More Thoughts on the Boston Bombings

godzilla1954a1Sometimes I get a little experimental with this blog. In my last entry I tried something that had once been very helpful for me, but in a new context.

When I first started practicing Buddhism the big, scary bugaboo in the world was not terrorism but the Cold War. Throughout the Reagan Years the world sat perched on the verge of total nuclear annihilation. It would’ve all been over for humanity in mere seconds if the doddering right-winger who believed that Jesus was on his way back any minute had decided to push the button that sent a strike against the Soviet Union. And I who was raised on a steady diet of Godzilla films, which were allegories of nuclear destruction, and Black Sabbath songs like War Pigs, was scared shitless.

But when I got into Zen I started thinking that being scared shitless was not the Zen Way. The Zen Way was to be cool and calm in the face of everything including the looming fear of being wiped out by hydrogen bombs, I thought. One time I was talking to my first Zen teacher, Tim, and I said something like, “I used to be worried about nuclear war, but I’m not anymore.” I said it because I thought that was the thing I was supposed to say and because I had convinced myself that’s how I felt.

Tim’s reply really surprised me. So much so that I still remember the conversation although I’m sure Tim has long since forgotten. He said, “Really? Because I’m pretty worried about it!”

It was so freeing to hear him say that. Ultimately, I mean. At first it was just confusing. But then I realized that I wasn’t really unafraid. I had just forced my fear into a dark corner where I couldn’t see it anymore. Understanding that it was OK to be afraid, or to be angry, or to be sad, or to feel any of those “negative” emotions that I thought were forbidden was like having an enormous weight lifted off me.

So when I heard the news of the bombs in Boston and felt that surge of anger against the perpetrator, I wondered, “Should I express this?” And I thought about that conversation with Tim. So I decided to go for it and see what happened. I wrote, “I, for one, hope they find the piece of shit who did this and rip him to shreds. He deserves it.”

I think most people understood the sentiment as it was intended. But predictably several did not. I got sent a number of hastily written but deeply impassioned essays about how I was not expressing the proper Buddhist sentiments. One guy kept trying to draw me into a debate on the subject in the comments section of Facebook. But you cannot have any kind of reasonable dialogue in the comments section of Facebook, so I declined. This just got him posting more and more increasingly longer comments. He declared that he was a pacifist and that he had the moral high ground. So I told him he could have the moral high ground and wished him a happy life there.

I’m not laughing at him, though. Because I know exactly how that feels. It’s a painful situation. The moral high ground is a lonely place. It seems like there’s only ever room for one up there. I used to try to stay there. But it was too sad. So I came back down.

I don’t feel that my declaration of my feelings is going to inspire any angry mobs in Boston to rip anyone to shreds. That’s not what’s going to happen here. There will be a few weeks of investigation after which the perpetrator will be found and brought to justice. It will be a media circus and soon all of us will know his name. I’ll even indulge in a bit of speculation. I believe the perpetrator will be a white male, around 30 years old with a bizarrely twisted political manifesto. He will not belong to Al Qaeda, the Taliban or the North Korean military. He won’t really be right-wing or left-wing. His ideas will be all over the map. He’ll get on the cover of all the papers and news magazines. There will be a long and spectacular trial after which he will be convicted. Since there is no death penalty in Massachusetts, he will spend the rest of his life in prison. After the furor dies down he’ll be largely forgotten by the public.

What I feel about him won’t change his fate in any way. I’d hoped, though, that maybe my expression of those feelings might prove useful to those who struggle with and feel guilty about their “bad” feelings when they’re trying to be good Buddhists. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it won’t help at all. But you gotta try.

I really like what my former fellow Suicide Girls columnist Patton Oswalt had to say, though. So I’ll quote it here,

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me).

This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak.

This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

I agree with him. It’s something we all ought to remember.

As for my comments about Buddhism and its relationship to the military, I will refer you to an essay called Spaces in the Sky by Stephen Batchelor. He said it a lot better than I’ll ever be able to. The link will take you to the full essay. But here’s my favorite bit:

That “hatred will not cease by hatred but by love alone” is true because the statement is a tautology. If an old lady were being driven to distraction by noisy neighbors, how would she benefit from being solemnly told: “Noise will not cease by noise but by silence alone”? The Dhammapada verse, like this hypothetical advice to the woman, is true at such a level of generality that it offers little help in dealing with specific situations. It merely states the conditions under which a long-term solution to hatred would be possible. It may reinforce one’s faith that human beings can relinquish hatred and inspire one to seek to love others unconditionally, but it doesn’t answer the question of how to respond to an act of violence that threatens one’s way of life here and now.

The challenge for Buddhists is not to let a commitment to the principle of nonviolence blunt one’s critical acumen or deflect one’s gaze from looking steadily into the nature and origins of violence. It is far too simplistic to think of violence as originating solely in the psychology of hatred and anger. Violence is intrinsic to the function of the nation-state. Our freedoms and privileges in a liberal democracy are ultimately guaranteed by the willingness of the state to use violence to protect them.

