Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Kim OHara
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by Kim OHara » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:26 pm

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:28 pm
Greetings,
DN 16 wrote:Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.
:buddha1:

Metta,
Paul. :)
In Sikhism, the Guru is explicitly understood to be a text:
Guru Granth Sahib (Punjabi: ਗੁਰੂ ਗ੍ਰੰਥ ਸਾਹਿਬ/Punjabi pronunciation: [ɡʊɾuː ɡɾəntʰᵊ saːhɪb]) is the central religious scripture of Sikhism, regarded by Sikhs as the final, sovereign and eternal living Guru following the lineage of the ten human Gurus of the religion. The Adi Granth, its first rendition, was compiled by the fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev (1563–1606). Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, did not add any of his own hymns; however, he added all 115 hymns of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, to the Adi Granth and affirmed the text as his successor.[1] This second rendition became known as Guru Granth Sahib ...

It is installed in a Sikh gurudwara (temple); all Sikhs bow or prostrate before it on entering such a temple.[13] The Granth is revered as eternal gurbānī and the spiritual authority in Sikhism.[14]
:reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guru_Granth_Sahib
As I remember the story, the senior members of the religion met to select a new guru but decided that the book was a better teacher than any of the candidates.

:focus:

However, I'm not sure that a relationship with a text fits under the "parasocial" label. Just going by the OP, the term seems to have been invented to cover person-to-person relationships which look real but are mostly illusory. You don't get the "look real" bit with a book, do you?

:namaste:
Kim

SteRo
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by SteRo » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:15 pm

“Enough, Vakkali! Why would you want to see this rotten body? One who sees the teaching sees me. One who sees me sees the teaching. Seeing the teaching, you see me. Seeing me, you see the teaching.
https://suttacentral.net/sn22.87/en/sujato

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:58 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:21 pm
"Go with that" = "embark". I don't see what the problem is. If you want to learn the piano, then notes and staves and rhythm are part of that "modus operandi". You have to stay with that if you want your piano-playing to progress. If you realise that music is not for you, nobody is forcing adults to continue with their lessons. It's a buyer's market.
The analogy doesn't apply.
Religion/spirituality are about topics that precede/contextualize one; worldly skills are not.
Learning piano or carpentry and so on don't involve telling you or learning "who you really are" or "how things really are". Religion/spirituality does.
it is precisely in religion/spirituality where it doesn't apply, because one's experience is questioned as a matter of doctrine where one is supposed to doubt and question everything one thinks and feels.
I've never known anything like this, so perhaps your generalisation might not be as general as you think.
Ever heard anything about the constructed, generated nature of perception, volition, desire? Dependent co-arising?
In Buddhism, one holds, as a matter of doctrine, how this "you", "I" is a construct, a fabricated thing, how the things one considers to be "me" or "mine" are not actually fit to be considered "me" or "mine" or aren't "me" or "mine".

And yet despite all this, you suggest one should regard one's experiences as authoritative? ??
(You are, of course, not alone in this. It's just strange to ignore the obvious.)

- - -
Kim OHara wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:26 pm
However, I'm not sure that a relationship with a text fits under the "parasocial" label. Just going by the OP, the term seems to have been invented to cover person-to-person relationships which look real but are mostly illusory. You don't get the "look real" bit with a book, do you?
The OP isn't talking about a relationship with a text, but about the parasocial relationship with the author of the text.

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:03 pm

SteRo wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:15 pm
“Enough, Vakkali! Why would you want to see this rotten body? One who sees the teaching sees me. One who sees me sees the teaching. Seeing the teaching, you see me. Seeing me, you see the teaching.
https://suttacentral.net/sn22.87/en/sujato
retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:28 pm
DN 16 wrote:Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you — 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' — do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma & Vinaya I have pointed out & formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone.
Okay, but I'm trying to figure out how (and why) to get to this perspective above from the ordinary (?) perspective of things being "said and heard by people".

It's an abstract, depersonalized type of thinking -- which is nevertheless proposed by people.

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Bundokji
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by Bundokji » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:09 pm

I have read what is been quoted from wikipedia, but i am still unsure what is wrong with parasocial interactions?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:24 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 7:58 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:21 pm
"Go with that" = "embark". I don't see what the problem is. If you want to learn the piano, then notes and staves and rhythm are part of that "modus operandi". You have to stay with that if you want your piano-playing to progress. If you realise that music is not for you, nobody is forcing adults to continue with their lessons. It's a buyer's market.
The analogy doesn't apply.
Religion/spirituality are about topics that precede/contextualize one; worldly skills are not.
Learning piano or carpentry and so on don't involve telling you or learning "who you really are" or "how things really are". Religion/spirituality does.
For the purposes of the comparison, it doesn't matter what they tell you. You are approaching something (i.e. music, and its conventions for producing and understanding it) which precede you. Your performance takes place within a context you had no part in constructing.

