the only person in the world who doesn't take SSRIs?

Just something I've noticed over the years.

If you are depressed and drink (or do other depressants like opiates), when you stop drinking, you stop being depressed as much.

Its kind of like being crazy and doing amphetamines or cocaine.

There is a direct correlation there and its fun telling people who drink about it so they can deny it.

Of course there actually are recreational drugs which are in fact recreational and don't leave your life all crapped out -- if you know how to use them properly.

But that's not PC to say either.

Sure we are supposed to all be high on life, but I already built up a tolerance.

Dr. Yo: Swarm, you rock!!!

Sandy: I think, for me, if I thought your statement was the case...why would I even bother getting up every day ?

Sure, when I started out just breathing was cool, but now my tolerance is so high I sometime don't even notice I'm breathing.

Remember when you were so high on life that you thought pooping was cool and you grabbed a turd to show Mom?

A good recreational drug experience should recaputure the lost joy of life and enhance the appreciation of the moment. It should be a refreshing dip in the mental stream of consciuosness.

I get up because I like to Sandy. I wake up to the best woman on the planet and an assortment of wonderful children and cat depending on who crawled into the bed.

Sandy: Damn you Swarm. You were untouched by my charm so naturally I assumed you were gay. Now I have to face the sorry fact that it really IS just me. hrmph

11-06-05 6:11  •  Ultimatums

Laura: What would you do if after 4 years of being with someone you are givin altamatoms at different times throughout the 4 years that that person doesnt particularly like a certain trait of yours.....that if it continues then they will break up with you.

But its something that is NOT hurting the realtionship or the other person but its the other person fear that it might some day.

The thing I could definalty do just to make her happy but is it being true to myself just to make that a healthy relationship when you compromise just to make the other person happy after they have given this altamatom???

There is no hard and fast rule beyond 'talk about it.'

Why does she fear it? Why do you like it? Why doesn't she like it? Why don't you fear it?

Can the matter be approached differently by both of you?

Sometimes you take one on the chin, sometimes the other person does.
Usually some thing equitable can be worked out if both parties really want to work it out and don't let it become about power or control.

The mechanics of a relationship are tricky. Expect mistakes on both sides and forgive and forget them.

Love is great, but you can love a lot more people than you can live with.
Just take it slowly and with good humor and it should resolve.

11-06-05 6:11  •  Nature of Suffering

Dana: Swarm, thanx're Exactly right .... and love IS all a game we have to figure out how to play with each other.... as of now, i just wish it didn't have to hurt so much.

As the buddha said, life has its suffering but suffering has its end.

Dana: indeed ... any idea how to make this suffering find its end more sooner???

The buddha saw suffering as stemming from three basic faults: ignorance, fear and greed. These cause one to want what cannot be, not accept what already is, and exist in an unsatisfactory state.

This is what he recommended for ending suffering:

8-Fold Path
5 precepts

It should be noted that this is not a matter of "sin," nor are these "laws."
Suffering is a natural state and these are just his guidelines on how to progress beyond suffering.

Also suffering here should be distinguished from actual pain. Suffering is a state of mental/emotional anguish/dissatisfaction.

Blue: You said, "Life has its suffering but suffering has its end." Are you saying that we never stop suffering til we die? I don't see that in other people. There are genuinely happy people out there. Are we *all* suffering?

If you are a strict buddhist the suffering doesn't even end when you die. It only ends when you fundimentally get it that you don't have to suffer and can act on that understanding.

There are genuinely happy people, but that is irrelevant to the buddhist notion of suffering and its cessation because they are still subject to anguish over the vassisatudes of life.