 

When I first read that back in 2001 it angered me the way my comments along the same lines anger a lot of people who read me. But I’ve reflected on it over the years and, much as I would like to deny it (and believe me, I would!), Batchelor is right. I think it’s really crucial that we as Buddhists do not refuse to face reality.

In his new comedy special, Louis C.K. talks about slavery and how horrible it was. But then he holds up his Smart Phone and says� something like, “But without slavery we wouldn’t have these!” This refers to the established fact that the workers in the factories in Asia that make our Smart Phones, our Nike shoes, the computer you’re reading this essay on and so forth are living under conditions often worse than those suffered by the Africans captured to work the plantations of the Old South. Louis C.K. concludes, “We could have candle light and horses and buggies and all be nice to each other, or we could have these!”

Denying the facts doesn’t change them. It’s important to face the fact that your freedom to openly hate the government and the military without fear of reprisal is guaranteed by the government and military and by their willingness to kill those who would try to stop you. I don’t say it’s good that it’s that way. I don’t even say it has to be that way. But I know that it is that way and that’s important.

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138 Responses

  1. anon 108
    anon 108 April 19, 2013 at 5:27 pm | |

    Hi empishet,

    If I may say so – that was a very well-written and reasoned critique of Brad’s post.

    Of course, Brad – like all of us – must call it as he sees it, but you drew my attention to a number of irrelevancies, non-sequiturs and possible fallacies in what he had to say – never a bad thing in a discussion.

    One thought – while “to try to comprehend the complex, dependent origination of events – even those that don’t directly impinge on our personal peace and quiet” might sound like the right thing to do to, I’m not sure such efforts are useful. I doubt whether our attempts to distinguish the significantly effective threads in the tangled web of causality from those that are less so are ever likely to yield reliable information. Unless we’re directly responsible for public policy and so obliged to seek remedies, our time might be better spent otherwise occupied.

    I suggest the “lesson to be learned” might be: Do what you can where you are, ‘shine your corner of the world,’ and resist the temptation to formulate views – whether based on emotional reactions or political analysis – about events that don’t directly impact you and over which you have no direct control.

    (Please don’t think I’m necessarily convinced by what I’m saying. I’m just trying things out :-)).

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 April 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm | |

      I wrote:

      “I doubt whether our attempts to distinguish the significantly effective threads in the tangled web of causality from those that are less so are ever likely to yield reliable information.”

      That’s clearly not true. As demonstrated repeatedly in scientific experiments, we can and do gain reliable and useful information about the way causality works.

      But there are other situations – social situations, for example – which are much less susceptible to analysis.

  2. Fred
    Fred April 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm | |

    “to try to comprehend the complex, dependent origination of events – even those that don’t directly impinge on our personal peace and quiet”

    Yes, that is the line that stands out, for ” dependent origination “

  3. Fred
    Fred April 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm | |

    “I suggest the “lesson to be learned” might be: Do what you can where you are, ‘shine your corner of the world,’ and resist the temptation to formulate views – whether based on emotional reactions or political analysis – about events that don’t directly impact you and over which you have no direct control.”

    Shine the light inward and forget about the world until you see that you are the
    universe

  4. Mumbles
    Mumbles April 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm | |

    When [the soul] is firmly fixed on the domain where truth and reality shine resplendent it apprehends and knows them and appears to possess reason, but when it inclines to that region which is mingled with darkness, the world of becoming and passing away, it opines only and its edge is blunted, and it shifts its opinions hither and thither, and again seems as if it lacked reason. (The Republic bk. VI, 508d

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 April 20, 2013 at 2:24 am | |

      At school, my favourite history teacher (I couldn’t stand history) saw me sliding a copy of The Republic into my briefcase as he came into class and said, “He’s a fascist, Bennett. Take no notice.” *

      * I’m not liking wordpress smilies at all. I may give them up and take my chances.

      1. anon 108
        anon 108 April 20, 2013 at 4:05 am | |

        That’s “…back into my briefcase”. I ain’t a feef.

        …That’s not entirely true. I have liberated my share of books. Not for a while though.

  5. Leah
    Leah April 19, 2013 at 10:40 pm | |

    I was going to comment on your last post, but I held back mainly because I had too many thoughts and couldn’t organize them in a reasonable amount of time.

    But mainly the thing is that I don’t share the feeling of anger; all this makes me feel really sad. It’s like a huge grief, and I feel so bad for the parents of the accused (as well as the victims of course–it’s awful what people have been through), especially the mother, and what they must be going through (having seen their videos of denial and “this can’t be our son”–totally normal reaction and it sounds really honest). So sad.

    I also feel really sorry or sad for the accused. What the hell kind of life have they had? What existence is it that can allow someone to bomb people and kill/hurt/blow off limbs and whatever the f? I mean, that’s sick. How sick do you have to be to do that? That is so messed up.

    I don’t think/feel this way (feeling sorry for the accused) because of Buddhism or because I think I ought to feel that way. I think it comes from growing up in a lot of violence (domestic) and knowing there are real people acting/reacting under all that. Real people with (to them) real hurts and pain and reacting in the ways that they know or have learned, awful though it is.