To avoid the obvious pitfalls of misapplied analogies, could you actually give some examples of the type of relationship you mean here? I don't know anyone who fits the criterion in the link:
Parasocial relationships are enhanced due to trust and self-disclosure provided by the media persona.[1] Media users are loyal and feel directly connected to the persona much like their close friends by observing and interpreting their appearance, gestures, voice, conversation, and conduct.
Who does this? Do you mean that someone who studies the teachings of the Buddha or (say) Thanissaro actually come to see them as close friends and feel a personal connection with them? That would be pathological. Your claim that
If the teacher has already passed away and one has contact with them only through their written or otherwise recorded texts, that interaction/relationship is by default parasocial.
is not true, according to the definition. People can see people as their deceased teachers without any of the above criteria.

If you mean that some people are forced due to circumstances to learn and practice the Dhamma through books and the internet, then there's nothing wrong with that. They have enough interest in the teachings to delve further. If they like or agree with what they find, they can persist. There's nothing forcing them to do that.
Ever heard anything about the constructed, generated nature of perception, volition, desire? Dependent co-arising?
In Buddhism, one holds, as a matter of doctrine, how this "you", "I" is a construct, a fabricated thing, how the things one considers to be "me" or "mine" are not actually fit to be considered "me" or "mine" or aren't "me" or "mine".

And yet despite all this, you suggest one should regard one's experiences as authoritative? ??
Authoritative compared to what? It's experience all the way down, and happily the Dhamma teaches us to rely upon the wholesome and to be a lamp unto ourselves. I don't think the Buddha intended his teachings on the conditioned nature of the khandhas to support a form of radical scepticism, did he?

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:29 pm

SDC wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:30 am
They shouldn't be willing to function in that way. Hopefully their expectations would allow them to see a difference between relinquishment and submission.
It's possible to be so open-minded that one's brain falls out.
SDC wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 7:53 pm
The notion of reciprocity supports the order of things there "for me". Although that may be desirable or even necessary in most if not all relationships, it is counter to the direction taught by the Buddha. So even if it is just the mere "utterance of another" along with "proper attention", that is enough to generate the direction of a broader order of things here, yonder and merely there without having to be "for me".

So, beneficial in supporting the discernment of that order, but not beneficial in terms of providing the typical comfort and support found in ordinary relationships - where people not only inherently behave in a manner that maintains the order of "for me", but would discourage a "friend" from the intention to not maintain one's personhood.
It's easy for you to look down on other people's desire for what you call "comfort and support" after you've received them. -- A rich man goes into a fancy restaurant and there eats a sumptuous meal. After leaving the restaurant, in the street, a beggar approaches him and begs for food. And the rich man tells him, "You're too attached to food." -- That rich man is you, here.

When replying to a question that was somewhat similar to mine, your teacher talked about the importance of faith, and then further, about the importance of trust. So how is trust supposed to grow in a parasocial relationship? It's not like I can ask him, he doesn't actually talk to me ... And you think my perspective is "esoteric". So that leaves me with ...

EDIT:
You criticized me for "seeking validation" from your teacher. He replied to other questions, reading them out. Mine (if it was indeed mine that he was referring to), he merely refered to, and only in one point, and then gave a standard reply on that one point, adding a dismissal that that was a "beginner" issue. He didn't do me the same courtesy as he did to others, and yet you expect me to look to him as my teacher? On the grounds of what? His good looks? Should I dismiss myself as a mere beginner, and thus unworthy of any further attention? is that your point?
Last edited by binocular on Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:58 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:09 pm
I have read what is been quoted from wikipedia, but i am still unsure what is wrong with parasocial interactions?
Think of the dangers and negative effects of watching tv (watching tv is the quintessential medium for developing parasocial relationships), to list some here:

1. One-way communication becomes the norm. The audience is taught, implicitly, "Other people are allowed to talk, but I am only allowed to listen."

2. The illusion of acceptance by the media persona is created. The viewer has no idea how they would be treated by that person in actual communication. Chances are that they'd be rejected, due to difference in socio-economic status. If the media persona is fictional (such as a character in a film), the suspense about the potential acceptance/rejection is infnite, but the anxiety that the viewer feels about it is real, with real adverse consequences for the quality of their life.

