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« Christianity, unresolved | Main | New White Crane Journal »

March 30, 2004

Comments

Torin

On many points I agree with you, but in the end all theorizing or speculation about what is this or, what is that comes from a wrong thinking. The Buddha did not theorize. He saw this as a justification to potential cause harm and a waste of time. Homosexuality is here. It is irrelative how and why. All life, gay or straight, has an essence of lacking something (suffering/dukkah). Every living being seeks to fulfill that sense of deficiency without understanding that it is part of life and accept it. Sometimes, we get seek justification for our actions through complex theorizes that hide the basic truth. We are here, incarnate, and seeking fulfillment. We all deserve compassion because we are all in the same boat together. Once Humanity stops trying to justify its action to cause harm and replaces them with actions that originate from compassion, the sooner peace and understanding will blossom!

Joe Perez

I appreciate your thoughts, Torin. Let me say in response that I don't think there is an incompatibility between striving for an intellectual understanding of reality and authentic spirituality; that's a false distinction. However, not everyone is called to devote themselves to philosophical reflection. In every tradition, including Buddhism, there are those persons--some call them scholars or sages or wisemen/women--who look around at how people view the world, people who write science and philosophy and theology books--and then engage in dialogue with them. In fact, the philosopher whose ideas about the nature of reality I am examining in this post, Ken Wilber, is widely regarded as not only one of the two or three greatest living philosophers but also an exemplary Buddhist sage.

Although philosophy and theology isn't currently my full-time calling (I'm a writer, not a scholar), striving for an intellectual understanding of spirituality, its aims, its steps, is an important part of my own calling, along with spiritual practices such as meditation. I don't expect it to be part of yours. Where I disagree with you isn't in what you said, but your tone: I see a heavy anti-intellectualism streak running through your comments ("The Buddha did not theorize," etc. Maybe you're not anti-intellectual at all, but that's what I see, and I think that anti-intellectualism is a destructive view. My path to spiritual liberation is through and beyond the intellect, not around it.

Torin

I did not mean to sound harsh. That wasn’t my intent. My feeling is that justification of being through theology and philosophy discourse cuts both ways. I have read many theological and philosophical debates that argue that being a homosexual is a choice and as such, should not be considered legitimate. In the end, does it solve anything? We are here and we are queer. Being human, we deserve compassion, happiness, and justice. No amount of discourse can change that fact. Don’t get me wrong. I also theorize and form intellectual opinions in my mind, but I believe you should not use them to justify why you are here or justify you negative feelings towards your fellow human. The fact is you are, so be compassionate and strive toward your goals without concern to other’s opinions.

I practiced Zen Buddhism for many years, I took the precepts, did my daily Zazen, humbly did my bows, and realized you did not need Zen to be enlighten. I am now very much a pagan with Buddhist leanings. I strive to treat everyone with compassion, sometime I succeed and sometimes I fail. That is Human…

Zen Buddhism is very anti-intellectual. Bodhidharma founded the School of Ch'an in reaction to all the Buddhist Universities and Buddhist Intellectuals that existed during his time. These Universities would hold great debates between the different school of Buddhism. The Leaders of the different schools, during these debates, would claim they had the right practice or that a particular school had wrong practice. He became very disturbed by all the theorizing and no action that these Schools were promoting. He felt that thinking and theorizing was a trap. If you did not watch your mind, you could convince yourself of anything. It was only through watching your mind, that understanding or Gnosis develops. This Gnosis lead to compassion.

I do enjoy reading you’re your postings. Keep up the good work!

Joe Perez

I also didn't mean to sound harsh, so forgive me if I came across that way. If I lash out at anti-intellectualism, you may hear echoes of the age-old debate between Mahayana and Zen Buddhism, or similar debates in other traditions. I think Zen is, well, a valuable yet limited perspective on reality.

Joe Wolfe

There's little doubt that the very best films ever produced are rarely seen. There's not enough blood, guts, violence, crime and negativity in them [you know, the "rated mature" stuff] to satify the Hollywood greed mongers whose only interest is that you keep going back to buy an $8 bag of popcorn.

At http://FaxGod.com members and affiliates can put a dent in Hollywood's adgenda. No longer are you handcuffed to view only what they dictate...what they choose...what they decide you will see.
Now you can share movies with friends and family that HEAL, INSPIRE, DELIGHT, ENTERTAIN and TRANSFORM LIVES. And you never have to return them.

Start steering your children away from typical films that pack kid's minds with unproductive garbage and negative uselessness. Hollywood creates negative beliefs and beliefs create behavior. [Not all, but a segment too large to be ignored.]

At http://FaxGod.com, a short cut, easy-to-remember link that redirects you to the source, you'll discover a remarkably entertaining treasure trove of movies and films that will start a new trend.

