Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby uan » Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:34 pm

Jikan wrote:
uan wrote:Good to know that all who criticize here are Buddhas and enlightened masters deploying skillful means to strike to the heart of the very obscurations blocking each earnest practitioner's paths and leading them to enlightenment.

_/\_


Where did I claim or even imply I was such? I'm simply arguing for the willingness to listen to criticism from others, even when we don't want to, as Ananda took the Buddha's advice to heart.

Comments like yours are good examples of the kind of behavior I'm trying to argue against. (Again, I'm trying to criticize behavior and not persons.) You've found a way to dismiss what I've said on the basis of your assumptions regarding my position. If you present me as some sort of internet pretender who claims to be an arya, then you've given yourself permission to feel good about ignoring what I've said.


But now you are doing the same to me (see bold). I was the first to respond to your post and stated a position pretty much similar to yours, or at the very least, not diametrically opposed to it.

Nor did I criticize a person or persons. Rather I was using satire to underline a specific point - that Buddhas can do certain behaviors because they are Buddhas. Surgeons can use sharp knives to perform surgery. I have sharp knives at home, so if my kid ever needs his appendix out, I guess I can do it myself. :woohoo: Not.

So if I were to offer an critique (not criticism), it's that you could make a stronger argument for your position with more relevant examples.

Jikan wrote:I'd like to thank Cone, by the way. It's clear to me he gets what I'm trying to say, which tells me that I'm not completely off the reservation in how I've articulated this idea so far.


I think we both agree that Cone has deep understanding (deeper than my own, that's for sure). :anjali:
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby conebeckham » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:16 pm

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Uan, and also Jikan....I think I understand the nature and purpose of the thread, but I have no "deep understanding" of anything. That, I can guarantee!
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby tobes » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:26 am

Jikan wrote:Variations on a theme here:

viewtopic.php?f=69&t=11837&view=unread#p153833

I've seen, here and elsewhere and not only by one participant or group, this position taken: If you are not part of our community, then you have no business commenting on our tradition's teachings, practices, history, or present successes. I think this is just myopic, closed-minded, hubris-filled, head-in-the-sand arrogance, because it gives the one who takes this position a justification (a flimsy one) to stop learning and be willfully ignorant on one side, with the correlative attachment to one's own view reinforced on the other.

History is not kind to communities who are unwilling to listen to well-informed criticisms from outsiders. I'm not talking about baseless gossip here (that can be safely ignored), but analyses grounded in fact or simply alternative perspectives to the ones one is presently informed by.

When you turn away from this sort of pluralism and commit yourself only to those voices that are identified with your community, you've effectively joined the circle of a charismatic leader. Which is a polite way of saying that you're behaving as a cultist. That's no way to get to the truth. It's a way to be controlled, ultimately. The horizon of your learning shrinks, and you are left defending a smaller and smaller piece of turf against the infidels outside.

I advise against this kind of snobbishness. Life is sunnier and more pleasant and more interesting when you are willing to expose yourself to the unfamiliar. Isn't that meditation too?


Totally agree.

There is nothing to lose at all with this approach, except: misunderstanding, ignorance, pride, conceit, narrowness.

And the gains are infinite.

But then again, I am a dogmatic, contradictory pluralist who likes a good argument.

:anjali:
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby muni » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:21 am

Shii wrote:
One must take care with criticism.


.


Yes, Shii.

When I only could critize own body-speech-mind! Critizing 'others through veils of own obscurations' keeps suffering going on.

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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby Kim O'Hara » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:58 pm

I had to laugh when I came across this over on RealClimate http://www.realclimate.org/:
... an attitude reminiscent of the approach denialists take with climate models–they are careful to preserve their ignorance, because it is the only way to avoid contradictions.

It is not very often a discussion over there comes up with such a neat parallel to one over here.

:coffee:
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby zAnt » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:39 pm

Jikan wrote:I advise against this kind of snobbishness. Life is sunnier and more pleasant and more interesting when you are willing to expose yourself to the unfamiliar. Isn't that meditation too?

