tobes wrote:I found E-Sangha to be a massive wake up call for me. It was in many ways, extraordinary - a lot of great talent, wise minds, good intentions, interesting threads. When, in all of Buddhist history, have so many diverse traditions been in such constant dialogue? Amazing.
It was amazing. Unfortunately in the end people's egos won the upper hand. But few people outside the team know what really happened and how the splits came to be. It's not a linear matter. However, E-Sangha ended how it did due to reasons alien to that.
But it was a wake up call in the sense of getting such an acute feel for how much sheer madness there is, among dharma practitioners, east, west, north and south! How much dogma, how much ideology, how much conceit, vanity, confusion....
Before E-Sangha, I was under the incredible delusion that Buddhists were mainly a soft bunch of good hearted, open minded treasures. I no longer suffer that error of judgement! In a way, it forced me into a confrontation with sociology - we cannot really pretend that dharma operates in a sociological vacuum.
You had to be a tad naive then, Tobes. Welcome to the wonderful world of Buddhism (or of humans if you prefer to generalize). What were you expecting, really? We're dealing with religion. Few things stir people that much, especially when reason can't decide things one way or the other. Chagdud Rinpoche used to say that the sanghas are like bags of cereal, grain against grain until the husk fell off. Dogma, conceit, ideology, vanity... all human traits. Buddhists are, after all, humans. Buddhists are not Buddhas. Compared to so many forums, E-Sangha was a peaceful place. Maybe we all had too high expectations to what was possible, no? I still think that if it wasn't for the hack, E-sangha would still be alive and kicking.
Given the experiment of having such diversity side by side, the only way that would have worked was radical pluralism.
It could have worked as it has for some time. The reasons that lead to separation are more deep than simple ideological divergences. If you ask me and want an honest answer, it was more a matter of egos than doctrine. Anyway, it's past.
That was not the way it ran. I think Dharma Wheel has a better ethos - mods are there to stop destructive or pernicious speech, not to impose a particular hegemonic view or to prescribe what is and what is not orthodoxy.
The intent was not imposing a particular view, because many coexisted in E-Sangha. That doesn't make justice to what we have done there at all. It's unfair and inaccurate. Due to the sheer number of members, E-Sangha had to keep itself closer to the mainstream. There were risks we wouldn't take in a board that big for the sake of newcomers. Here I just hope you don't end up with a forum filled with new age garbage passing as Dharma, as most were back then with the notorious exception of E-Sangha were you could actually learn something credible about Dharma. If the mods do their job as they know how - and they do - that won't be a problem.
It was cool seeing you, Tobes. I only participated in this thread because some things that were flatly untrue were being voiced.
You know where to find me if you wish.
All the best.