100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

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100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Jikan » Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:45 am

Check out the hard sell:

http://integrallife.com/integrallifepractice

Frank Zappa wrote a song about it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-E6FDf9GkA
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:08 am

It's because of this sort of quackery that I think not only is it foolish to pay for dharma, it is unethical to sell it.

A master of dharma should be powerful enough to be capable of sharing his knowledge freely and compassionate enough to be willing to share his knowledge freely.
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby DharmaKitty » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:44 am

Individual wrote:A master of dharma should be powerful enough to be capable of sharing his knowledge freely and compassionate enough to be willing to share his knowledge freely.


Beautifully put - and so true!
The essence of a real practice is to bring our intellectual understanding to the level of our heart - so as to feel it - to live it!
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Jikan » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:09 pm

Individual wrote:It's because of this sort of quackery that I think not only is it foolish to pay for dharma, it is unethical to sell it.

A master of dharma should be powerful enough to be capable of sharing his knowledge freely and compassionate enough to be willing to share his knowledge freely.


Absolutely. Really, this is my gripe with Ken Wilber generally: he's attempting to profit on the labors of the Siddhas of the past (the Christian mystics, Tantrikas, German philosophers, Buddhists, the whole lot). His spirituality is consumer capitalism. And it's no accident he's marketing the hell out of this stuff right now, it's Christmas shopping time.

What sucks is that Wilber's in a position where he could do a lot of good in the world. Many still regard him as a respected voice on any number of issues, even after his bizarre meltdowns of 2006 (google the term "wyatt earpy" if you're curious). Instead he's cashing in and building up a cult around himself. Sad spectacle, wasted opportunity, &c.
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:27 pm

Jikan wrote:
Individual wrote:It's because of this sort of quackery that I think not only is it foolish to pay for dharma, it is unethical to sell it.

A master of dharma should be powerful enough to be capable of sharing his knowledge freely and compassionate enough to be willing to share his knowledge freely.


Absolutely. Really, this is my gripe with Ken Wilber generally: he's attempting to profit on the labors of the Siddhas of the past (the Christian mystics, Tantrikas, German philosophers, Buddhists, the whole lot). His spirituality is consumer capitalism. And it's no accident he's marketing the hell out of this stuff right now, it's Christmas shopping time.

What sucks is that Wilber's in a position where he could do a lot of good in the world. Many still regard him as a respected voice on any number of issues, even after his bizarre meltdowns of 2006 (google the term "wyatt earpy" if you're curious). Instead he's cashing in and building up a cult around himself. Sad spectacle, wasted opportunity, &c.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with people like Ken Wilber.

If he's building a cult around himself for the sake of greed, that is wrong and will have bad results. But the merchants of wisdom are simply making a livelihood for themselves. If that livelihood involves teaching others wisdom, that's a right livelihood.

It is best for a person to give away food from their own wealth. Setting up a charity to stop world hunger, asking for others' wealth, is second-best. Selling food for profit is less great, but also OK.
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby shel » Fri Oct 29, 2010 7:44 pm

Think I'll wait for version 2.0 before wiping out the credit card.
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:56 pm

I knew a guy once who devoted something like 20 years of his life to Prem Rawat. He sold all of his property to give to the man's organization, followed them around, stood on streets corners handing out pamphlets, etc.. Over time, though, he became disillusioned with it and if I remember correctly, when Prem Rawat stopped presenting himself as an Indian guru and started treating himself as a secular figure and motivational speaker, this particularly contributed to the man's perception of Prem Rawat's deceit and hypocrisy.

So, with no property, he left the organization (on bad terms, obviously) and managed to put his life back together. Now he's something like a Theravada Buddhist, enjoying reading the early texts of Buddhism, and living the contemplative's life of yoga, vegetarianism, and meditation. He doesn't hold any personal feelings of hatred or resentment towards Prem Rawat, but in hindsight, he does recognize it as a major mistake throughout his life.