    I think that’s where my compassion comes from, and it’s why I don’t have anger so much as sadness and compassion. Not like they shouldn’t be thrown in jail and whatever or that we shouldn’t judge them and treat them accordingly and protect people. Of course they should be and we should etc. And I get the fact that societies are violent, and we need to protect ourselves in ways that work for now even if it means violence. But I still feel compassion for them that they could do what they did.

    I can’t come up with any anger, only sadness. Somehow, they are victims. Of something. Not that I don’t get anger. There are other things that piss me off royally.

    But I strongly believe that our anger only adds to the pot. The bombers were acting in anger (that no doubt springs from hurt and pain like everyone else), and the only way to make the world more peaceful is to learn how to deal with anger in more peaceful ways. You know, be the change. And all that.

    What’s the difference between our anger at them and their anger at whatever they’re angry at, enough to do what they did? I don’t see the difference. There is none. It’s all the same thing, just different degrees.

  6. intokyo
    intokyo April 20, 2013 at 3:13 am | |

    Thanks Brad

  7. Mumbles
    Mumbles April 20, 2013 at 8:33 am | |

    We have no right to express an opinion until we know all of the answers.
    -Kurt Cobain

    April has so far been a strange month. We had no winter, then it came in April.

    At work, the majority of calls and walk-ins have been mental health issues, also, unexpectedly, its been the same with some appointments.

    At home, I finished a couple novels, one of them Don Delillo’s White Noise, an eloquent expression of a paranoid society. I liked the book enough to investigate the rest of his oeuvre, settling on Libra, a book about Lee Harvey Oswald, to be read at another time, perhaps. This led to Youtube and the plethora of Zapruder film tangents. As I was following this thread the Boston marathon tragedy occurred.

    The Kennedy assassination, in one sense a prototype of events such as what has recently transpired in Boston, will likely never be “solved” or even reconciled as “reasonable” in most minds. The fractal-like nature of experience eludes all of the answers.

  8. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 20, 2013 at 8:54 am | |

    Like flipping a coin: over many coin tosses there’s a mathematical probability of the results, which says nothing about the actual result of next coin toss.

    Those following the thread may wonder why ? marks have now appeared, and it’s apparently simultaneous with Brad’s reply to an earlier comment on this thread.

  9. Mumbles
    Mumbles April 20, 2013 at 9:37 am | |

    Hey Mal, I’m coming late to this, but loving it, I see the debut went platinum in the UK:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQMq5dO8Vb4

  10. buddy
    buddy April 20, 2013 at 11:30 am | |

    Maybe Brad’s silence on challenges to his disproportionate outrage comes from sharing his teacher’s belief that the U.S. should be the world’s police force and that, under this benevolent eye the world will achieve enough stability for everyone to practice zazen and then we’ll all be peaceful and happy. If he does subscribe to this delusion, then bombings and whatnot in Afghanistan are just unfortunate but necessary hiccups on the way to this great peaceful kingdom.

    ‘Therefore in such a situation, USA has possibility to change her Army into the Police of the World, and All Countries in the World will have possibility to change their Armies into each Branch Offices of the World Police. In other words I think that we, Human Beings, are able to begun to have the possibility to establish the Government of the Whole World. Of course such a too much optimistic idea might be very difficult for human beings to think so seriously, but I think that our efforts to establish the peaceful plan to make the World situation better, might be much more desirable for us than to destroy our Valuable Civilization into Ashes by our very stupid attitude.’
    http://gudoblog-e.blogspot.ca/2006/02/reality-2-external-world.html for full article and an interesting debate in the comments section.

  11. Fred
    Fred April 20, 2013 at 12:32 pm | |

    Gudo:

    “for Mike Cross San

    But in the second paragraph I do not agree your opinion that “Zazen is the truth of consciously not doing something,” but I insist that “Zazen is the truth of consciously doing something, that is sitting.”

    In the third paragraph your interpretation that “When something arises in the mind, make the conscious decision NOT TO DO anything unconsciously to suppress it, and thereby allow conscious awakening to take place” is different from Master Dogen’s intention. At the time when Master Dogen lived, I think that the Freudian theory of unconsciousness was not known by anyone at that time, and so even though Master Dogen’s ability was so enormously excellent, but I guess that even Master Dogen couldn’t suppose the freudian theory. And so I interpret the meaning of Master Dogen’s words exactly that “if any kind of mental images occur in your mind, make your consciousness clear again, and then your useless images in your mind will vanish at once.”

    It is very strange that you haven’t understood my Buddhist theory at all, even though you have studied Buddhism under me for more than tens of years already. And I wonder whether you have so strong idea not to understand my Buddhist theory for criticizing my Buddhist viewpoints to get the same popularity as mine in future, or not.”

  12. Fred
    Fred April 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm | |

    So, heeding Gudo’s words ” if any kind of mental images occur in your mind, make your consciousness clear again, and then your useless images in your mind will vanish at once.”

    When thoughts about Boston or the U.S. as world policeman occur, just make
    your consciousness clear.

  13. buddy
    buddy April 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm | |

    Sorry, Fred, but Gudo is not someone whose advice I’m very keen on heeding at this point, seeing as how he didn’t seem to practice what he preached in terms of the useless images he clung to.

