Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

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Mawkish1983
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by Mawkish1983 » Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:52 am

I, on the other hand, have always had a lot of respect for Michael. I try to keep in mind that if I had been born with his prevous kamma into his family by his family and made the same decisions as he, I would have been him (sort of tautological I know). A talented but inherently naive man who was abused himself by those around him aiming to make money (including but not limited to his parents, parents of his young fans and the media, wow did THEY profit from him).

He taught the world that it don't [sic] matter if you're black or white.

He instructed people to look what we've done to the world.

He advised the youth to beat it rather than fighting.

The list goes on. Throughout the child-molestation trials I defended him to my friends, fully believing he was not guilty (as he was found).

Everyone makes mistakes. Would he have dangled the baby if the media hadn't been harrassing him I wonder.

I think this thread was a great idea... any thread to commemorate someone who touched our lives after their passing is a good thing. Anyone who doesn't want to commemorate that person really doesn't need to read or post in such a thread.

I've no doubt people here have received the many 'Michael Jackson joke' text messages that have been poluting the mobile phone network over the last few days. It's sick.

I hope when I die people don't remember the mistakes I've made. I hope when I die people don't send jokes to each other about me. Who would want that? Who deserves that?

An influential man has died. I hope musical talent is pitaka and doesn't die with the body, and I hope Michael Jackson takes rebirth in an environment that would nurture but not be forceful. Who knows, maybe he'll be introduced to the dhamma next time round :)

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tiltbillings
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:07 am

Similarly, when any living being whose time is up and when Impermanence comes knocking, whether they are mentioned or not, the last honour offered for such is nothing more than a respectful token of silence or an aspiration for their next opportune rebirth. Hence, this thread.
Which is fine. Jackson, without question, was a higly talented individual, from whom many derived a great deal of pleasure, but he was also deeply and obviously disturbed. His was hardly a life lived with grace. And given the noise made about his death, it is not unreasonable to wonder why.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Journey
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by Journey » Sat Jun 27, 2009 3:33 pm

Metta is characterized as that which "promotes welfare."
Its function is to "prefer well-being" rather than ill.
It manifests as a force that "removes annoyance"
and its proximate cause is the tendency to see the good side of things and beings and never the faults.

Just as with her own life
A mother shields from hurt
Her own son, her only child,
Let all-embracing thoughts
For all beings be yours.

May he be free from hostility, free from affliction, free from distress.

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Jechbi
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by Jechbi » Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:44 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Catch!
I've been inside the very same hotel room where that happened. It's the most beautiful hotel in Berlin.

Back to topic, I think it's fascinating how we each respond in our own ways to a prominent death. The fact is that Michael Jackson touched a lot of lives, so his death will evoke a lot of responses. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as we're mindful of what's going on here.

I thought Tilt's comment was truly funny and on point, perhaps more so than he realized, because it doesn't apply just to Michael Jackson's death. Every time any one of us goes to a funeral for someone who was close to us, we could ask the same thing: Why separate out this individual for special attention? I hope people ask that question at my funeral.

One answer to that question immediately leaps to mind: Because we are human beings, social creatures, with long-established habit patterns of preferring some people over others, and preferring ourselves over everyone else. So when someone dies who has touched our lives with some impact (as Michael Jackson has done for millions of fans), then for many of us, our feelings will find expression.

This is a good thread on this board. It's a good opportunity to examine how we react to death, and how we react to the reactions of others to death.

:anjali:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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appicchato
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by appicchato » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:12 pm

Jechbi wrote:...how we react to the reactions of others to death.
Reading some of the comments here definitely raised my eyebrows...why?...because it shows me how, that when I think I've got some kind of read on people, I really don't... :coffee:

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retrofuturist
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:42 pm

Greetings,

Firstly, I want to apologise to anyone who was offended by my earlier posting of the photo of Michael Jackson dangling his son of the balcony and my flippant response to it. It was neither the time and place to remind fans of such things, nor a skillful means by which to make the point which I wanted to make. It probably comes from the fact that on Friday someone I work with had to leave work because his girlfriend was literally in a state of shock at hearing about Michael Jackson's death. This attachment and clinging of hers is now causing her suffering, over an event which needn't be the cause of suffering. Attachment is the cause of suffering and it is prevalence of attachment and craving that is the real tragedy - not that the natural process of death happened to overtake one individual. As the Buddha taught in the Salla Sutta, "If any benefit is gained by lamenting, the wise would do it. Only a fool would harm himself. Yet through weeping and sorrowing the mind does not become calm, but still more suffering is produced, the body is harmed and one becomes lean and pale, one merely hurts oneself". My colleague's girlfriend is a case-in-point, and I feel for her suffering.

Hence, I decided to think about how better to express my thoughts on this matter and to present them in a way that can hopefully help to extend the range of our lovingkindess and compassion beyond its current scope, and to see death in its proper perspective and have a more equanimous response.

Respect to those who use the Dhamma to cure suffering
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=1668" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Anyhow, I hope that was a more skillful attempt to make this point which I feel is very important and is overshadowed when there is such a disproportional and emotional response to the death of one person.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Ben
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by Ben » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:51 am

Hi Retro
No need to apologise.
For many of us, Michael Jackson's death inspires an understandable mix of emotions which are uncomfortable for some.

