What's the point of abusive gurus?

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Aryjna
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Aryjna » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:48 pm

yagmort wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:44 pm
i think tibetans used to have a healthy view on guru disciple relationship because they generally have much more sound psyche.
I am generally not convinced that there is an essential difference between western and tibetan practitioners at all, though it is common to think that there are significant differences between them. Just because someone is tibetan does not mean that their family life or childhood was a paradise. Monks raping each other in monasteries is an instance where this is obvious.

Motova
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Motova » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:53 pm

yagmort wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:44 pm
Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:48 pm
Aren't there people who go from one abusive partner to another (on some level desiring to be a victim or seeing such abuse as normal)? Perhaps these people desire abusive lamas as well?
personally i am pretty sure of that. many westerners who attracted to tibetan buddhism have deep unresolved psychological problems, childhood traumas due to lack of love, support, acceptance in the family, emotionally absent/abusive/anxious/controlling/manipulative parents. these patterns normally become rather obvious in dysfunctional love relationships where people constantly choose partners who are abusive, unstable, cheeting, lying, have problems with addcitions/gambling and so forth. not being able to recognize roots of their psychological problems such neurotic people are drawn to vajrayana (among other things) because subconciously they want themsleves to be healed. but as they meet either abusive or cold/dismissive teacher those neurotical patterns of unresolved relationships with a parent 'click' again.. this is my very humble opinion that explains why there are so many troubled western students of vajrayana. and those stories of Marpa/Milarepa or Tilopa/Naropa is a good justification for them, because they still think "if i'll be good enough i'll win over the love of my lama". i think tibetans used to have a healthy view on guru disciple relationship because they generally have much more sound psyche.
I really recommend: https://www.amazon.ca/General-Theory-Lo ... ry+of+love

It explains the neuroscience of all this is layman's language.

The conclusion of it is that these abused people who perceive abuse as love and normal need to be regulated by healthy nervous systems. They need to see healthy people react to unhealthy behaviour, situations, and circumstances in healthy ways.
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

Motova
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Motova » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:59 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:48 pm
yagmort wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:44 pm
i think tibetans used to have a healthy view on guru disciple relationship because they generally have much more sound psyche.
I am generally not convinced that there is an essential difference between western and tibetan practitioners at all, though it is common to think that there are significant differences between them. Just because someone is tibetan does not mean that their family life or childhood was a paradise. Monks raping each other in monasteries is an instance where this is obvious.
I remember reading that Tibetans typically don't have a unhealthy sense of low self-esteem that seems to characterize the west. Also I think Malcolm said on VC that Western people are afflicted with rlung disorders more than Tibetans.
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

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heart
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by heart » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:01 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:58 pm
heart wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:42 pm
I am a little surprised at this discussion and several others recently. Vajrayana (including Dzogchen) is not really about finding a nice teacher that can teach you nice things, right? It is about recognising the natural state, decide on that and gain full realisation in the natural self liberation and that will leave nothing of our current like and dislikes, hopes and fears and so on. It will utterly destroy the unrealised people that we are.
The notion that there is a person to destroy is pernicious and false. This is annihilationism.
Malcolm, I am not saying there is a "person to destroy" I am saying that the natural state is not our ordinary state of confusion. The distinction between mind and rigpa.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Malcolm
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:02 pm

heart wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:01 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:58 pm
heart wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:42 pm
I am a little surprised at this discussion and several others recently. Vajrayana (including Dzogchen) is not really about finding a nice teacher that can teach you nice things, right? It is about recognising the natural state, decide on that and gain full realisation in the natural self liberation and that will leave nothing of our current like and dislikes, hopes and fears and so on. It will utterly destroy the unrealised people that we are.
The notion that there is a person to destroy is pernicious and false. This is annihilationism.
Malcolm, I am not saying there is a "person to destroy" I am saying that the natural state is not our ordinary state of confusion. The distinction between mind and rigpa.

/magnus
Do you think you have to destroy the mind to be in a state of knowledge of one's natural state? I hope not.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Malcolm
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:04 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:56 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:32 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:21 pm


Apparently, you like the heat. Vajrakilaya tantras have some pointed things to say about this.
My point is that if you do not like the conversation, you are not required to participate.