  14. boubi
    boubi April 20, 2013 at 2:54 pm | |

    “Gudo is not someone whose advice I’m very keen on heeding at this point, seeing as how he didn’t seem to practice what he preached in terms of the useless images he clung to”

    So just shut the fuck up, kiddo!

    Don’t cling to any useless image, don’t heed to anything and go look for some perfect “dear leader” or “he-man” elsewhere!

    You have the rest of the world to put on the right track.

    It seems to be your mission from high above to lead the rest of us, so do it and don’t waste your time on a tiny blog, the rest of the world is waiting for your word and illuminated guidance.

    It’s a lot of work, considering you have also to free the place you occupy for the legitimate owners. Don’t forget! The amerindians.

    By the way what do you think about the “ideology” that inspired those two fuckers?

    Were they lacking something? They had food, shelter, good schools, good opportunities … “ah yeah, i see” … they didn’t like the people, didn’t get friends, they felt they were due something special … KABOOM … jihad … kill everybody!

    Would you be keen on heeding to their “ideology”? Because they were actually envisioning, according to their own “ideology”, a “new world order” centered around that same “ideology” … you know … a “new world leader” Khalif… (fill the blanks in) under a “new world ideology” (it’s a 5 letters word) through a “new world law” Sha.ia (fill the blanks in)

    I see … you have that kind of blind spot for everything that is not “the Great Satan” the one who is always condemned as the cause (ontologic?) of all bad by the likes of Khomeiny, the Soviet worker’s paradise, the “resistance to the capitalist oppression” embodied by various butchers like Kim the 3°, Kadhafi, Saddams, Assad the 2°, the Castro brothers … “yeah i see” … you’ve got an agenda

    You see, boy, everybody at some point their life say some huge bullshit, it’s called being a human being * which seems to be a concept rather foreign to you.

    The difference lays in what people do apart that crap that’s inevitable.

    I don’t know Gudo, didn’t read anything of him, but it seems to me he did some rather impressive things, quite a few too.

    But … what the fuck have you done yourself? “oh i see …”

    Of course apart being the sanctimonious, self-righteous, anal retentive, judgmental, (scared of the girls by chance? and all this being some kind of compensation? hmmh i though so …) who finds pleasure trying to belittle others in order to feel bigger? Ohhh the classroom bully that takes on the smallish big eared big toothed kid? Hmmm

    Me? I’m a complete idiot, the village one … so no need to say anything about me, i already said it all. You can always vent your pent up frustration at me … i’ve already seen kids making a fuss because they don’t get what they want.

    Don’t forget a warm cup o’ milk before to go to bed… and your hand above the blanket unless you do some impure thing.

    LOL LOL

    Are you studying sociology by any chance?

    ————
    * Not the Hollywood/cartoon superman you believe exist and would like to be

    1. boubi
      boubi April 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm | |

      By the way expecting a “something” master to be an authority beyond his own field* of expertise is another sign of the “not yet grown up” syndrome.

      It’s due to the fact that the subject hasn’t yet “become his own father/mother” and seen by him/herself what it means to be a “grown up” … some never reach this stage.

      Sorry for you kid.

      ————
      * Being upset at him for not being on par with the immature self expectations is another sign

  15. boubi
    boubi April 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm | |

    “Therefore Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas should thus produce a pure mind which does not rely on forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tangible objects or dharmas.

    He should produce a mind which does not rely on anything.

    Subhuti, suppose a person had a body like Sumeru, king of mountains.

    What do you think? Would that body be big?”

    Subhuti addressed the Buddha,
    “Very big World Honored One. Why? The Buddha says it is not a body. Therefore it is called a big body.”

    Diamond Sutra

    1. boubi
      boubi April 20, 2013 at 3:40 pm | |

      All the rest is bull, the purest bull.

  16. anon 108
    anon 108 April 20, 2013 at 4:02 pm | |

    Wow, boubi.

    That’s one hellava angry, rude, condescending rant at someone you’ve never met and who’s done nothing to you….in fact wasn’t even speaking to you.

    I don’t geddit. At all.

    ***
    John -

    Jake Bugg is news to me. I’m right out of the loop when it comes to the happenin UK scene these days. Quite liked it, though. I’ll check with the boys in the band – they’ll tell me if it’s cool to like Jake Bugg.

    1. boubi
      boubi April 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm | |

      Yes, it was intended to be so

  17. boubi
    boubi April 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm | |

    Let kiddo talk for himself, it’s his birthright

    meow!

    1. boubi
      boubi April 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm | |

      @ anon 108

      ” You seem to be such an expert on the Middle East- how much time have you spent there? Oh I see. Well then, how many people from there have you spoken to about the effects of American foreign policy on their lives? Hmm yeah I thought so.”

      I think kiddo was condescending here, not even knowing WHAT he was talking about …

      The “Oh I see” … “Hmm yeah I thought so” set the tone for the rest … and you can ear his high pitched voice “I was talking to Brad … ”

      LOL

      Peace bro

      1. boubi
        boubi April 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm | |

        Kiddo got personal, it became personal, has to be karma

  18. boubi
    boubi April 20, 2013 at 4:37 pm | |

    By the way, i’m not a master at anything, last of all Zen, so why should i be better than the next man?