3. Cognitive passivity is developed. Not only in terms of passively viewing the programme, but, worse, in terms of "Oh, it's better that I don't listen too carefully, and don't pay too much attention, because if I do, I will probably have questions, but since there's noone with whom I can discuss them, they're just going to fester in my mind and trouble me."

4. The viewer gets/internalizes unrealistic ideas about effort and what it takes to accomplish something. Via tv programmes, one gets, in the best case, a summarized account of what it takes to accomplish something; such summarized accounts can leave out much important information that would be relevant for the particular viewer. Worse yet, tv programmes sometimes give grossly idealized presentations about work and effort. (TV characters don't stink when they work.) This sets one up for sub-optimal coping with difficulty in real life.

5. In order to keep viewing the programmes, the viewer has to compensate for the apparent lacks and downsides of television, and this is done by developing feelings of admiration, adoration for the media persona, at the cost of one's own good feelings about oneself and making an effort oneself in one's life.


Listening to a religious/spiritual teacher can have the exact same negative effects.

Now, the question is, what needs to be in place for the person (who is merely an audience, not a participant in a reciprocal relationship) who is listening to a religious/spiritual teacher or reading their texts, so that the above negative effects don't occur?

Clearly, not everyone who is listening to a religious/spiritual teacher or reading their texts experiences these same negative effects. So what do such people have that those who do experience those negative effects don't have, and vice versa?

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:12 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:07 pm
Ehipassiko
I see no reason to think that this means what Westerners with a secular background usually take it to mean.
I am inclined to think that the Ehipassiko means something like 'Do it yourself' -- in the way that one "does it oneself" when one cleans one's sock drawer or cooks one's lunch, but nothing more.

I don't think it means 'Start with a null hypothesis about the Buddhist claims, and then accept it or reject via empirical testing".

I think there is an intercultural lacuna here at the Ehipassiko, and Westerners with a secular background tend to fill it with (pseudo)scientific assumptions. Hence the popular emphasis on "experience", "experimenting" and "testing" -- while ignoring all the doctrinal points according to which one should question one's experience, and ignoring the limitations inherent to empirical testing.

And there is a way the Buddhist practice is like the practice of worldly skills: in the taking for granted of some essential claims. It's not that one would have to take those things for granted, as if being forced by someone to do so. The correct formulation is "When one takes this for granted (for whatever reason or with whatever motivation), then one can begin the practice."

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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:32 pm

chownah wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:42 am
For example one could provide arguements for why taking refuge in the triple gem is beneficial in terms of the dhamma?
Could you list three of those arguments?

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Sam Vara
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:02 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:12 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:07 pm
Ehipassiko
I see no reason to think that this means what Westerners with a secular background usually take it to mean.
I am inclined to think that the Ehipassiko means something like 'Do it yourself' -- in the way that one "does it oneself" when one cleans one's sock drawer or cooks one's lunch, but nothing more.
The Pali means ehi - come; pass - see; and ika, which is an adjectival suffix. So "the quality of come-and-see", "come-and-see-ishness". This is how people talk about it, Westerners, Sri Lankans and Thais included. If it meant "do", it would have the "kar" root or something similar in there, and I have never heard anyone say that it means "do it yourself". What is your evidence for that?
I don't think it means 'Start with a null hypothesis about the Buddhist claims, and then accept it or reject via empirical testing".
Indeed. That would be a piece of grandiosity. "Suck it and see" is more appropriate.
I think there is an intercultural lacuna here at the Ehipassiko, and Westerners with a secular background tend to fill it with (pseudo)scientific assumptions. Hence the popular emphasis on "experience", "experimenting" and "testing" -- while ignoring all the doctrinal points according to which one should question one's experience, and ignoring the limitations inherent to empirical testing.
I've not known any Westerners retreat into such convoluted thinking. Most of them are just prepared to give the practice a go, in accordance with the instructions.
And there is a way the Buddhist practice is like the practice of worldly skills: in the taking for granted of some essential claims. It's not that one would have to take those things for granted, as if being forced by someone to do so. The correct formulation is "When one takes this for granted (for whatever reason or with whatever motivation), then one can begin the practice."
Yes, that seems to be the case. In fact, it is the practice of worldly skills. Watching one's breathing for a few minutes, or being more careful about how one talks to others, or reflecting on the effects of one's alcohol consumption: for most people, these are hardly an existential leap into a supernatural abyss, however untrusting they are. I've found that if people are genuinely interested in improving their lives enough to show up and ask about the Dhamma, they can generally lay aside the philosophical objections and issues of trust for a while. They'll usually just give it a go.