The Tibetan tradition is not perfect, it has problems, mostly having to do with abuse of power, money, sexism, and position, and exploiting the teachings to support worldly positions of power, to gain money, exploit women, and to preserve position. The ancient mahasiddhas had no interests in preserving power structures of Indian kings, Buddhist and otherwise, nor the worldly power of the monastic institutions, nor with maintaining patriarchal power over women. Instead, they abandoned all of this. It is for this reason I find it ironic that antinomian stories are being used to uphold the very institutions for which these ancient mahasiddhas had no use. Don't you find this odd?
Yes. It is odd. Vajrayana is odd.
There is a lot of fake Vajrayāna out there and lot of gurus using Vajrayāna to fatten their wallets.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Harimoo
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Harimoo » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:09 pm

I am a litlle scared by the word "abusive".

From the western liberal point of view many things are considered as abusive.

Crazywisdom
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Crazywisdom » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:04 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:56 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:32 pm


My point is that if you do not like the conversation, you are not required to participate.

The Tibetan tradition is not perfect, it has problems, mostly having to do with abuse of power, money, sexism, and position, and exploiting the teachings to support worldly positions of power, to gain money, exploit women, and to preserve position. The ancient mahasiddhas had no interests in preserving power structures of Indian kings, Buddhist and otherwise, nor the worldly power of the monastic institutions, nor with maintaining patriarchal power over women. Instead, they abandoned all of this. It is for this reason I find it ironic that antinomian stories are being used to uphold the very institutions for which these ancient mahasiddhas had no use. Don't you find this odd?
Yes. It is odd. Vajrayana is odd.
There is a lot of fake Vajrayāna out there and lot of gurus using Vajrayāna to fatten their wallets.
Must be nice. May the fat wallet lamas be the real deal.
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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Malcolm
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:11 pm

Crazywisdom wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:10 pm
May the fat wallet lamas be the real deal.
Sadly, this is generally not the case.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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heart
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by heart » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:15 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:58 pm
heart wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:42 pm
I am pretty sure none of you think that Naropa let Tilopa abuse him to the point of death without Naropa getting some realisation, some awakening in the process. That would be very stupid on his part and I think we all know that Naropa wasn't stupid.
1) Naropa was already an advanced Vajrayāna practitioner when he sought out Tilopa.

2) Naropa did not realize buddhahood, because in the end, he disobeyed Tilopa over the issue of debating Hindus.

3) Tilopa did not actually personally abuse Naropa. He put Naropa in situations where Naropa acted out his egotism and got into trouble as a result.

4) These stories are comparatively rare. In fact, in the entire history of the Sakya tradition, filled with masters who attained the highest realizations, none of these stories exist. I cannot think of any similar stories in the Gelug, Jonang, or Nyingma traditions either. For some reason, however, the Kagyu tradition's take on guru devotion, using Tilopa/Naropa, Marpa/Mila narratives, is frankly unhealthy and leads students the wrong way. I also cannot think of any stories like this in the Kagyu tradition following Milarepa, in fact. So why do Tibetans and westerners constantly invoke the Tilopa/Naropa refrain? It makes no sense and merely promotes a sense that if you guru does not beat you, you are not making progress. Beyond this, there is the fact that Milarepa story is a complete fiction, as the research of Peter Alan Roberts clearly shows based on the earliest bios of Milarepa.

For example, let us take the case of Virupa. Virupa was a monk, Shri Dharmapāla, abbot of Nalanda, who practiced Vajrayogini for twenty years. He thought he was not getting anywhere. So one night he decided to quit and tossed his māla in the toilet. He had a dream of Nairatma, and she told him that he had erred, and that he needed to retrieve his māla from the latrine and wash it. You see, he had received empowerments of Cakrasamvara, but his master had died before Dharmapāla could receive intimate instructions related to experiences on the path. So he misinterpreted his experiences of heat on the path of application, and further, he was practicing the wrong yidam. So the next day, he encountered nirmanakāya Nairatma and her band of yoginīs, received the Hevajra empowerment and instructions, and achieved one bodhisattva bhumi after another for six consecutive nights, realizing the sixth bhumi. Now, Virupa was definitely a crazy yogi, everywhere he went he challenged people's expectations, but he did it with kindness, not anger— though when he reversed the Ganges, he might have flooded a hut or two, and when he stopped the sun in the sky, he might have damaged some crops. In his dealings with Dombhi Heruka and Kanha, it is recorded he showed them nothing but kindness. It is well known that among the 84 mahāsiddhas, when it came to manifesting magical powers, Virupa was the greatest. Finally, people became a little too freaked out by Virupa's displays of power, so Avalokiteshvara intervened and asked Virupa to stop. Of course Virupa assented, having converted thousands of Hindus to Buddhadharma and the practice of Avalokiteshvara in particular, and when he passed, it is recorded that he dissolved his physical body into a statue of Avalokiteshvara in South India. The point of all of this is that there is more than one model of guru/disciple relationships.