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 April 20, 2013 at 5:22 pm | |

      I get it a little more than I did before. So thanks.

      And no one was speaking to me, either.

  19. buddy
    buddy April 20, 2013 at 9:27 pm | |

    Apologies to Brad: I never saw your response to my first comment, sometimes there’s a weird time lag and I never noticed it when scrolling back. Sorry for my subsequent posts that harangued you for not addressing things. To me it was clear what he was saying and it seemed disingenuous to misrepresent it. But he was getting aggressive, just as I have been on this thread. I somewhat shamefacedly lay down my arms.

    The only effort I’m going to waste addressing Boubi: you claim that all of your highly presumptuous vitriol directed at me is because I made things personal? In your first post directed to me, at which point I was addressing Brad and you weren’t part of the conversation, you called me one of ‘those tight assed self righteous people’. I regrettably sunk to that level of discourse for one comment. Please also accept my apology for doing that.

  20. boubi
    boubi April 21, 2013 at 3:50 am | |

    ‘those tight assed self righteous people’

    And right away you identified with THOSE*? Didn’t you? Go back and read.

    Was it written YOUR name or YOU by chance?

    And you SUNK because you were on such a higher level, right? Yea, i see …
    Of course you condescended, you descended together, check your latin, you don’t know ? What i thought …

    The fact to write something didn’t interrupt your conversation with Brad, being it asynchronous, nor took away any right you have, but you pestered because you hadn’t the undivided attention of the big man and others were interrupting your moment of glory. Right?

    BTW when are you going back to your forefathers land? As a citizen, a consumer, a concerned person blablabla … because to criticize others while YOU are standing on some tribal ground, maybe sacred place seems at least ludicrous … yeah right, sanctimony is just for the rest of the common mortals, the inner party members have another set of standards. Yeah, i see …

    ———————-
    * THOSE (used to indicate the more REMOTE in time, place, or thought of two persons or things already mentioned; opposed to this)

  21. boubi
    boubi April 21, 2013 at 3:52 am | |

    “I regrettably sunk to that level of discourse for one comment.”

    You sunk, right …

  22. boubi
    boubi April 21, 2013 at 4:06 am | |

    Why don’t you sink a bit more and try to see something beyond your virtual world?

    A world spun by huge, humongous interests, that want you to believe that ALL the bad is in ONE place, the West.

    That want you to believe that once the origin of ALL bad is taken away peace, love, brotherhood will finally prevail …

    Because this is what you believe, right?

    You fancy yourself to be an intellectual, some vanguard of a “new world order” (the right one of course!), so thing.

    Make a grid, with countries on one axis and things you can do on the other.

    Then try to see who’s saying what, and if it matches with their actions, world being what it is, is all shades of grey, some are brighter, some are black & bleak.

    You chose.

    So, you got your homework.

    I think you won’t do it because it would cause too much pain to realize that what you thought about yourself, your righteousness, world relationship is just a propaganda induced movie cardboard painted background, and you a Pinocchio.

    It’s call shedding.

  23. boubi
    boubi April 21, 2013 at 4:08 am | |

    In buddhist terms, i think it’s call “to drop”

    See you kiddo

  24. Mumbles
    Mumbles April 21, 2013 at 4:28 am | |

    Cyberbullying.

    As Bobcat Goldwait said: “I pooped a little.”

  25. boubi
    boubi April 21, 2013 at 4:34 am | |

    Some could be astonished/shocked by my reaction.

    This is because all what we believe in (my impression after reading this blog for some time) the values we share are day by day endangered by forces that don’t want the world to be free, free to have our own opinion, our own religion or none or to change it, our own sexual behaviour, the right to have the same rights as anybody else and not less than some gun toting dictator and so on.

    In the US the Rodney King affair had, rightly, the attention it deserved … now compare it with is happening by the hour “there”.

    Abu Ghraib is another exemple, try and have a look to what happened.
    It was not following orders and some pictures just seem to have been made in order to scare and humiliate inmates (wrong).
    Now just think of what was shown of the Saddam’s happy times by some gulf state TV. It was following the orders and it was horrible (i have no words for it).
    But was it shown on TV round the world? Too crude, it could have disturbed many, depriving them of a unadulterated view on REALITY (it could have also interfered with the cereals advertising to be aired just after), depriving them of a yardstick with which to gauge the rest.

    Occupy Wall Street and Teheran. Did anybody shot and tortured the kids there in NY?

    And you can go on at will.

    Of course, for some reason, only the West’s bad actions are shown on the media, why? Many reasons, “there” there’s no independent media, it became fashionable to criticize the West and so on…

    In the end, every time one of those sanctimonious person is retransmitting and echoing the “dark side” propaganda he/she is just trying to pull the wool over our eyes, doing the job of those butchers. He/she is just making those butcher’s dirty work.

    Thank you for your attention

  26. Mumbles
    Mumbles April 21, 2013 at 4:37 am | |

    Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possibly the most fun.

    To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back – in many ways a feast fit for a king.

