Author Topic: My youtube attachment  (Read 5738 times)

frepie

  • Member
    • Goenka and personnal
    • Looking for answers and trying to loose weight
My youtube attachment
« on: March 05, 2012, 05:32:05 PM »
As a lot of people, I love youtube.  And this love for it got me interested in American politics. Not because I am an American (I am Canadian). I once stumbled upon a youtube video in which Ann Colter was saying those insanely ridiculous claims with such a outrageous self-confidence that I had to find out who she was.  As the years passed, I came to know more about right wing political pundits and American politics in general.  Economics became also a topic that started interesting me because of the injustice of the last 30 years.

I used to say that because American politics have an enormous influence on Canadians, I had to watch what was happening to my southern neighbors to know what was coming in the next 5 years here.

But frankly, this is all fluff. What I looooove, is hating the right wingers...I looove this feeling in my belly when I hear outrageous lies.  Through this sensation, I have the impression of being alive. I crave hatred.
Meditation makes me angry...

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 09:24:06 PM »
...I looove this feeling in my belly when I hear outrageous lies.  Through this sensation, I have the impression of being alive. I crave hatred.

That is a beautiful insight.

Still I wonder if there are more or different connections between   . . .   the feeling in your belly,   . . .    the impression of being alive    . . .and. . .    hatred.

Am I right to understand, that these feelings are quite close to you,   intimate,   primitive?  That they are there more as a bodily thing than as a thought?
I am convinced, that calm abiding (shamatha) helps to build strength to be able to handle such strong feelings.
Just as physical exercise does, by the way. And working in the garden.
And on the basis of calm and strength, one can do vipassana: inquiring what is there, with a light and gentle touch.

Thanks for sharing.

frepie

  • Member
    • Goenka and personnal
    • Looking for answers and trying to loose weight
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 10:12:02 PM »
I don't think that I am much different than anybody else who also feels hatred (or fear or contempt ) from time to time. I just discovered that I love this sensation and look for scandalous behavior or opinion to feel it when I am "in need" of it.
Criticism and outrage are very common in my family, more than in the average family from what I could experience.  For us, it was a reason to promote conversation around the dinner table. Everyone agreed that this politician was a crook and we all hated at unison. Criticism was a channel through which our family bonded.
Being attached to outrage can be seen as a flaw in the buddhist sense but it is also what pushes people to revolt against abusive government. So while craving an emotion is not really healthy, emotion can be a good force to change injustices.
Meditation makes me angry...

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2012, 12:34:36 AM »
The last few days I've been thinking about the stock market and it's inherent immorality. It seems to me that humanity has accepted this system of slavery and thievery as being a legitimate alternative to doing something useful.

You are right frepie, the feeling/ knowledge of a moral line in the sand, helps create opinion and shape choises, and even today it helped me decide on a drafting program to buy. (The choice was should  I buy Google Sketchup Pro ('public' company) or Bonzai3D/FormZ (private company) ?) Support the private company and save the economy me thinks.

I must say I have a similar hatred of those who develop land in my home city, bulldozing the land flat (gum trees and all) just to put up a sea of airconditioned home theatres with bedroom attachments (houses). Yesterday it was around 40 degree C in perth, and the UV index here is one of the highest in the world, and we live on a sand plain and get most of our water from underground. It's hot, dry, and hard to grow anything, but they knock over the 100 year old trees for a quick buck and think nothing of it.

Still thanks for pointing out the craving in all of this, it is so easy to be self righteous and gain identity from being those who 'see the truth'.
getting it done

Lokuttara

  • Member
  • Trekking the hills of dhamma
    • Vipassanamurti
    • Love cycling into the blue skies and enjoying the first touches of Spring!
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2012, 10:18:44 AM »
I think my housemate is currently going through a youtube addiction! Every time I go home he's watching some documentary or news items about the world-wide corruption and the financial systems. Or else about the US waged wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and also 9/11. I find it interesting to watch sometimes, but it seems like a bottomless pit. Endless information, endless viewpoints. There is endless corruption and endless complexities in the whole system, and it's hard to know who is right. I watched Zeitgeist though, and it was very interesting!

I think all we can truly to do help is learn to breathe.

"One may be surrounded by great beauty, by mountains and fields and rivers, but unless one is alive to it all one might just as well be dead." Krishnamurti

frepie

  • Member
    • Goenka and personnal
    • Looking for answers and trying to loose weight
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2012, 07:08:35 PM »
but it seems like a bottomless pit. