Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

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

Post by binocular » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:08 pm

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 10:40 am
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.
Hence science is the new religion. It doesn't really make a difference whether I go to church or to a science lecture, in both cases, I'm supposed to bow my head and keep quiet, and at least pretend that I agree with what I am being told.

Nevertheless, at least some scientists are able to reflect their findings back on themselves. And then there is the issue of subversion.
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
See point 3. Parasocial interactions are on principle cognitvely superficial. Being a passive listener isn't conducive to being a good listener.
My mother watches TV day and night, i never noticed the illusion of "being accepted by the media persona" you are talking about.
One cannot see inside another person's head. It would be a sign of pathology for a person to actually say things like, "Richard Gere/Patrick Jane/Buffy likes me". But watching them regularly on tv, the viewer might feel like they are being liked, accepted by them. This is more common in younger people who tend to develop strong feelings for media personas and fictional characters.

Secondly, whether that illusion is created or not can depend also on the content of the programme itself, and the intention with which a person watches it. For example, watching reality shows with an attitude of contempt toward the characters won't create the illusion of being liked by them; but it's still conducive to the illusion that others would tolerate in their midst someone who despises them they the tv viewer does (so that is a kind of illusion of acceptance as well; IRL, if people knew someone despises them, they wouldn't tolerate that person in their midst).
Further example, one can watch a gardening show with an amiable gardener as a host. And because they are so amiable, this can make the viewer conclude that that gardener would be as nice to them IRL as they are on screen and give them the type of gardening advice or compliments they give there to people whose gardens they visit. But at the same time, it could be that if gardener would actually visit one's garden, maybe they'd be totally different than on tv, and criticize one and one's gardening work to the ground.
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.
Interesting. I wouldn't think that.
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.
Indeed, the problem of potentially useless advice applies regardless whether the advice was taken from a neo-Western or whether one has been given that advice by one's psychiatrist, or one's friend.
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.
I would think that people who like themselves don't spend much time watching tv for entertainment.
Listening to a religious/spiritual teacher can have the exact same negative effects.
Pending you accept those negative effects to be real.
I'm not trying to present absolutes, just the cases where what I'm saying applies, insofar that is relevant to my specific inquiry.
In fact, learning from teachers through books or media
That's just it: How does one learn from a teacher?
Is one supposed to read and believe what one is reading?
How does one read didactic texts?
I mean, we spend our lives studying texts, and take for granted that we know how to learn and what learning is all about. But sometimes, things just break down.
For a couple of years, every now and then, I google "how to read didactic texts", and to this day, it gives no matches.
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.

I don't see it that way, though. After coming in contact with Buddhists, my conclusion was that I understood the teachings wrongly. This still stands.
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.
To me, listening to a religious/spiritual teacher (whether via the internet, on tv, or in person) is like watching tv. It's one-way communication and I'm supposed to be a passive and receptive audience. With all the negative effects listed earlier.
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.
Memorable passage.

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:31 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:24 pm
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.
The parasocial relationship is, of course, adjusted for particular contents and contexts. Buddhists, for example, generally don't go Justin-Bieber-fangirl-ape-crazy about their Buddhist teachers, but they do seem to tend to feel very strongly about them. Deep respect, probably awe, thinking about their teacher a lot during the day. Having a special place on the bookshelf for their books, etc.
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.
And yet they hold the photos of their teachers (if such photos exist) with reverence. Like I said, the parasocial relationship is, of course, adjusted for particular contents and contexts. For example, some music lovers have a parasocial relationship with Ludwig van Beethoven. They have his pictures, books about him, pictures of his handwriting, multiple interpretations of all his works. They speak about him with great affection, from his music to his outlook on life to his deafness and gout. As if Beethoven himself would tolerate such things; given Beethoven's supposed abrasive nature, he'd probably despise them. (Since you don't have tv, you probably don't know about such things. But people are actually making whole documentaries devoted to their affection for someone who's long dead.)
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.
Yet I have been told by Buddhists, from the beginning of my involvement with them, that I am wrong, wrong, wrong. That my experience of Buddhism is wrong, wrong, wrong.
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?
Maybe not. But I'm trying to harmonize my actual experiences with Buddhists with the Buddhist teachings. There must be a very good reason for ignoring the obvious, and I don't have one.