    The chief drawback is what you are wolfing down is yourself.

    The skeleton at the feast is you.

    -Frederick Buechner

  27. anon 108
    anon 108 April 21, 2013 at 6:39 am | |

    Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with former troll and now occasional voice-of-reason commenter, Aaron G. Niz, AKA ‘gniz’.

    gniz’s blog ( http://rebloggingbradwarner.blogspot.co.uk – works for me) has been quiet for a while, but I took a look a couple of days ago and found a link to this, his latest venture: The Help Self Guys Podcasts. Here’s the link:

    http://www.hipcast.com/podcast/H1GksBVQ

    I’ve listened to the first two episodes and I’m now paused half-way through the third. I’m a fan. “Intimate,” “funny,” and “authentic” is what I’m calling it.

    So go here: http://www.hipcast.com/podcast/H1GksBVQ and help Aaron G. Niz to help himself and his good friend Dylan get rich and famous. You can all then do the same for me.

  28. anon 108
    anon 108 April 21, 2013 at 6:41 am | |

    Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with former troll and now occasional voice-of-reason commenter, Aaron G. Niz, AKA ‘gniz’.

    gniz’s blog (‘Not Reblogging Brad Warner’) has been quiet for a while, but I took a look a couple of days ago and found a link to this, his latest venture: “The Help Self Guys Podcasts”. Here’s the link:

    http://www.hipcast.com/podcast/H1GksBVQ

    I’ve listened to the first two episodes and I’m now paused half-way through the third. I’m a fan. “Intimate,” “funny,” and “authentic” is what I’m calling it.

    So go check it out and help Aaron G. Niz to help himself and his good friend Dylan get rich and famous. You can all then do the same for me.

    1. anon 108
      anon 108 April 21, 2013 at 7:00 am | |

      No really, it’s very good…if you like that sort of thing.

      1. anon 108
        anon 108 April 21, 2013 at 7:15 am | |

        Dammit. I bet that’s gonna sound like I don’t really like them. To some people. Well I do. Gniz and Dylan’s “The Help Self Guys” podcasts, are really very good. But – you know – only if you like that sort of thing.

  29. Fred
    Fred April 21, 2013 at 8:15 am | |

    “are really very good. But – you know – only if you like that sort of thing.”

    And what would that thing be.

  30. Terrytrueman
    Terrytrueman April 21, 2013 at 8:17 am | |

    What a difference a week (minus about a day) makes! We now know that the bombers of the Boston Marathon were brothers who, it seems pretty clear, wanted to find a way to express their fear of being useless, their rage at feeling insignificant–the classic underpining of every spiritual life/path. Clear out all the smoke and hype and nonsense and their horrifying gesture seems to be little more than a really BADLY thought-out exaggeration of anti-social flailing around. Al Queda? Terrorism? We all can understand why we went with those fears and entertained those interpretations the events, but in the end these guys were little more than pathetic taggers, unable to find cans of spray paint so they decided let’s just go kill some people instead–you need nothing more than their ‘escape plan’ to realize how bad they were at this, amatuers in the worse sense. Please don’t hear this as a dismissal of the pain and suffering they caused, I am NOT dismissing that; I’m saying that their motivations seem horribly common and stupid and full of shit. I’m ready, more than ready to try and get myself back on track and figure out some way to make myself meditate (something that I’m hearing is rather important in this whole zen thing and the hardest part of it for me!) I wish the Boston Marathon survivors and wounded the best healing imagineable–There’s nothing much more that I need to say/think/feel about this particular example/moment of craziness. xo, TT

    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot April 21, 2013 at 5:13 pm | |

      If you have to make yourself do something, you don’t really want to do it. If you feel like you have to make yourself do something, you really do want to do it.

      Conflict like this is the ultimate cause of Buddha’s analysis. The result of this analysis? The prescription to heal the conflict through non dual meditation and supporting practices.

      In other words, you have to make yourself do meditation spontaneously, without making yourself do meditation.

      Good luck!

      Seriously though, start small. If you can do ten minutes, that’s enough. If you can do five minutes, that’s enough. If you can do three breaths, that’s enough. The main thing is to do it every day. Once you do it every day, you can start to lengthen your meditation time. It’s a training, not a test. Do what you can, and let yourself feel a sense of accomplishment, instead of trying too hard and giving yourself failures and chores. It takes a while for the benefits to really kick in, so take care not to give yourself negative reinforcements.

      So make yourself stop making yourself do shit. Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

  31. Fred
    Fred April 21, 2013 at 8:26 am | |

    “figure out some way to make myself meditate”

    You can meditate right now while reading this sentence.

    There are many types of meditation. One is “studying the self to forget the self”
    Another is observing every day life without judgment, being choicelessly aware.

    Another is …………….

    1. Terrytrueman
      Terrytrueman April 21, 2013 at 9:39 am | |

      Thanks so much Fred, this is helpful. :)

  32. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm | |

    Another is:

    “To me, a lot of what this community is about is living life from exactly where we are. When we really live from where we are, we discover that everything and everyone around us is a part of where we are, and that our actions truly belong to where we are. This kind of action is the only really selfless action I know.

