You call for control of who claims what title
What are you talking about? I never said any such thing.
but then you reject the idea of transparency and rigorous examination.
I never said any such thing of that either.
I would appreciate it if you wouldn't put words in my mouth Astus.
I'm being very specific in what I'm saying.
I don't mean anything more or less than exactly what I said. And that only.
It is true that regarding Dharma-transmission it was always a single person deciding on who to give it to. On the other hand, accepting such a transmission had bonding effects and the receiver then on was recruited into and joined to the giver's family line.
Yes, that's true.
Although not recruited
a disciple is a volunteer who sought the teacher out themselves.
And since it was more about collecting the best men under your banner
That's not what it's about at all Astus. The point is to teach the Dharma to others, not to collect disciples. How can you know how "awesome" or not a disciple will be when you start teaching them? That's not the point. The point is to help them as a person, as another human being to do their own training.
the question was not whether you find someone to give it to you
Historically speaking, that's not the case, many people had to look around to find someone who could teach them at all.
This is also the case when Zen first came to the west, there were far fewer teachers then.
but whose offer you accept.
You make it sound like there are twenty people lined up in a row, and a potential disciple walks along examining each of them, and then decides, "you, I'll take you" and then picks one of them. That's not the way it has worked historically at all, for one thing, the Master has a say in whether or not they will accept them, it's not just a "buyers market" with the disciple being a "consumer". For another thing, historically, there's been a lot less selection, and if you did hear of a great Zen Master, you might have to travel a ways to get to them, because they were not necessarily located at your home town.
This is quite different in the West where, as you say, receivers of transmission are free to do as they like and have no obligations toward the giver.
That's not what I said. I said I said Zen as a whole is decentralized, I didn't say receivers of Dharma transmission have no obligation toward being responsible toward the giver.
Teachers here are not held responsible for the actions of their disciples,
Oh, yes they are.
and the actions of the teacher are not reflected on their disciples, making transmission lack social value and responsibility.
The heck with that, that's not true either.
You think Trungpa's disciple who had AIDS, and then slept arround with other people knowing he had it, and then killing someone didn't reflect, on Trungpa?
On the other hand, because a teacher is believed to possess some special mystical knowledge
A teacher in Zen, has had a kensho. And can speak from that perspective. That is actually true.
and only a teacher can confirm a disciples knowledge
Yes, but not just the disciple's own teacher, other teachers can also. There is more peer review here than you may realize.
he possesses immense and absolute religious authority.
See, the above comment, no it's not absolute. The teacher also takes refuge in the Sangha, their disciples, and other Teachers. They are not above criticism. This is not a "guru" thing here, you are supposed to trust your own gut and intuition. That, is what they are teaching you to do.
This spiritual power attracts people who lack understanding of the Dharma and desire someone else to tell them what to do (which is not bad in itself but is a fertile soil to empower charlatans and misguided gurus).
Sometimes that's true. In all Buddhism. But the thing is, desiring power is a form of greed. And people who have greed problems are still welcome to train in Buddhism. That's why Buddhism is there, to help people with greed, anger and delusion.
When instead of rational enquiry and analysis only transcendental and otherworldly realisation is emphasised,
This is not entirely true. Letting go of the ordinary mind is necessarily for realization, but that doesn't mean that you should ignore something when somebody is breaking the Precepts.
It's not "crazy wisdom" Trungpa style here, it's "skillful means" within the rubric of keeping the Precepts.
there is no tool left in the hands of the disciples to measure the worth of a teacher. Again, this generates the opportunity for abuse.
This is why the Precepts are absolutely necessary. As well as taking refuge in all three Treasures of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.
If I understand correctly, your intention with this thread was to point out that a Zen teacher is not superhuman and therefore subject to common passions and errors,
Yes, that is true.
and you want to point this out to confront the ideas that generate guru-worship.
Yes, because Zen is not about guru-worship.
The point of the teacher is to help you find the Eternal for yourself
, not to rely on the teacher for your spiritual training.
I think this is not the best approach to solve the problem. The problem lies in how people think about Zen itself and the relevance of Dharma-transmission. This difference in opinion is what created the ongoing debate here.
Well, I disagree, that providing more information about a subject, that is often misunderstood is not helpful.
And, I have to say, I have yet to see explained why Dharma Transmission is problematic.
I don't quite make the connection as to how certifying someone to teach and adding them to their ancestral line creates a problem.
"Life is full of suffering. AND Life is full of the Eternal
IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
We can turn around.
It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil Singer
" ...out of fear, even the good harm one another. " -Rev. Dazui MacPhillamy