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:48 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 11:02 pm
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'm not talking about the etymological meaning, but about what the term means for practical intents and purposes.
"Suck it and see" is more appropriate.
I sucked and saw that it sucks. And Buddhists tell me I'm wrong. That's it, in a nutshell.
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.
The simplest explanation is that I simply don't have what it takes. I have given the practice a try, I didn't find any positive evidence, didn't have any positive experiences. Apart from my ambition to conclude and complete things, the only thing that has been keeping me around Buddhism is the constant criticism from Buddhists telling me how bad and wrong I am.


EDIT:
In case you wonder: Dismissing my experience seems easy to me. I've lived in a culture where people give primacy to social norms, not to their particular experience. (If they have internalized the norms well, the two match anyway, so there's no problem for them.) We were raised to think, feel, speak, and do as told, regardless whether we feel like it or not, regardless of what our experience with doing so is. Drinking alcohol, for example, is a social norm here. If you don't like drinking alcohol, get yourself to like it, or just grit your proverbial teeth and bear it while drinking it. If you want to refuse to adhere to the norm, you better have a damn good reason for doing so (such as pregnancy or taking medications with which you shouldn't drink alcohol). But beyond that, you don't have the freedom to refuse to adhere to the norm.

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cappuccino
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by cappuccino » Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:05 pm

binocular wrote:you don't have the freedom to refuse to adhere to the norm.
false

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SDC
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by SDC » Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:38 pm

binocular wrote:
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.
That "typical comfort and support" is clearly what you did not receive when you asked your questions.

Why toss the rich man analogy if you didn't mean to accuse me of having something that wasn't offered to you? Perhaps throwing rocks in every direction isn't necessary.
binocular wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:05 pm
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 each other. Not everyone in the world thinks, feels, and assumes the way Americans do.
Yeah, and not everyone thinks and feels the way you do, so either stop holding everyone accountable for that or take some responsibility for the fact that you have a different needs. You do. You ask different questions than most, which is absolutely fine, but you cannot take issue with the fact that others don't feel the same way.
binocular wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 3:05 pm
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.
I didn't accuse you of "seeking validation". I asked whether or not it *would have been* validating for the response to have been more tailored to your specific case.

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Bundokji
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by Bundokji » Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:06 pm

binocular wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:08 pm
See point 3. Parasocial interactions are on principle cognitvely superficial. Being a passive listener isn't conducive to being a good listener.
As opposite to what? to some ideal such as being cognitively original? and what makes a good listener? another ideal?
One cannot see inside another person's head. It would be a sign of pathology for a person to actually say things like, "Richard Gere/Patrick Jane/Buffy likes me". But watching them regularly on tv, the viewer might feel like they are being liked, accepted by them. This is more common in younger people who tend to develop strong feelings for media personas and fictional characters.
Indeed, we cannot see inside another person's head, but all the assertions behind the parasocial interactions seems to be driven by some supernatural power they posses to know not only what is happening inside people heads, but to dictate what is normal and what is delusional.
Secondly, whether that illusion is created or not can depend also on the content of the programme itself, and the intention with which a person watches it. For example, watching reality shows with an attitude of contempt toward the characters won't create the illusion of being liked by them; but it's still conducive to the illusion that others would tolerate in their midst someone who despises them they the tv viewer does (so that is a kind of illusion of acceptance as well; IRL, if people knew someone despises them, they wouldn't tolerate that person in their midst).
Further example, one can watch a gardening show with an amiable gardener as a host. And because they are so amiable, this can make the viewer conclude that that gardener would be as nice to them IRL as they are on screen and give them the type of gardening advice or compliments they give there to people whose gardens they visit. But at the same time, it could be that if gardener would actually visit one's garden, maybe they'd be totally different than on tv, and criticize one and one's gardening work to the ground.
So, based on the above, any kind of human imagination is a form of illusion? They themselves who made all these conclusions about people watching TV, they did not use their imagination? and if they did, why their imagination is not delusional?

