Buddhism


#21
[Quote=tsuchi akurei]just as it has countless times before when it became destructive and overly indulgent.

Who are you thinking of, the Mayan, the Olmecs?

Their cities may have collapsed, their numbers may have dwindled, their original language may have disapeared, but civilization remained etched in their psyches to this day as they continued not only agriculture, but the psycho-sexual organization of aggression and hierarchy.
[/quote]

Don’t confuse the populations that exist now with the populations that existed after the old American civilizations collapsed. The people here got re-civilized when the Europeans came, but that doesn’t mean that the ones who walked away retained everything from the cities. It doesn’t necessarily mean they left everything behind, either. But they did go back to living in relationship with the land and not in spite of the land anymore.

[Quote=Willem] Rewilding, to me, means something that you do, not something that you "are".

Who i am determines what i do.
Who i am is revealed in everything i do.[/quote]

What I do also has the power to change who I am. It’s a cycle.

[quote=tsuchi akurei] Civilization will collapse[/quote]

Civilization is the collapse.

Civilization is the collapse of a balanced to an imbalanced psycho-dynamic.

Civilization is merely a symptom, not the psycho-dynamic root-cause.

At this point, civilization represents both the symptom and the cause. Since we are born into the symptom-hood and drenched in its mythologies from our earliest memories, the “symptoms” cause and reinforce the symptoms of each new generation.


#22

Ah, methinks religion can be used to mobilize it (this psycho-energy) or to settle it down, cause it to split into two or more, some mobilized, the other locked up (sometimes this conflicts, sometimes not), cause it to flow back and not express itself as it might were it not blocked off. Religion can definitely cause one to not act out their desires: it cages them (though not always). Just as water can be used to quench one’s thirst. it can also be used to quench one’s life by drowning.


#23

Correct me if i am wrong, but, when Cortez landed in Tobasco, which was the heart of the Olmec land, he found a flourishing town, a hierarchical social structure, and agriculture.

Indeed, wherever Cortez went, including a few years later when he attacked the Mayans, he found towns, hierarchical military organizations and the agriculture to support them.

From my understanding, once the Olmecs destablized the region with an civilized organization of violence through a hierarchical military structure, that Meso-American region remained destablized with a chain-reaction of continuous civilizing pressure.

[/quote][quote=“WildeRix, post:21, topic:284”]What I do also has the power to change who I am. It’s a cycle.

At this point, civilization represents both the symptom and the cause. Since we are born into the symptom-hood and drenched in its mythologies from our earliest memories, the “symptoms” cause and reinforce the symptoms of each new generation.[/quote]

I agree, and from a behaviorist perspective you’re right.

However, to pattern a new behavioral response, a neutral stimulus, such as foraging, needs to be associated with a conditioned stimulus, such as pain or pleasure, in order to turn foraging into a new patterned behavioral response.

Unfortunately Civilization, because of fear, aggression and it’s psycho-sexual associations, has that kind of powerful positive feed-back loop.

Foraging on the other hand, only becomes associated to a positive feed-back loop for those who can connect with the living energy of our environment through a positive association with say, the psycho-physical Kundalini.

Most forager want-a-bees that i have known have failed to connect to that possitive association, while at the same time, nearly all failed to break the Civilized positive feed-back loop.

They experience frustration and disillusionment.


#24
Correct me if i am wrong, but, when Cortez landed in Tobasco, which was the heart of the Olmec land, he found a flourishing town, a hierarchical social structure, and agriculture.

Indeed, wherever Cortez went, including a few years later when he attacked the Mayans, he found towns, hierarchical military organizations and the agriculture to support them.

From my understanding, once the Olmecs destablized the region with an civilized organization of violence through a hierarchical military structure, that Meso-American region remained destablized with a chain-reaction of continuous civilizing pressure.

I don’t know much about the Olmecs other than that they seemed to influence a lot of the cultures in that region. But the Aztec empire had not gone by the time Cortez arrived. I think it stood in serious decline, and the conquest and diseases of the Spanish hastened its collapse, but the empire had not gotten to the point of crumble.

I was referring to the so-called “Anasazi” peoples of Chaco Canyon that left their civilization and never looked back–to the point where the knowledge of what happened to the Anasazi does not remain in the histories of any of the tribes that descended from those people.

It may be that the Olmec started a series of jump-start civilization movements within the tribes of the area that culminated in the “glory” of the Aztecs. But just because the Olmec people did not retain their glory doesn’t mean that they had truly hit bottom with their civilization movement, so the area had never fully known collapse. I think even after the oil “runs out” that we will have city states that try to hang on and maintain the way of life they knew, but that doesn’t have to stop the rest of us from walking away, and when we get away and leave the old mentalities behind and are forced by circumstances to re-evaluate all our ways of thinking in order to survive–and then see that we can even thrive outside of civilization–then the memes of civilization can fall away.