You're invited to come along. You're one of the first to hear about it. See it now, and earn while you enjoy! I did, and I can tell you first hand, it's terrific! A wonderful new fund raiser too.Affiliates welcome. See the new movie release INDIGO, based on Conversations With God, by Neale Donald Walsch.
http://FaxGod.com
From Joe Wolfe, Author of Time Ocular. http://TimeOcular.com
----------------------------------------

Joe Wolfe

There's little doubt that the very best films ever produced are rarely seen. There's not enough blood, guts, violence, crime and negativity in them [you know, the "rated mature" stuff] to satify the Hollywood greed mongers whose only interest is that you keep going back to buy an $8 bag of popcorn.

At http://FaxGod.com members and affiliates can put a dent in Hollywood's adgenda. No longer are you handcuffed to view only what they dictate...what they choose...what they decide you will see.
Now you can share movies with friends and family that HEAL, INSPIRE, DELIGHT, ENTERTAIN and TRANSFORM LIVES. And you never have to return them.

Start steering your children away from typical films that pack kid's minds with unproductive garbage and negative uselessness. Hollywood creates negative beliefs and beliefs create behavior. [Not all, but a segment too large to be ignored.]

At http://FaxGod.com, a short cut, easy-to-remember link that redirects you to the source, you'll discover a remarkably entertaining treasure trove of movies and films that will start a new trend.

You're invited to come along. You're one of the first to hear about it. See it now, and earn while you enjoy! I did, and I can tell you first hand, it's terrific! A wonderful new fund raiser too.Affiliates welcome. See the new movie release INDIGO, based on Conversations With God, by Neale Donald Walsch.
http://FaxGod.com
From Joe Wolfe, Author of Time Ocular. http://TimeOcular.com
----------------------------------------

Dioscuri

Big appreciation to Joe Perez for your thoughts on Same- and Other directed Love.

I've been aware of Mitch Walker's contribution to Jungian archetypal thinking for a few years now, and you seem to be taking it a step further, and adding your clear insights.

I wonder, has there been much inquiry into hetero-cultural gay relationships? As an American living in Japan, I see a vast difference in the dynamics between gay couples consisting of two Westerners or two Japanese people, and those in "east-west" relationships.

In many ways, the culture divide can seem as big an "other" as the male-female polarity. And this in arguably the most Westernized of Asian countries.

I'm fascinated with this question of polarity, especially as the East-West relationships I see often closely resemble heterosexual couples in their energetic dynamics.

But not all of us. I myself feel very bi-cultural, and feel fairly balanced in the masculine/feminine polarity as well. Are these simply more examples of these universal love expressions?

Finally, I wasn't clear if you were assigning Agape to same-directed love and Eros to other-directed love.

Please share your thoughts if you are willing.

Louche

Five years late, but... I do not find Zen to be a "limited" perspective, but in a particular sense... All concepts are limited. This is the teaching of Zen. Everything is limited except limitation itself. Everything changes but change itself. Impermanence. The institution of Zen, of course, has heavier limitations than that, but still... if you practice Zen diligently, you may be able to TRANSCEND those limitations. You cannot escape them. Zen is not about escape. You can escape desire either. But you can transcend it. You can dance with it, you can make friends with it, a healthy relationship. That is all you can do. If Zen is limited, that only means that we the practitioners are limited. Yes; let me say it again: we the practitioners are limited. You are limited. I am limited. Zen is limited.

Yet all are as limitless as the space between here and Andromeda.

Namaste.

HLR

There is certainly some great thinking happening here. I had a teacher once say in the midst of an intellectual discussion by students, "Boy they're really sharpening their pencils." I understood it to mean that there is a point at which "thinking" about things will never fully capture an experience.

There are so many different ways that we experience life, and we tend to privilege thought focused ways. We reach out with our minds to try and understand our experience. This has valuable significance and should not be let go of. However it is one half of a coin.

The other half of the coin is allowing experience to come into us. It is encouraging the mind into a receptive state so that spirituality/Spirit can inform us. This to me is where the arguments about higher spiritual awarenesses, etc become transparent to me.

They sound to me the claims of ones who have not experienced the very high spiritual states that come from receptivity. The very states that those lesser evolved spiritual disciplines encourage. Those crazy mystics and magicians. They should know they don't really know what's going on. Well actually it looks like they're having a pretty good time already. Maybe we need to check the preconceived ideas.

Joe Perez

Louche: Five years late, but your point on Zen is well taken. I don't think I would be so quick to generalize about Zen today as I did in my 2004 comment. Your point that Zen is both limited and limitless is put just right.

HLR: Thanks. This one happens to be my all time favorite blog post, and it is (in a properly edited version) the heart of my book "Soulfully Gay", published by Integral Books/Shambhala in 2007. If you are curious to see this idea more fully developed, I encourage you to check out the book.

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