BTW, this is a very good article that contextualises the 'phenomenon' of Michael Jackson, especially to those like me, who had a hard time taking him seriously:
http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/stra ... -d0ke.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Interestingly, I learned that news of the event spiked an upsurge of internet traffic at google which recorded 67,500,000 hits for 'michael jackson' and temporarily shut down its servers.
Metta

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Perry
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by Perry » Sun Jun 28, 2009 2:10 am

I consider myself a semi-fan if you will. I don't actually have any of his records but have listened quite regularly to him on Spotify since it came out and borrowed my dads CDs occasionally. Nonetheless Michael Jackson is someone I have had an interest in for a while, I have always felt a lot of sympathy for him and vehemently supported him during the trials.

He was clearly a mentally unstable person, but on the other hand he was obviously quite remarkably talented. Sadly a lot of wicked people realised this and so used Michael's naivete and immaturity for the own ends, the amount of hangers-on of this kind multiplied in the last few years of his life and I have no doubt that these people are solely, albeit indirectly, responsible for his death.

As a child he was beaten and bullied severely as a child by his father in order to rake in millions of dollars when the Jacksons became stars. He suffered with quite severe acne in his teenage years which led to much mockery in the press and even some insults thrown his way from members of the public.

He became nothing more than a trophy to Sony Records in the end, who were leaving him enough money to temporarily settle his debts, but ultimately were only using his financial woes in order to eventually receive the publishing rights to the Lennon-McCartney catalogue.

I have no doubt in my mind that he did not do what he was accused of. He never had a childhood and I honestly feel this left him as a ten-year old boy in a mans body. But not just any mans body, but a man with a world of pressure and expectation on his shoulders. How many ten-year old children can you think of that could take all the bullying and mockery he has received in his life?

By the end, he didn't even have a say in his own life. The Nation of Islam had tightened their grip on him and even though a lung disease had ravaged his voice, he was forced to do a party for a Russian billionaire on a private yacht, and then after being convinced to do ten-dates at The O2 Arena in London, he later found out he had been tricked into doing fifty. I think it was obvious he couldn't do it.

Whether a fan or not, it's not totally fair in my opinion to call his death "just another death". This is the unspectacular end to a prodigious child bullied and beaten and taken advantage of by leeches who used him for their own ends. He deserves the compassion he never got in life.

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christopher:::
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by christopher::: » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:14 pm

His life story was tragic, at least for those of us watching from a distance. Totally caught in the grip of samsara, like millions of others on this planet. Who wouldn't trade all that fame and wealth for a loving family, a few close friends you can trust, and a father that never beat you?

I think Michael Jackson tried the best he could given the life he had, his circumstances in this world. His "legacy" of music and dancing brought joy to people's hearts. I think he was motivated by metta and mudita, with much that he did. Not all though, like most of us. In the end his demons ate away and reduced him to a skeleton of a man. Very sad, tragic. I hold no negative feelings for him. I hope that over time those who are deeply sad will be comforted, and let go of their attachments to his memory. Likewise, those who feel some aversion to Michael Jackson will hopefully realize that this is just a trick of mind as well.

Image

At the end of the day I think our brother Michael had a much more positive impact on the world then negative. The largest negative has been the image he and we held of him.

Fortunately, that image was and is an illusion.

May all beings be happy. May all beings find peace from suffering.

R.I.P. Michael

:heart:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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tiltbillings
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:50 pm

I wonder if MJ did not have the twisting demons of self loathing coming from of abuse from his father to contend with, if would been as driven to succeed? How much of what we found enjoyable came from a place of deep pain?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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christopher:::
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by christopher::: » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:I wonder if MJ did not have the twisting demons of self loathing coming from of abuse from his father to contend with, if would been as driven to succeed? How much of what we found enjoyable came from a place of deep pain?
This too, was probably true.

Lisa Marie Presley: He Knew
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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retrofuturist
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:15 am

Greetings,

:clap:

eBay Auction - Piece of paper with "Michael Jackson" written on it

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll ... 0442918342" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (link fixed)
Anyone who was devastated beyond reason by the tragic death of legend and superstar Michael Jackson will want to own a piece of A4 paper on which I have written the words "Michael Jackson" with a pen. This would be an ideal gift for anyone who loved the King of Pop - known for his hit songs "Billie Jean", "Thriller", "Bad" and his trademark "moonwalk" dance moves - and is also fond of paper. You were totally crushed mentally by this terrible death and so was I, in general. I am prepared also to personalise this memorial item by adding the name of the winning bidder, maybe in a different colour (to be negotiated). A modest but fitting tribute to a modern icon of the world of pop. This item is unique. I will not write the words "Michael Jackson" on another sheet of A4 like this for the rest of the year - GUARANTEED. I can post immediately. No returns.
Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

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

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Jechbi
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by Jechbi » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:58 pm

Isn't that the general principle behind paper currency?
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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christopher:::
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by christopher::: » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:05 pm

I like the way Michael's Thriller dance meme has been morphing...
Expect to see more of these....

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Annapurna
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Re: Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)

Post by Annapurna » Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:58 am

Ben wrote:Hi Retro
those like me, who had a hard time taking him seriously
Ben
No offense meant by asking, Ben, but don't you take anybody seriously?

I'm really thinking hard about this now....

Why should I not take anybody seriously?

What are the conditions for taking somebody seriously?

Metta, I think, includes all, and....don't I serve anybody with my knowledge, my generosity, my whole existence , my thoughts that are directed at others with loving kindness, like a good mother would love ALL her children equally, and not just the most impressing of those?

Likewise, if we realize that 'Michael Jackson' was our child before in a previous life, how can we not .... :heart: ? Anybody...? :anjali:

:buddha1:

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