#25

I don’t like buddhism because I have always associated it with pacifism, which I find utterly absurd. When I first discovered Derrick Jensen I was pretty pleased to find someone other than deeply fearful American patriots who felt the same.


#26
I have always associated it with pacifism

What of our Shaolin brothers and sisters?

I believe there motto is thus : Los Shaolin kick your ass, los Shaolin kick your face, los Shaolin kick your balls into outer space.

Really, to me, as I see it, from my POV, Buddhism is a path to liberation, which is to say, it’s a path for getting rid of paths and living free, or doing what you do, without mindsets pacifism or nonpacifism getting in the way. Does it free everyone? No. Can it become a rigid institution? Sure.


#27

What of our Shaolin brothers and sisters?

I believe there motto is thus : Los Shaolin kick your ass, los Shaolin kick your face, los Shaolin kick your balls into outer space.

Really, to me, as I see it, from my POV, Buddhism is a path to liberation, which is to say, it’s a path for getting rid of paths and living free, or doing what you do, without mindsets pacifism or nonpacifism getting in the way. Does it free everyone? No. Can it become a rigid institution? Sure.[/quote]

I don’t mean to imply that I think there is no variation on the pacifism theme in buddhism. But there are also buddhists who walk around on stilted platform shoes to avoid accidentally inflicting violence on ground-dwelling critters, which I find absurd on its face as well as being a rather extreme example of humans trying to separate themselves from contact with nature. That’s my association of buddhism with pacifism.


#28

My problem with Buddhism stems right from the first Noble Truth: Dukkha. That might be a valuable insight into domesticated life, but for wild or feral life? I don’t see it.


#29

[quote=“CHS, post:26, topic:284”]What of our Shaolin brothers and sisters?

Buddhism is a path to liberation, which is to say, it’s a path for getting rid of paths and living free, or doing what you do, without mindsets pacifism or nonpacifism getting in the way.[/quote]

That association more clearly defines the nature of Buddhism, and Buddhism’s total acceptance of nature as it is.

Martial Arts are the embodiment of Zen Buddhism’s intimate connection with the essence of nature.

Dukkha is the unvarnished truth of nature’s impermanence that only The Wild can accept.

This is what makes the Savage so Noble.

He doesn’t paint a civilized facade over the grieving face of sickness, of growing old, of loved ones dying.

No, he faces it, experiences it, feels it, grieves and rejoyces and becomes enlightened, ennobled.

Having read your take of the verb “to be”, I understand your mistrust of the verb.

In the old mind/matter dichotomy, “to be” was indeed static.

But that dichotomy no longer exists, and because our psyches are dynamic, “to be” is not static, but dynamic, and ever changing.


#30

Yeah, don’t buy it. Dukkha is still pure pessimism as far as I can tell. Life’s no more defined by suffering than it is by joy. Being able to fully feel all of your feelings is something important to rewilding, I’d say, but what privelages feeling loss over feeling anything and everything else?


#31

It’s more of an observation than a definition. It’s saying that suffering exists, and no matter what, you can’t avoid it in one form or another. It’s positing the existence of a problem that desires a solution.

David


#32

And therein lies the problem. Why is suffering a problem to be solved? Is joy a problem to be solved? Suffering is a gift to be thankful for and appreciated, as is joy. Buddhism has always seemed to me like nihilism taken to the cosmic level: the attainment of Nirvana is release from the wheel of reincarnation, so you no longer have to exist, because existence is suffering. Not to put too fine a point on it, but fuck that. If I get to come around for a second ride, AWESOME. That means a whole 'nother round of suffering and joy and engagement with the sensuous world, and how can you help but weep with gratitude for every moment you get like that?


#33
Why is suffering a problem to be solved?

Because maybe a life that sees to the roots of suffering is a life that’s richer and has more dimensions. Maybe if we’re able to perceive that most of our negative feelings, habits, and reactions are unconscious, conditioned responses, we can find more freedom in acting and responding more appropriately to life, with more compassion for ourselves and others.

And though some Buddhist sects take it really far, to the point of extreme self-denial, there are others that don’t. The famous saying goes, "“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Or the title of a book, “After the ecstasy, the laundry.” Those aren’t nihilist, they emphasize being HERE, in a nitty-gritty world of ups and downs that will only change with understanding and perception – and even then, maybe we’ll see that things are perfect the way they are.

I think that Tom Brown story is actually a good example. It’s the one where he asks his Grandfather why he didn’t suffer from the cold in the winter or the heat in the summer, and the response is, “Because they are real.”


#34

Would that count as a cyclical narrative?


#35

[quote author=Paula link=topic=295.msg3262#msg3262 date=1185917004]

but then you have the idea of the bodhisattva whom upon attaining enlightenment refuses nirvana in order to reborn and spread the teachings.