Another of the root downfalls is causing people to lose faith in the Dharma. You are going to have to explain to me exactly how it is that promulgation of these few narratives does Vajrayāna more good than harm, considering they are exceptions and not the rule.

And further, those of us who extol such stories as that of Tilo and Naro, think carefully, could you handle Tilopa as your guru? And if you answer honestly, you will admit there is no way you can handle this. And if you can't handle this, for what reason do you hold this up as an ideal model of a guru and student relationship?
I think we have to accept that these stories are a part of our Vajrayana heritage, all lineages included, and that they do have point. Is it good, is it bad, it is very difficult to say. Somehow these stories don't make people loose faith in the Dharma because in that case neither you nor me would still be feeling that Dharma is the most important thing in our life as we in fact do, both of us, after all these years. My example was just meant to show the strange lack of the most important point in Vajrayana, the direct introduction, seems to be missing in these discussion and I find that very odd. Because that is really the only reason to accept unusual behaviour from a master. If it isn't about recognising the natural state, then what is it about?

/magnus
Last edited by heart on Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

Crazywisdom
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Crazywisdom » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:15 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:11 pm
Crazywisdom wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:10 pm
May the fat wallet lamas be the real deal.
Sadly, this is generally not the case.

Caveat emptor. It should be like web sites. One day no one clicks on it because everyone is on something else, that other site forgotten never mentioned again.
I got my Chili Chilaya.

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heart
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by heart » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:02 pm
heart wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:01 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:58 pm


The notion that there is a person to destroy is pernicious and false. This is annihilationism.
Malcolm, I am not saying there is a "person to destroy" I am saying that the natural state is not our ordinary state of confusion. The distinction between mind and rigpa.

/magnus
Do you think you have to destroy the mind to be in a state of knowledge of one's natural state? I hope not.
Of course not, there is really nothing to destroy.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)

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Aryjna
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Aryjna » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:27 pm

Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:59 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:48 pm
yagmort wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:44 pm
i think tibetans used to have a healthy view on guru disciple relationship because they generally have much more sound psyche.
I am generally not convinced that there is an essential difference between western and tibetan practitioners at all, though it is common to think that there are significant differences between them. Just because someone is tibetan does not mean that their family life or childhood was a paradise. Monks raping each other in monasteries is an instance where this is obvious.
I remember reading that Tibetans typically don't have a unhealthy sense of low self-esteem that seems to characterize the west. Also I think Malcolm said on VC that Western people are afflicted with rlung disorders more than Tibetans.
Even if that has been the case in the past, it will probably not be for very much longer.

Maybe there are more people with low self-esteem at the moment in the west, but there is barely ever any mention of specific research on what life was like in Tibet for the average person, for women, children, young monks. I have a feeling their life was far from a romantic Himalayan utopia as often seems to be the impression. Other than that, they also still have the same afflictions as humans anywhere else on the Earth.

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Malcolm
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Malcolm » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:30 pm

heart wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:15 pm

I think we have to accept that these stories are a part of our Vajrayana heritage, all lineages included, and that they do have point.
The point is generally lost on people who might come to Vajrayāna teachings, but lose faith in the Vajrayāna before they have even begun. Vajrayāna, after all, is part of Mahāyāna, not an elite club for boys.

Is it good, is it bad, it is very difficult to say. Somehow these stories don't make people loose faith in the Dharma because in that case neither you nor me would still be feeling that Dharma is the most important thing in our life as we in fact do, both of us, after all these years.
I do not think the Dharma is important because there are a few stories of outrageous behavior by Indian or Tibetan masters. I personally think western students focus on these examples too much because they are titillating and exotic.

My example was just meant to show the strange lack of the most important point in Vajrayana, the direct introduction, seems to be missing in these discussion and I find that very odd. Because that is really the only reason to accept unusual behaviour from a master. If it isn't about recognising the natural state, then what is it about?
My point is that these stories are exceeding rare, and perhaps not the best examples for beginning students of Tibetan Buddhism. I think this is caused by the anachronistic nostalgia some people have for the good old days of Trungpa. But I think people are beginning to find out that is was not all good.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

Motova
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Motova » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:36 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:27 pm


Even if that has been the case in the past, it will probably not be for very much longer.