If you are waiting for "version 2.0", as you put it, you may end up waiting a very, very long time -- perhaps even long than your own lifetime. And when version 2.0 comes along, you may not have the capacity to recognize it. :)
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Jikan » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:46 pm

I don't disagree with you, Individual. Here's what I'm getting at:

Yes, It's quite alright to make a career out of teaching. I teach for a living myself, although my role as a Buddhist teacher is not something I do for pay, obviously (and I'm in an entry-level gig as it were). Just so we're clear on where I'm coming from. So I don't begrudge people who teach yoga full time, for instance.

What I do find objectionable in Wilber's work in particular is his habit of scooping up from the world's religious writings certain ideas and then rewording them a little bit (often messing them up in the process... see his treatment of the concept of emptiness), and then selling them as though they are his own work. I think that's stealing, or at least profiting from the labor of others. And it's unethical in my view.

I have other critiques to make of Wilber, but they're kind of beside the point to this thread... (the curious can look up his really strange writings on the Iraq war, for instance)
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Tilopa » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:33 pm

Individual wrote:It's because of this sort of quackery that I think not only is it foolish to pay for dharma, it is unethical to sell it.

A master of dharma should be powerful enough to be capable of sharing his knowledge freely and compassionate enough to be willing to share his knowledge freely.



Well yes but this isn't being marketed as 'dharma' in the way we might understand the word and is using an understanding of the human condition derived in part from Buddhas teaching so bad if it helps people get their lives more together? I think not.
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Individual » Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:52 am

Tilopa wrote:
Individual wrote:It's because of this sort of quackery that I think not only is it foolish to pay for dharma, it is unethical to sell it.

A master of dharma should be powerful enough to be capable of sharing his knowledge freely and compassionate enough to be willing to share his knowledge freely.



Well yes but this isn't being marketed as 'dharma' in the way we might understand the word and is using an understanding of the human condition derived in part from Buddhas teaching so bad if it helps people get their lives more together? I think not.

It isn't dharma, but it's derived in part from the Buddha's teaching?
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Ogyen » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:00 am

Individual, it is derived in part from Buddhism, in part from Agnosticism, in part from Hinduism, mishmashed with sufism, christianity, and who knows what else.

Ken Wilber has attempted to make a theory of "everything" and unify many things that seem disconnected. While I very must respect the mental power this man has, I am very uncomfortable with the presumptions his mind makes. His best work was before he was anybody special. Once he tasted power he lost touch I think with that very something that gave his theory of everything an interesting bent.

Ken Wilber frightens me not just a little. Something about the way he "takes" from different bits and pieces and then jumbles them together in a soup of Wilberiness, dunno, it makes me uneasy, I can tell there's something I'd be very careful about... I can't quite put it in words.

I'd read what he has to say appreciating that he is a brilliant philosopher and academic. He is no Buddha, certainly no Bodhisattva, he is just a man who had a few good ideas and then entangled with his intellectual pride. But because he is brilliant he got put to a "god-like" position in his circles, and he not being an awakened being has been affected in his life by his power.

It's a common enough story. When your work becomes more important that people, then you've lost focus, and I think this brilliant man has at times seriously lost focus... then again, I don't know the man and what i know is probably what you know. These have simply been my own observations in the short time I've absorbed Ken Wilber as a figure.

I completely agree with you Jikan, there is a dirty unethical feeling that emerges in response to his "taking" and then claiming it's his. It would be more powerful to just say, this is already there, I just unfolded it. I am nothing special. But the profit off the teachings of other masters and twisted and distorted it seems like the old musician who's run out of his own juice and now takes what he can and calls it his but it's barely concealed plagiarism... Maybe I'm being to harsh on the man. I just feel that with all the success he's had, he should seriously consider not charging a fortune for 100% guaranteed enlightenment. How can you guarantee freedom when you aren't free yourself??