Your OP came off snobby. And when other non-buddhist come in and comment on such discussions, they provide something unfamiliar to you.

Jikan wrote: horizon of your learning shrinks, and you are left defending a smaller and smaller piece of turf against the infidels outside.


So you are telling people that they should be closed minded and only follow what you deem to be correct? Please.

Jikan wrote:http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... ad#p153833

I've seen, here and elsewhere and not only by one participant or group, this position taken: If you are not part of our community, then you have no business commenting on our tradition's teachings, practices, history, or present successes. I think this is just myopic, closed-minded, hubris-filled, head-in-the-sand arrogance, because it gives the one who takes this position a justification (a flimsy one) to stop learning and be willfully ignorant on one side, with the correlative attachment to one's own view reinforced on the other.


If anything is closed minded, it is you and your posts. You are an elitist, as of there is only one way to follow Buddhism, and that is your way. You act as if you know how everyone should act, and that all outside influence is somehow arrogant and ignorant. If you fear that outsiders can sway someone's opinion on Buddhism, then maybe Buddhism is not for them. You sound like the Pastors at a Christian church, where blind faith is your only friction point.




Or maybe I am wrong, and took your post the wrong way. That I am unsure of, correct me if I had misinterpreted something.
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby shel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:55 pm

Curious that advocating tolerance for dissonant views would be construed as elitist.
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby Simon E. » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:03 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:Frankly, it seems like most people on Buddhist boards use words like "compassion" as sticks to beat other people with.
:smile:

My own alarm bells ring when anyone on a Buddhist forum calls another poster " friend "..its not an infallible rule, but frequently it means a rock has just been inserted into the velvet glove.
" Dear friend " ....means two rocks...
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby zAnt » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:18 pm

shel wrote:Curious that advocating tolerance for dissonant views would be construed as elitist.

Please reword this, because grammatically, this makes no sense.
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby shel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:21 pm

zAnt wrote:
shel wrote:Curious that advocating tolerance for dissonant views would be construed as elitist.

Please reword this, because grammatically, this makes no sense.


Jikan good.
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby conebeckham » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:22 pm

zAnt-

Seriously? Just add an "It is..." in front of the post...here, let me help you out:

"It is curious that advocating tolerance for dissonant views would be construed as elitist."
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby zAnt » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:07 pm

He should've included the "it's" because he had a wrong subject verb agreement. Or if there was a comma after the "curious" as it is subordinating. And from what he wrote, he advocated intolerance, not tolerance. If he was trying to promote tolerance, he would have not bashed on outsiders. That, in its self, is intolerant. Regardless, he acts as if the only good way is his way. Making him an elitist.

Besidess, both of your passive aggressive statements show everything but tolerance and how highly you view this figure.
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby shel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:36 pm

Technically, I was being overtly aggressive. But perhaps we can all laugh about it now. :cheers:
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby zAnt » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:43 pm

Not something to be proud of ;)
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby conebeckham » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:45 pm

Wow.

zAnt, Jikan's post is about how critique/criticism is received. His position, as I understand it, is that closed groups benefit from critique by those outside the group. He also feels that the refusal to hear or consider such criticism can be "snobbish," or "myopic," etc. He's advocating for a more open, "objective" ground. He notes that there is a tendency for "closed groups" to insulate themselves from outside criticism. Can you show me, specifically, where he has "bashed on outsiders?" If anything, he's pointing out the "blind spots" of insiders.

Of course, this is a Buddhist forum, so in a sense, all of us can have the tendency to be "closed"--and that, in itself, is a valuable thing to realize. Non-Buddhists can, and should, be able to express themselves and enter into discussion here, and to offer critique, etc. I am genuinely interested in why you perceive the content of Jikan's posts as "elitist," and frankly can't for the life of me figure out how you've come to these conclusions.