And what kind of services they are providing us with? some protective fatherly figure that prevents us from being delusional when watching TV? and what guarantee do we have that the authors of such studies are not a bunch of ass-holes in real life? If you say that this would have no bearing on the findings of their studies and conclusions, then similarly, what a TV persona represents has no bearing on how the celebrity is like in real life.
I would think that people who like themselves don't spend much time watching tv for entertainment.
While liking oneself would be desirable, objectively, there is nothing likeable about the human situation. It is unclear, at least to me, what is more pathological: to like one self or to be disgusted with it. In addition, with modern criterias in place, i suspect that people who watch TV would be mentally healthier than those who don't.
I'm not trying to present absolutes, just the cases where what I'm saying applies, insofar that is relevant to my specific inquiry.
The problem is: in everything we do, whether watching TV or following a spiritual leader, there is always the chance of something going wrong. What i am skeptical about is: whether there is an objective criteria that determines "things going wrong".
That's just it: How does one learn from a teacher?
Is one supposed to read and believe what one is reading?
How does one read didactic texts?
I mean, we spend our lives studying texts, and take for granted that we know how to learn and what learning is all about. But sometimes, things just break down.
For a couple of years, every now and then, I google "how to read didactic texts", and to this day, it gives no matches.
I am not surprised that your google search did not give any matches. You are searching for a didactic text to teach about how to read a didactic text!

It could be that listening or learning from others have exhausted itself and no longer brings much fruit? For example, when i ask myself why i am on this forum, i cannot give a satisfactory answer except: what else to do (i receive similar answers from my mother when i ask her why she watches TV)? i am still open to learning from things i encounter from different sources, but at the same time, skeptical about encountering something that would be transformative. Surprisingly, i began to believe that we don't own our destiny, and whether such a belief is delusional or not is of a little importance to me. Even the zeal to justify my beliefs is waning.
To me, listening to a religious/spiritual teacher (whether via the internet, on tv, or in person) is like watching tv. It's one-way communication and I'm supposed to be a passive and receptive audience. With all the negative effects listed earlier.
In my case, whether i am watching via the internet or on TV, i am usually analyzing what i am hearing. This causes me problems in my work when we have meetings, where they begin talking and i detect something wrong, then i lose concentration in the remainder of their utterances! This is why, i prefer written communications then verbal, maybe because i am cognitively slow to understand and appreciate worldly certainties :soap:
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 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:31 pm

binocular wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 4:48 pm

I'm not talking about the etymological meaning, but about what the term means for practical intents and purposes.
That is what it means for practical intents and purposes. I often wonder what type of oddball Buddhists you have been mixing with in order to gain such idiosyncratic ideas.
I sucked and saw that it sucks. And Buddhists tell me I'm wrong. That's it, in a nutshell.
I'm genuinely sorry to hear that. What matters now is how you respond to that experience, and your feelings that you "haven't got what it takes", etc. Had that happened to me, I might have given up on Buddhism entirely, and written the whole thing off. Here on DW, you are unlikely to find people that advocate that, as they genuinely want to help people improve their lives, or at least want to virtue-signal about helping others on the path. (You'll have to make your own mind up as to which applies!).

Alternatively, I might have thought that there was still something valuable somewhere in Buddhism, but that I hadn't found it yet. I would have written off those people who condemned me, but carried on searching for alternative approaches, and more congenial company. DW can certainly offer that, along with the sister sites. There are supposed to be, after all, 84,000 Dharma Doors, and, as I said earlier, it's a buyer's market. If you find a path ultimately worth pursuing, you will do so despite hardships and discouragements and temporary feelings of futility. But if you genuinely consider a particular path to be utterly fruitless, then there is no external compulsion to follow it.