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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by SDC » Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:22 pm

binocular wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:29 pm
It's easy for you to look down on other people's desire for what you call "comfort and support" after you've received them. -- A rich man goes into a fancy restaurant and there eats a sumptuous meal. After leaving the restaurant, in the street, a beggar approaches him and begs for food. And the rich man tells him, "You're too attached to food." -- That rich man is you, here.
I've never looked down on anything and I've never asked for, nor received the sort of comfort and support you often imply is a necessity. It isn't a necessity for me, so I've never asked for it. I don't understand how you can just assume every person requires the same things that you do in order to learn from another person.

Your analogy applies to someone who prances around with a rank in some organized group. I'm terribly sorry you can't accept that I'm not that person, despite how easy and convenient it is to just keep saying it to try and make it so.
binocular wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:29 pm
When replying to a question that was somewhat similar to mine, your teacher talked about the importance of faith, and then further, about the importance of trust. So how is trust supposed to grow in a parasocial relationship? It's not like I can ask him, he doesn't actually talk to me ... And you think my perspective is "esoteric". So that leaves me with ...

EDIT:
You criticized me for "seeking validation" from your teacher. He replied to other questions, reading them out. Mine (if it was indeed mine that he was referring to), he merely refered to, and only in one point, and then gave a standard reply on that one point, adding a dismissal that that was a "beginner" issue. He didn't do me the same courtesy as he did to others, and yet you expect me to look to him as my teacher? On the grounds of what? His good looks? Should I dismiss myself as a mere beginner, and thus unworthy of any further attention? is that your point?
Criticized you? I'm the one who suggested you listen to what he had to say since you were already familiar with him, and made sure you knew that there was the option to ask whatever you wanted. I'm beside myself how that has evolved into criticizing. All I asked you was what did you hope to get from that validation, to which you did not answer. I asked you that for reason and it wasn't to criticize you.

And I wasn't offering you a guru to go join up with. You filled that part in all on your own.

Trust? Yes the trust that they are going to provide what you need. If they provide it, you'll learn to trust them. If you find that you don't need what they are offering, you can either adjust what you need so you can be receptive to it, or you can try and find it somewhere else. A third option of expecting them to adjust and give you what you need (which may not be what they are actually offering) doesn't seem like a reasonable thing to ask of another.

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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by chownah » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:05 am

binocular wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 10:32 pm
chownah wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:42 am
For example one could provide arguements for why taking refuge in the triple gem is beneficial in terms of the dhamma?
Could you list three of those arguments?
I'm not wanting to provide those arguements.....I wasn't clear in my posting but what I was wanting to ask is whether taking refuge in the triple gem fits your definition of parasocial interaction/relationships (which I think it does) and if so then wouldn't the reasons people do it be what you are looking for in the OP? I'm not wanting to provide those reasons because I think the subject of taking refuge has been dicussed many times in many discussions and if one is wanting to learn about those reasons one would do much better to look around.
In a nutshell: I think that taking refuge is the quintessential dhamma practice to illuminate your question.
chownah

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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by Bundokji » Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:40 am

