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Comments are for the page: Mixed feelings
I really like going through your website. It’s very easy to understand, and the parts that I don’t get yet, I feel like it’s still within my reach of understanding if I explored a bit further. Thanks for what you’re doing, please keep adding to your site.
These principles go for joining Bridge groups (card game), Churches, Sport Clubs, Night Poker Meetings and much more. But I think that “Buddhism Embraces Uncertainty” should not be a way to swallow things easier. It is easy – when do we compromise ourselves to enjoy the benefit of a spouse, a friend or a group. I think your cautions are well said: don’t let the group make you cram your doubts.
Yesterday, I heard a Nyingma group leader justify to me why they “pray” for the sick. Sure, any smart person can justify. I hear spin all the time. Lots of times we just have to decide, how much self-deception (which is inevitable) are worth the benefits. And will this group be comfortable with me if I always disagree with their particular self-deceptions and don’t nod my heads. Or should I just start believing and doing this stuff to make myself comfortable so I can gain the benefits?
“It is important to allow this ambiguity.”
No it’s not. If you think it’s important, that’s your problem. Most of the time this idea comes from the people who have a vested interest in the system (their personal identity and often income $$$ depends on it). If these people say that it’s OK to dislike their system or to only use what is useful, it encourages a noncommittal attitude. This leads to lack of stability in the system, and tradition has difficulty being passed on with such attitude in place. It also creates difficulties in earning $$$ from the system, because you need to maintain an aura of conventional establishment that is entirely valid from top to bottom. If you tell people to pick what they find useful and discard the rest, not only are you saying some of the stuff is useless, you’re also saying what exactly is useful is going to be different for each person. This would be a severe blow to the conventional validity of the system, and that would make it hard to feel it a point of pride to have such system as part of one’s identity “I am Aro practitioner/teacher/etc.” and discourage people from donating, because people donate to things higher than themselves but not to their own peers. One way to get yourself in a situation that’s higher than someone else is to act a representative of a bigger thing than yourself. That way, you can tell people how humble you personally are, but at the same time, you serve on behalf of this wonderful tradition and lineage, so it’s a good idea to support it. If you tell people to use all this as just a tool, then it puts the whole thing, the whole lineage, in a submissive function. The hammer submits to the hand of the carpenter after all.
Of course why should I care if some tradition survives? Does tradition care about me? No. It does not. It only cares about itself and its own promulgation. It seeks to use me to propagate itself. I turn this on its head. I use traditions to propagate myself instead. I eat you, all your wisdom and all the lineages and shit all of you out. I eventually destroy all of you. Lucky for me, because of how appearances work, more of you magically appear for me to eat and shit out down the line. So I am not going to run out of food any time soon.
I already showed you how to think of these paths as tools, and this one is new. It’s how to think of paths as food.
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