The low self esteem is probably rooted in the Abrahamic traditions, so I disagree.

If I remember correctly the rlung disorders are do to our electrical infrastructure.
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

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Aryjna
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Aryjna » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:43 pm

Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:36 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:27 pm


Even if that has been the case in the past, it will probably not be for very much longer.

The low self esteem is probably rooted in the Abrahamic traditions, so I disagree.

If I remember correctly the rlung disorders are do to our electrical infrastructure.
This is far from certain. Most people nowadays have never set foot in a church, and still low self-esteem is quite common. But all this is just speculation without specific evidence.

Edit: and to add some anecdotal evidence, modern Indians seem to be in the exact same emotional swamp, especially in matters of sex, relationships, etc., as modern Europeans, in my experience.

Motova
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Motova » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:53 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:43 pm
Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:36 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:27 pm


Even if that has been the case in the past, it will probably not be for very much longer.

The low self esteem is probably rooted in the Abrahamic traditions, so I disagree.

If I remember correctly the rlung disorders are do to our electrical infrastructure.
This is far from certain. Most people nowadays have never set foot in a church, and still low self-esteem is quite common. But all this is just speculation without specific evidence.

Edit: and to add some anecdotal evidence, modern Indians seem to be in the exact same emotional swamp, especially in matters of sex, relationships, etc., as modern Europeans, in my experience.
The West seems to see humanity and our physical bodies as dirty and sinful.

Dharma sees our human bodies as wish fulfilling jewels.

That is the difference.
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

Motova
Posts: 1233
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Motova » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:56 pm

Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:53 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:43 pm
Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:36 pm


The low self esteem is probably rooted in the Abrahamic traditions, so I disagree.

If I remember correctly the rlung disorders are do to our electrical infrastructure.
This is far from certain. Most people nowadays have never set foot in a church, and still low self-esteem is quite common. But all this is just speculation without specific evidence.

Edit: and to add some anecdotal evidence, modern Indians seem to be in the exact same emotional swamp, especially in matters of sex, relationships, etc., as modern Europeans, in my experience.
The West seems to see humanity and our physical bodies as dirty and sinful.

Dharma sees our human bodies as wish fulfilling jewels.

That is the difference.
In the west, you are either a dirty sinner or a dirty monkey.

In Dharma we are descendants of gods and have potential to surpass gods infinitely.
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

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Aryjna
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Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Aryjna » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:01 pm

Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:56 pm
Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:53 pm
Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:43 pm


This is far from certain. Most people nowadays have never set foot in a church, and still low self-esteem is quite common. But all this is just speculation without specific evidence.

Edit: and to add some anecdotal evidence, modern Indians seem to be in the exact same emotional swamp, especially in matters of sex, relationships, etc., as modern Europeans, in my experience.
The West seems to see humanity and our physical bodies as dirty and sinful.

Dharma sees our human bodies as wish fulfilling jewels.

That is the difference.
In the west, you are either a dirty sinner or a dirty monkey.

In Dharma we are descendants of gods and have potential to surpass gods infinitely.
I find it difficult to believe that countries like China and Thailand are free of low self-esteem and that people who live there have a healthier mentality than people in the west. They are also Buddhist countries. In the case of Tibet a different image pops up in someone's head but that is mostly based on the past, and still it is significantly romanticized. In any case, it would be interesting if there was some research on the subject.

Motova
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:05 pm

Re: What's the point of abusive gurus?

Post by Motova » Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:04 pm

Aryjna wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:01 pm
Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:56 pm
Motova wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:53 pm


The West seems to see humanity and our physical bodies as dirty and sinful.

Dharma sees our human bodies as wish fulfilling jewels.

That is the difference.
In the west, you are either a dirty sinner or a dirty monkey.

In Dharma we are descendants of gods and have potential to surpass gods infinitely.
I find it difficult to believe that countries like China and Thailand are free of low self-esteem and that people who live there have a healthier mentality than people in the west. They are also Buddhist countries. In the case of Tibet a different image pops up in someone's head but that is mostly based on the past, and still it is significantly romanticized. In any case, it would be interesting if there was some research on the subject.
:shrug:
To become a rain man one must master the ten virtues and sciences.

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