#36

I’ve heard that interpretation of Dukkha, but that certainly seems to make nonsense of the rest of Buddhism. If Dukkha means simply that suffering exists, rather than life being primarily about suffering, then why would we want to escape the wheel of reincarnation? The whole goal of Nirvana only makes sense with the traditional interpretation of Dukkha: life is suffering.


#37

Here is a zen story I came across recently:

Gudo was the emperor's teacher of his time. Nevertheless, he used to travel alone as a wandering mendicant. Once when he was on his was to Edo, the cultural and political center of the shogunate, he approached a little village named Takenaka. It was evening and a heavy rain was falling. Gudo was thoroughly wet. His straw sandals were in pieces. At a farmhouse near the village he noticed four or five pairs of sandals in the window and decided to buy some dry ones.

The woman who offered him the sandals, seeing how wet he was, invited him in to remain for the night at her home. Gudo accepted, thanking her. He entered and recited a sutra before the family shrine. He then was introduced to the woman’s mother, and to her children. Observing that the entire family was depressed, Gudo asked what was wrong.

“My husband is a gambler and a drunkard,” the housewife told him. “When he happens to win he drinks and becomes abusive. When he loses he borrows money from others. Sometimes when he becomes thoroughly drunk he does not come home at all. What can I do?”

I will help him," said Gudo. “Here is some money. Get me a gallon of fine wine and something good to eat. Then you may retire. I will meditate before the shrine.”

When the man of the house returned about midnight, quite drunk, he bellowed: “Hey, wife, I am home. Have you something for me to eat?”

“I have something for you,” said Gudo. “I happened to get caught in the rain and your wife kindly asked me to remain here for the night. In return I have bought some wine and fish, so you might as well have them.”

The man was delighted. He drank the wine at once and laid himself down on the floor. Gudo sat in meditation beside him.

In the morning when the husband awoke he had forgotten about the previous night. “Who are you? Where do you come from?” he asked Gudo, who still was meditating.

“I am Gudo of Kyoto and I am going on to Edo,” replied the Zen master.

The man was utterly ashamed. He apologized profusely to the teacher of his emperor.

Gudo smiled. “Everything in this life is impermanent,” he explained. “Life is very brief. If you keep on gambling and drinking, you will have no time left to accomplish anything else, and you will cause your family to suffer too.”

The perception of the husband awoke as if from a dream. “You are right,” he declared. “How can I ever repay you for this wonderful teaching! Let me see you off and carry your things a little way.”

“If you wish,” assented Gudo.

The two started out. After they had gone three miles Gudo told him to return. “Just another five miles,” he begged Gudo. They continued on.

“You may return now,” suggested Gudo.

“After another ten miles,” the man replied.

“Return now,” said Gudo, when the ten miles had been passed.

“I am going to follow you all the rest of my life,” declared the man.

Modern Zen teachers in Japan spring from the lineage of a famous master who was the successor of Gudo. His name was Mu-nan, the man who never turned back.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the problem here was that the husband was a drunkard who was in debt and never came home. The zen master tells him this hurts his family because he has not time for them. The man, in thanks for this information, LEAVES HIS FAMILY FOREVER to follow the master?


#38

I think it makes sense that he left his family behind because that was the source of his suffering. Not every man is fit to be a householder, as this man obviously doesn’t fit the bill. But because he discovered his ability to never look back, like he was stuck looking back at his adolescent partying days while he was (not) keeping house.

We are so quick to judge and dishonor those who do not share our condition and temperment. It’s obvious to me that this man leaving his family and throwing them out of the sinking ship that was his life was the ONLY way to save them, otherwise they would have always been dependent on a man who couldn’t truly provide.

Once he found his path, he was noble because not only did his enlightenment end his suffering, it ended the suffering of others as well.

Mu-nan could also mean ‘middle man’ you see, MU is that standard Zen response to a yes or no question, which means roughly middle, or nothing. nan can mean wood or man, depending on how it is pronounced.

Don’t be so quick to pull out your measuring stick and announce that ‘this doesn’t fit’, those who don’t measure up might actually be too long for your stick.


#39

Sorry, I’m still seeing an abandoned family. Maybe if the story mentioned that the mother and kids found a new husband, I’d be on board for your interpretation, but as it’s written, it shows complete disregard for the well being of the women and children. Only the “enlightenment” of the man mattered.


#40

I think the ‘moral’ of the story, if there is such a thing, is that you have to let go of the things in your life that aren’t working. At the greatest of stakes, what doesn’t work must simply be allowed to fall away. I assert, by his total failure of a householder, the family was better off without him. I don’t know the customs of Japan or when this story was originally written (but Mu-nan is the first Zen patriarch, and buddhism left India for China at the time of Christ).

I have been left by an abusive, childish father. Why does this story fail to deliver a sting? Because I wish he would have walked away earlier, not stayed longer. I feel injured because of a father who stayed too long, who gambled too much. I was left with: If he would have… He should have… Why couldn’t he just have…

That is nothing but the sound of my own suffering taking over the vocal chords of my body and giving birth to itself.