The mindfulness conspiracy

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
User avatar
Sam Vara
Posts: 5441
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:42 pm
Location: Sussex, U.K.

Re: The mindfulness conspiracy

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:46 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:02 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:50 pm
The shortcomings are blindingly obvious, for sure, but my point is that the political discourse used to discuss those shortcomings is invariably informed by Marxist theory. ...
Political discourses in circles who think those theories are useful use them, sure. But it all seems rather quaint and irrelevant to me, like the British Empire, or the Soviet Union... But of course, you can read whatever theories you like into a situation or a movement, be it political, behavioural, game theoretical, etc.
Yes, my point is that Purser has indeed read a theory into what he is investigating, and that theory happens to be derived from the work of Marx. There's nothing of game theory or behavioural theory or anything else as far as I can see. There are lots of ways in which one might criticise the secular mindfulness movement (the favoured one round here is, understandably, that it departs from the Dhamma) but the criticism evident in the article is in import and terminology derived from Marxism.
Anyway, my point was that all systems, including the non-capitalist and supposedly-no-capitalist systems seem to have (had) most of the same problems... The root cases are greed, etc, not the political philosophy used to justify it. If more people saw through those causes, I suspect that would be an improvement.


Yes, that's precisely the point I have repeatedly made above. And note how - for Marxists - greed is what Marx would call superstructural, rather than primary, as per the Buddha. Whereas I see Buddhism as being psychologically deterministic, Marxism is (to put it more crudely than most of its adherents would like) economically deterministic, and desire is driven by socio-economic structures.

SarathW
Posts: 11929
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: The mindfulness conspiracy

Post by SarathW » Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:59 pm

From the OP article:
Although derived from Buddhism, it’s been stripped of the teachings on ethics that accompanied it, as well as the liberating aim of dissolving attachment to a false sense of self while enacting compassion for all other beings.
Mindfulness has been oversold and commodified, reduced to a technique for just about any instrumental purpose. It can give inner-city kids a calming time-out, or hedge-fund traders a mental edge, or reduce the stress of military drone pilots. Void of a moral compass or ethical commitments, unmoored from a vision of the social good, the commodification of mindfulness keeps it anchored in the ethos of the market.
Leaders in the mindfulness movement believe that capitalism and spirituality can be reconciled; they want to relieve the stress of individuals without having to look deeper and more broadly at its causes.
it works like taking an aspirin for a headache. Once the pain goes away, it is business as usual. Even if individuals become nicer people, the corporate agenda of maximising profits does not change.
Mindfulness is said to be a $4bn industry.
As he sees it, mindfulness is “establishing itself as the hegemonic ideology of global capitalism”, by helping people “to fully participate in the capitalist dynamic while retaining the appearance of mental sanity”.
We are repeatedly sold the same message: that individual action is the only real way to solve social problems, so we should take responsibility.
My summary of reading the article:
The present Mc Mindfulness in Western countries is based on wrong mindfulness.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

SarathW
Posts: 11929
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: The mindfulness conspiracy

Post by SarathW » Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:11 pm

The way I understand Buddhas teaching:
His advice is to be right mindful capitalist to lay people and right mindful socialist to ordained monks.
The problem I see is that there are a lot of unmindful lay people and monks.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16954
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: The mindfulness conspiracy

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:29 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 10:46 pm
Yes, my point is that Purser has indeed read a theory into what he is investigating, and that theory happens to be derived from the work of Marx. ...
Thanks for the clarification. I guess Marx still matters to some people from the left and right (either to argue for or against)...

:heart:
Mike

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 21404
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: The mindfulness conspiracy

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:56 am

Greetings,

This is not the Marxist forum.

To discuss Marxism, please go to Dharma Wheel Engaged.

:thanks:

Metta,
Paul. :)
"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 38 guests