Finally, I might have considered that the error lay with me, and reviewed how I thought about the Dhamma, and how I expressed myself when interacting with others I meet on the way. Your point about the only thing that has been keeping you around Buddhism is the constant criticism of Buddhists telling you how wrong you are is interesting in this context. Do you want to be thought of as being bad and wrong? Do you gain pleasant feelings from it?

I can't think of any other options beyond these three.
In case you wonder: Dismissing my experience seems easy to me. I've lived in a culture where people give primacy to social norms, not to their particular experience. (If they have internalized the norms well, the two match anyway, so there's no problem for them.) We were raised to think, feel, speak, and do as told, regardless whether we feel like it or not, regardless of what our experience with doing so is. Drinking alcohol, for example, is a social norm here. If you don't like drinking alcohol, get yourself to like it, or just grit your proverbial teeth and bear it while drinking it. If you want to refuse to adhere to the norm, you better have a damn good reason for doing so (such as pregnancy or taking medications with which you shouldn't drink alcohol). But beyond that, you don't have the freedom to refuse to adhere to the norm.
You've claimed special status for your country before, but what you say could apply to almost any member of DW (with local adjustments regarding Islam and alcohol, etc.) and is really just a summary of what it is to be human and to have acquired a culture. Norms weigh no more heavily on you than they do on others here, and a country which is prosperous and peaceful provides an ideal opportunity to practice the Dhamma. Of course you have freedom to refuse to adhere to norms. If you found the practice so futile that you prefer those norms, though, then the choice is yours.

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:20 am

Bundokji wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 7:06 pm
The problem is: in everything we do, whether watching TV or following a spiritual leader, there is always the chance of something going wrong. What i am skeptical about is: whether there is an objective criteria that determines "things going wrong".
There is plenty of Buddhists (and other people) who believe -- and aggressively so -- that such criteria exist and that they know them (and that everyone else should abide by them).
I am not surprised that your google search did not give any matches. You are searching for a didactic text to teach about how to read a didactic text!
Well, how does one read a didactic text? Because I honestly don't know.
It could be that listening or learning from others have exhausted itself and no longer brings much fruit?
Frankly, I think so.
Strangely enough, in one of the first talks by SDC's teacher that I was listening to, he says that some people don't need much instruction. Oddly enough, that bit has been on my mind for a couple of years now.
I feel much better if I just stick to my own projects, spiritual or others. Of course, those characterizations that I've been given by others (that I'm lowly, stupid, obtuse, retarded, that my skin is too thin, my bones too brittle, and my eyes too dusty) remain with me.
Surprisingly, i began to believe that we don't own our destiny, and whether such a belief is delusional or not is of a little importance to me.
Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
Algren: I think a man does what he can until his destiny is revealed.

Last Samurai

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:39 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 11:31 pm
Here on DW, you are unlikely to find people that advocate that, as they genuinely want to help people improve their lives, or at least want to virtue-signal about helping others on the path. (You'll have to make your own mind up as to which applies!).