    There’s really nothing special about having a sense of place, and yet I find my peace of mind depends on my sense of place most of all.”

    from Waking Up and Falling Asleep”

  33. Mark Foote
    Mark Foote April 21, 2013 at 3:13 pm | |

    Peace, love, suitable clothes?

    1. minkfoot
      minkfoot April 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm | |

      Don’t wear yoga-studio-style clothes to a zendo. Or a sex-addiction 12-step program. Or even a yoga studio.

      —Weasel the Taliban

  34. boubi
    boubi April 22, 2013 at 8:55 am | |

    “Clear out all the smoke and hype and nonsense and their horrifying gesture seems to be little more than a really BADLY thought-out exaggeration of anti-social flailing around. Al Queda? Terrorism? We all can understand why we went with those fears and entertained those interpretations the events, but in the end these guys were little more than pathetic taggers, unable to find cans of spray paint so they decided let’s just go kill some people instead–you need nothing more than their ‘escape plan’ to realize how bad they were at this, amatuers in the worse sense.” … Terrytruman

    Al Qaeda? Maybe not.

    Terrorism? Yes.

    The origin of the mental derangement of this two lunatics is of no great relevance to the fact that they channeled their “problem” through a well defined and publicly advertised procedure called, to their own admission, jihad.

    There are many entry points, all in the end are funneled to this widely accepted and advertised criminal activity.

    The others fuck-ups who go on a killing spree have no frame of reference to which adhere, they go, kill and they don’t have some manifesto to declare and to justify theirs crimes. They are just plain, dangerous fuck-ups.

    The two from Boston had a path to follow that reinforced their lunaticity, there are sites, physical places, countries, book, videos, cassettes all kind of means to spread this ideology.

    This is the ideology that can turn and organize ” pathetic taggers, unable to find cans of spray paint” into people trained to kill.

    It’s not a little difference

    1. Terrytrueman
      Terrytrueman April 22, 2013 at 9:25 am | |

      Yes boubi, I understand your position and what you are saying in re to my posting about the bombers. And I can’t really argue with you much nor do I want to argue with you– however equating the Boston bombers actions with 911, for instance, seems a bit off too. We have no evidence that I’ve seen yet that these two brothers were ‘trained to kill’ other than the training it took to read bomb making directions on the intenet. We are hearing that the older brother visited lots of jihadist internet sites and spouted lots of jihadist mumbo-jumbo, and this does lend credence to your pov. But I stand by my statement that in the most powerful nation on earth, financially, militarily and by scores of other measures, in the end we have a couple murdering jerks who seem to have found a justifcation in their warped view of themselves and the world for commiting an atrocity. They need to be understood for what/who they really are/were and not credited with being something other than/more than they actually were. It’s not a little difference either.

  35. Terrytrueman
    Terrytrueman April 22, 2013 at 9:33 am | |

    ps boubi, regarding your remark ‘Terrorism yes” Again, this bombing was no doubt meant to be what we describe as a terrorist act. Setting off bombs in a crowd. And America was terrorized, or in any event, fixated on the event. My statement is that in my opinion there is a huge difference between terrorism perpetrated by suicide bombers and other genuine combatants committed to jihad, and these two ineffective and foolish, cruel and arrogant jerks. A Vietcong officer was once captured by the South Vietnamese, our allies and during his interrogation he was asked, “How do you justify using a woman’s handbag to set off a bomb in a crowded theatre?” His answer, “We’ll give you women’s handbags, when you give us B-52′s”

  36. boubi
    boubi April 22, 2013 at 9:56 am | |

    Hi Terry

    You can argue with me, as long as you understand that the way you treat me is the way i can treat you, and so long, with the exception you know, i always thanked people for being tolerant even though with different views, which is just normal.
    You can ask around.

    Now the old “bag vs B52″ is taken often as the justification for a lot of atrocities.
    Let’s not talk about the vietcong’s practices to “convince” the rural people to cooperate … it’s not the subject here

    Do you think, i know you’re not, it would have been “right” to give those two retards a B52?

    I don’t have much time now, but just consider the “collateral damage” sentence oppose to the “total loss” implied in terror attacks.

    For instance have a look here
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/9679883/Israeli-airstrikes-on-Gaza-live.html
    What is your impression? Why from a built area when you can use a timer and be gone by the time the rocket is launched? Looking for “collateral damages”? First pages on newspapers?

    “… there is a huge difference between terrorism perpetrated by suicide bombers and other genuine combatants committed to jihad, … ”

    On which base do you say that? Maybe the first ones don’t have a way to “commit genuinely to jihad” as in access to weapons, place to hide and so on?