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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Individual » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:59 pm

I like your analysis, Ogyen, and agree with it. I hope you apply it as much to your own religion as you do to others. :)
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby shel » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:16 am

Individual wrote:If you are waiting for "version 2.0", as you put it, you may end up waiting a very, very long time -- perhaps even long than your own lifetime. And when version 2.0 comes along, you may not have the capacity to recognize it. :)

Are you daft???... from your link...
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It's at version 1.1 now. Version 2.0 will probably be released by years end.
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Individual » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:28 am

I misunderstood what he meant, Shel.

I thought he meant he was waiting for a real master to come along. :)
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Huifeng » Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:34 am

Can we have a free trial with the Beta version?
If we go crazy instead, we promise to send back information to the development team for reference. :rolling:
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby Jikan » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:01 pm

Tilopa wrote:
Individual wrote:It's because of this sort of quackery that I think not only is it foolish to pay for dharma, it is unethical to sell it.

A master of dharma should be powerful enough to be capable of sharing his knowledge freely and compassionate enough to be willing to share his knowledge freely.



Well yes but this isn't being marketed as 'dharma' in the way we might understand the word and is using an understanding of the human condition derived in part from Buddhas teaching so bad if it helps people get their lives more together? I think not.


There is a way in which Wilber markets his stuff as though it were Dharma. First is by association: he brings on stage with him certain Buddhist teachers (Lama Surya Das, Genpo Roshi...); he attempts to integrate Buddhist diction into his own Theory of Everything, thereby attempting to create an equation between his own thing and traditional Buddhist teachings; he's managed to be taken seriously in many Dharma outlets at least in North America, including Tricycle Magazine. Further, there are some Buddhist writers who cite Wilber's writings as authentic of spiritual experience (and by extension Buddhist teaching). I could go on.

I think you're right when you say that those of us who are familiar with Dharma tend not to take Wilber's commodities of conviction seriously as Dharma. But for beginners or persons on the margins, Wilber may well be taken up as the straight dope Dharma. That becomes a problem around page two, where Wilber's thing changes from "holons all the way up" to "send me your money I'll give you three free Life Coaching sessions and a lapel pin."

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm not averse to comparative religion and comparative philosophy. I get along great with earnest New Age practitioners. I just can't stomach the practice of exploiting the fears and aspirations of emotionally weak and vulnerable people in order to cash in with a dumbed-down version of Theosophy Grab Bag.
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Re: 100% Enlightenment Guaranteed!

Postby spiritnoname » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:51 pm

What kind of rube would buy this? lol

I listen to recordings of Dharma talks from all around the world all the time, listen to readings of suttas, occasionally visit teachers in person, why would anyone pay for something online whenever so many people are making an effort to make real Buddhist teachings available free to everyone?

Just think instead of wasting your energy looking at that scam artist's website you could be reading legitimate teachings, you could be visiting a real monastery with real practitioners! You could be bickering with me and getting quotes thrown at you in challenging ways. Here comes one now!:

" Then another man would fool him with a grimy, oil-stained rag: 'Here, my good man, is a white cloth — beautiful, spotless, & clean.' The blind man would take it and put it on. Having put it on, gratified, he would exclaim words of gratification, 'How wonderful, good sirs, is a white cloth — beautiful, spotless, & clean.' Now what do you think, Magandiya? When that man blind from birth took the grimy, oil-stained rag and put it on; and, having put it on, gratified, exclaimed words of gratification, 'How wonderful, good sirs, is a white cloth — beautiful, spotless, & clean': Did he do so knowing & seeing, or out of faith in the man with good eyesight?"

"Of course he did it not knowing & not seeing, master Gotama, but out of faith in the man with good eyesight."

"In the same way, Magandiya, the wanderers of other sects are blind & eyeless. Without knowing freedom from disease, without seeing Unbinding, they still speak this verse:
Freedom from disease: the foremost good fortune. Unbinding: the foremost ease. "
---MN 75
PTS: M i 501
Magandiya Sutta: To Magandiya
(excerpt)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
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