binocular wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:58 pm
Think of the dangers and negative effects of watching tv (watching tv is the quintessential medium for developing parasocial relationships), to list some here:
Before going through the list you provided, i am wondering why psychologists/social scientists who spend time to invent all these terms (to make money for a living similar to TV celebrities) to measure people's sanity are not themselves pathological and spreading parasocial interactions? Their writings and publications provides a persona where wikipedia is one possible medium that sells an idea of "un-flawed independent character" which causes the reader to develop illusions of intimacy, friendship, and identification with the ideal presented by those psychologists? They seem to have significant influence on some of the users of their materials, and this kind of communication/relationship is a one way traffic where rarely the users of these publications have the chance to directly interact/communicate with the authors.
1. One-way communication becomes the norm. The audience is taught, implicitly, "Other people are allowed to talk, but I am only allowed to listen."
I don't see any danger in that. From my observations, most people spend hours watching TV or social media, and that does not seem to effect their daily social interactions. In fact, if what you say is true, we would be living in a world where we have more good listeners, but this is evidently not true
2. The illusion of acceptance by the media persona is created. The viewer has no idea how they would be treated by that person in actual communication. Chances are that they'd be rejected, due to difference in socio-economic status. If the media persona is fictional (such as a character in a film), the suspense about the potential acceptance/rejection is infnite, but the anxiety that the viewer feels about it is real, with real adverse consequences for the quality of their life.
My mother watches TV day and night, i never noticed the illusion of "being accepted by the media persona" you are talking about.
3. Cognitive passivity is developed. Not only in terms of passively viewing the programme, but, worse, in terms of "Oh, it's better that I don't listen too carefully, and don't pay too much attention, because if I do, I will probably have questions, but since there's noone with whom I can discuss them, they're just going to fester in my mind and trouble me."
Most people watch TV for excitement and amusement, so their intentions to begin with has nothing to do with listening too carefully. Also people's addiction to TV in my view is a manifestation of their meaningless everyday life, so any troubles arise in their mind through watching TV is merely accidental. Keep in mind that even those who don't watch TV are not necessarily less troubled.
4. The viewer gets/internalizes unrealistic ideas about effort and what it takes to accomplish something. Via tv programmes, one gets, in the best case, a summarized account of what it takes to accomplish something; such summarized accounts can leave out much important information that would be relevant for the particular viewer. Worse yet, tv programmes sometimes give grossly idealized presentations about work and effort. (TV characters don't stink when they work.) This sets one up for sub-optimal coping with difficulty in real life.
I don't see how this is different from everyday interactions. When people share experiences whether through TV or in normal life, they provide summarized accounts whether it has to do with success or anything else. It probably has more to do with the evolution of conventional reality which is based on accessibility, simplicity and comprehensibility rather than to convey an overly accurate account of how things really are. In fact, maybe expecting social interactions (and language) to go beyond that is in itself delusional.
5. In order to keep viewing the programmes, the viewer has to compensate for the apparent lacks and downsides of television, and this is done by developing feelings of admiration, adoration for the media persona, at the cost of one's own good feelings about oneself and making an effort oneself in one's life.
I don't see developing feelings of admiration and adoration for someone to be mutually exclusive with having good feelings about oneself as you are presenting., nor do i see people's admiration of TV personas to be an attempt to compensate for the lacks and downsides of television.

Listening to a religious/spiritual teacher can have the exact same negative effects.
Pending you accept those negative effects to be real. In fact, learning from teachers through books or media lessens the risk of the student getting infatuated with the teacher's personality.
Now, the question is, what needs to be in place for the person (who is merely an audience, not a participant in a reciprocal relationship) who is listening to a religious/spiritual teacher or reading their texts, so that the above negative effects don't occur?
Possibly, to keep on avoiding reciprocal relationship with the teacher. I remember reading one of your old posts describing how happy you were when you began reading the suttas on your own, and how this has changed when you began interacting with real Buddhists.
Clearly, not everyone who is listening to a religious/spiritual teacher or reading their texts experiences these same negative effects. So what do such people have that those who do experience those negative effects don't have, and vice versa?
It is the nature of social interactions that is not pleasant generally speaking, and this has nothing to do with religious spiritual teacher or anyone else. You might find the following parable by Arthur Schopenhauer relevant:
A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that they would be best off by remaining at a little distance from one another. In the same way the need of society drives the human porcupines together, only to be mutually repelled by the many prickly and disagreeable qualities of their nature. The moderate distance which they at last discover to be the only tolerable condition of intercourse, is the code of politeness and fine manners; and those who transgress it are roughly told — in the English phrase — to keep their distance. By this arrangement the mutual need of warmth is only very moderately satisfied; but then people do not get pricked. A man who has some heat in himself prefers to remain outside, where he will neither prick other people nor get pricked himself.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:05 pm

SDC wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:22 pm
I've never looked down on anything and I've never asked for, nor received the sort of comfort and support you often imply is a necessity. It isn't a necessity for me, so I've never asked for it. I don't understand how you can just assume every person requires the same things that you do in order to learn from another person.
There you go, with your assumptions again.
No, I don't imply that "comfort and support" are a necessity. That's your inference, based on I don't know what. It was you who brought up the terms "comfort and support" in the first place.
Your analogy applies to someone who prances around with a rank in some organized group. I'm terribly sorry you can't accept that I'm not that person, despite how easy and convenient it is to just keep saying it to try and make it so.
Maybe you need a mirror. For reflection.
Criticized you? I'm the one who suggested you listen to what he had to say since you were already familiar with him, and made sure you knew that there was the option to ask whatever you wanted. I'm beside myself how that has evolved into criticizing. All I asked you was what did you hope to get from that validation, to which you did not answer. I asked you that for reason and it wasn't to criticize you.

There you go again, framing it as if it was a matter of "seeking validation."
You with your American folk psychology and your American assumptions. Because that's what they are, American, I see this sort of stuff in American films and series where characters psychoanalyze eachother. Not everyone in the world thinks, feels, and assumes the way Americans do.

I was hoping for an actual answer to my question. If you want to frame this as merely a matter of "seeking validation", then that's your choice, of course.

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