    1. Terrytrueman
      Terrytrueman April 22, 2013 at 10:21 am | |

      Yes, boubi I’ve followed many of your other postings and am happy to discuss/argue, agree or sometimes disagree with you–and most certainly you have every right to give back as good as you get. We’re good, here, as far as I’m concerned on a personal/respectful level. I tried to be careful in my posting to say that my views were only/just that, MY opinions and views, no real argument of evidence to quote regarding my views as to the difference between ‘genuine’ and not so much so jihadists. Ultimately, my original posting was meant to convey and express, not really relief, but a kind of lowering of my excitement that I eI felt and sensed in others during those first few days of not knowing quite what we’d been hit by–maybe it’s as simple as the known being less frightening than the unknown. Finally regading giving “those two retards B-52′s” LOL Good one, we certainly agree on that much. Take care

  37. Fred
    Fred April 22, 2013 at 6:10 pm | |

    These lips would like to say that my views are not really my views, because there
    is no I, and if there were views, they would only be deludedness.

  38. Fred
    Fred April 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm | |

    A great sage once said:

    “To carry yourself forward and experience myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and experience themselves is awakening.

    Those who have great realization of delusion are buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about realization are sentient beings. “

  39. Fred
    Fred April 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm | |

    Kasulis on the Zensite:

    “Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master’s. Where we differ is that we place a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience and then proceed to make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be “real” in and of itself rather than to be an “expression” (dotoku) of the “occasion” (jisetsu) in which we think or talk about the given experience. In a sense, we have a double layered description. First, there is the pre-reflective, not yet conceptualized, experience—what we all share, Zen master and the rest of us alike. Second, there is the expression or characterization of any experience within a particular situation or occasion. If the speaker brings no personal, egotistic delusions into this expression, the occasion speaks for itself, the total situation alone determines what is said or done. Thus, in the case of the Zen master, what-is-said is simply what-is. In the case of the deluded person, however, the “what-is” includes his excess conceptual baggage with its affective components, the deluded ideas about the nature of “self,” “thing,” “time,” and so on that constitute the person’s own particular distortion of what actually is. Hence, throughout SBGZ Dogen investigates the nature of human experience and challenges the reader to observe personally whether his experience is actually the way it is normally characterized to be”

  40. King Kong
    King Kong April 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm | |

    IT’S OK TO BE DELUDED, IMHO ::))

  41. boubi
    boubi April 22, 2013 at 7:11 pm | |

    Hi Terry
    ““How do you justify using a woman’s handbag to set off a bomb in a crowded theatre?” His answer, “We’ll give you women’s handbags, when you give us B-52′s””

    If, IF, this dialogue is real, let’s assume it is, there is a point i didn’t see when i first answered you.

    It is the “set off a bomb in a crowded theatre” part.

    I don’t want to enter the subject of Vietnam, Chechnya, Cambodia or other places.

    The central point is the goal of the armed action, kill military personnel or civilians?

    In which category do you think “a crowded theatre” falls?

    Or this? Look at the last picture …

    http://militaryanalysis.blogspot.com.br/2011/10/grozny.html

  42. boubi
    boubi April 22, 2013 at 7:22 pm | |

    To Brad and others

    ““Therefore Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas should thus produce a pure mind which does not rely on forms, sounds, smells, tastes, tangible objects or dharmas. ”

    Isn’t it what we could call a kensho experience?

    When you “loose form”, things cease to “be” themselves, rather, we cease to perceive them the way we “perceive them”.

    Is it the way babies “see” things, or the way we wake up sometime and don’t recognize things?

    Re-cognize, to know-again …

    Now is this the aim or a necessary step? Or there is no step?

    Or what the fuck :) ?

  43. boubi
    boubi April 22, 2013 at 7:23 pm | |

    Good night

  44. boubi
    boubi April 22, 2013 at 7:31 pm | |

    Sh….t

    Re-cognize, to know-again … to remember that this is “this”, and not to stay in that “before naming” situation … ?????????

    Beyond any shit

    http://www.arunachala-live.com/gallery/albums/userpics/10001/Ramana_Maharshi-01.JPG

  45. boubi
    boubi April 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm | |

    Errata corrige

    “When you “loose form”, things cease to “be” themselves, rather, we cease to perceive them the way we “perceive them”.”

    When “form is lost”, things cease to “look like” themselves, they cease to “look like” the way we “perceive them”.

    I don’t find words.

  46. roman
    roman April 23, 2013 at 12:08 am | |

    “I, for one, hope they find the piece of shit who did this and rip him to shreds. He deserves it.”

    Why so much ado about a simple sentence like this? It could be interpreted in many ways, but as far as I know Brad, even if very little personally, it means:

    I hope they find the sick person who did this and do the right action. We all deserve this.

    To rip someone to shreds is only an expressive way of saying :do something actively, without hesitation.

    I see no kind of encouraging people to spread hatred and more violence in Brads’words, just his sincere concern about well being of all of us, no matter if we are mentally sick or healthy.

    In Zen compassion means action, whatever you feel is the right action here and now, and a balanced person will not do something insane to a mentally sick person. Even an execution may be a balanced action.

    We sometimes treat criminals as if they were more than the herbs we kill while eating them. Human beings may be less than plants, we don’t know. Killing plants is ok with us, because we think we human beings are more important, but maybe we are much less important than bacteria. So to execute a person who has killed innocent people may be better than eating herbs and pick fruit. We are all human beings and living beings or dust but we must die sooner or later and some of us must die before the others die or before we kill other human beings or eat more herbs. All must be returned to balance and peace, within the balanced action.

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