I also want to point out that criticism of content is completely appropriate, but comments about members themselves are Ad Hom, and, more importantly, serve no constructive purpose. You're free to believe I'm passive-aggressive, of course, or that Jikan is "an elitist," but saying so is not bringing anything constructive to the discussion. In fact, I think it borders on breaking the ToS of the group. In any case, my concern is to get the the crux of your issues, and understand how you could have interpreted Jikan's words in such a manner.
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby zAnt » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:52 pm

Didn't mean to offend you, was pointing crap out. And he is saying how outsiders have no rights on commenting on insiders discussion. He says it right in his OP. I can't see how you have taken his OP as something to protecting outsiders. I've came here quite a bit, and every time I am here, I feel unwelcomed. It seems as of you guys have pushed Buddhism into the form of a cult.
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby conebeckham » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:57 pm

I'm going to let Jikan speak about this, zAnt, but my reading of what he's saying is exactly the opposite. He's encouraging people in "closed groups" to be open to, receptive to, voices from outside the group. I am sure of this.

I'm not offended, man (or woman! :smile: I dunno!) --no worries. I've been called worse things! :cheers:
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby dearreader » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:01 pm

zAnt wrote:Didn't mean to offend you, was pointing crap out. And he is saying how outsiders have no rights on commenting on insiders discussion. He says it right in his OP. I can't see how you have taken his OP as something to protecting outsiders. I've came here quite a bit, and every time I am here, I feel unwelcomed. It seems as of you guys have pushed Buddhism into the form of a cult.


You need to re-read the original post. I'm also glad to see grammar is no longer a sticking point.
"Inscribed with the brush of Mt. Sumeru and the ink of the seas,
Heaven-and-earth itself is the sutra book.
All phenomena are encompassed in even a single point therein,
And the six sense objects are all included within its covers."
-Kukai, translated in Kukai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi and Dreitlein
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby shel » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:04 pm

zAnt wrote:And he is saying how outsiders have no rights on commenting on insiders discussion.


If this is true you should be able to easily provide a quote to the effect, if you please.
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Re: Who gets to comment on what? Why should I listen?

Postby uan » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:08 pm

zAnt wrote:Didn't mean to offend you, was pointing crap out. And he is saying how outsiders have no rights on commenting on insiders discussion. He says it right in his OP. I can't see how you have taken his OP as something to protecting outsiders. I've came here quite a bit, and every time I am here, I feel unwelcomed. It seems as of you guys have pushed Buddhism into the form of a cult.


Not to speak for Jikan, but my understanding of his initial post was that he would be considered the outsider offering his thoughts, opinions, etc. to a group and that the group (I think he had one specifically in mind, but it is also a valid point for any group) will reject whatever he has to say, not based on merit, but for the sole reason that he is an outsider. This would be true if it were me, you, or anyone offering a different point of view than the "inside" group.

As Shel says, Jikan is trying to make a case for tolerance by the group the is being exposed to a different viewpoint, especially on a sensitive topic.

But something is only considered large in relation to something that is smaller. From that perspective, the outsider offering an opinion to a group is also the "insider" for when communication comes back from the group (or people from that group) or from anyone else for that matter. From that perspective, making a broad categorization that a group is being closed minded, etc. for not accepting criticism or opinions from an external source can appear also to be as closed-minded.

Essentially, if I say to someone "from my perspective you are incorrect or wrong or not considering such and such relevant information" and they reply to me "you are wrong", who is being "closed-minded"? Is it them, the other, for not seeing from my point of view? Or is it me for not seeing from their point of view? Perhaps neither of us are. Or perhaps both of us are.

That's the beauty of Buddhism. It gives us a frame work to appreciate that no matter how right we think we are, being full of conditioned thoughts, we are most likely wrong. I like something that Dzongsar Rinpoche said in a talk he was giving. He pointed to a flower on a table in front of him and he commented to the audience something to the effect (read: not an exact transcript!) "we do not see the same flower. It's not just because you are seeing it from a different perspective and distance than I, but that each of us comes to this moment with different experiences. Those experiences shape what we see and how we see it."

So it never really is about right or wrong, it's about understanding, and that comes to each in their own time.
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