*tsk tsk*
A thorn in everyone's side!
Finally, I might have considered that the error lay with me, and reviewed how I thought about the Dhamma, and how I expressed myself when interacting with others I meet on the way. Your point about the only thing that has been keeping you around Buddhism is the constant criticism of Buddhists telling you how wrong you are is interesting in this context. Do you want to be thought of as being bad and wrong? Do you gain pleasant feelings from it?
I said it was two things -- the other being my ambition to conclude and complete things.
And, duh, of course it's my fault! I consistently get accused of lacking faith and not being obedient enough. I tried being sweet, and nice, and femally compliant. Being so just makes me want to puke, and there was no benefit from it. Esp. men got all kinds of wrong ideas, and that's just no good.
You've claimed special status for your country before, but what you say could apply to almost any member of DW (with local adjustments regarding Islam and alcohol, etc.) and is really just a summary of what it is to be human and to have acquired a culture.
Didn't think so. I get a lot of that "Oh, you poor sod from that former communist country."
Norms weigh no more heavily on you than they do on others here, and a country which is prosperous and peaceful provides an ideal opportunity to practice the Dhamma. Of course you have freedom to refuse to adhere to norms. If you found the practice so futile that you prefer those norms, though, then the choice is yours.
I don't drink alcohol, for example. Because I don't like the taste of it, because I resent the way even a small amount of it makes me dizzy and sleepy. I don't refrain from drinking alcohol (or other intoxicants) because of some Buddhist practice, but because I have my own reasons for doing so. Other people give me trouble for this, and I feel crappy.


But, alas, your troubles have come to an end, a thorn has been removed!

binocular
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by binocular » Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:43 am

SDC wrote:
Sat Dec 07, 2019 6:38 pm
I didn't accuse you of "seeking validation". I asked whether or not it *would have been* validating for the response to have been more tailored to your specific case.
No, you made it about seeking validation. From the way you talk to me, it is clear that for you, the possibility that I wrote to your teacher, a knowledgeable and eloquent monk, in the hope to actually get a meaningful answer to my question -- that possibility simply does not exist for you.
I didn't reply to you the first time around because I was exasperated with you asking me complex questions. You have a history of doing that to me, and then if I try to explain, you accuse me of making excuses and so on. Pretty much whatever I say, you find a way to interpret it in such a manner that makes me look bad and stupid and evil.

I've had the Buddhist equivalent of that Legally Blonde moment with you so many times. It's high time I finally heed it.

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Bundokji
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by Bundokji » Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:15 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:20 am
There is plenty of Buddhists (and other people) who believe -- and aggressively so -- that such criteria exist and that they know them (and that everyone else should abide by them).
Probably its akin to believing in free-well. Whether there is such a thing as free-well does not matter as long as believing in it can be beneficial and helps maintain the system. However, when it comes to spiritual or intellectual matters, i don't see the benefit of believing in the myth of "objective criteria". I think the notion of "objective criteria" is relevant to the individual practitioner to the extent s/he uses it skillfully. Measuring oneself against it (or measuring others for that matter) is not a skillful use of it in my opinion.
Well, how does one read a didactic text? Because I honestly don't know.
The question "how" implies purposive action, so it depends on why you want to read a didactic text to begin with? For example, if i buy a machine with an instruction manual on how to install it, then the best way to read the manual would be to follow the instructions. Questioning the instructions, in that case, would probably be a waste of time and energy.
Frankly, I think so.
Strangely enough, in one of the first talks by SDC's teacher that I was listening to, he says that some people don't need much instruction. Oddly enough, that bit has been on my mind for a couple of years now.
I don't know the context in which SDC's teacher mentioned that, but i tend to agree. I can understand how instructions are useful in worldly affairs where authority and experience is relevant, but when it comes to spiritual matters especially in relation to the ultimate truth and how to reach it, i don't see much value in instructions. However, sharing experiences can be helpful in bringing to our attention things that we might have overlooked.
Katsumoto: You believe a man can change his destiny?
Algren: I think a man does what he can until his destiny is revealed.

Last Samurai
Which can also be translated as acting in good faith, or adhering to the rules of the game, even if one believes that it is only a game.
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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cappuccino
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Re: Parasocial interactions/relationships and the Dhamma

Post by cappuccino » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:02 pm

binocular wrote:Pretty much whatever I say, you find a way to interpret it in such a manner that makes me look bad and stupid and evil.
Non-place or nonplace is a neologism coined by the French anthropologist Marc Augé to refer to anthropological spaces of transience where the human beings remain anonymous and that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as "places".

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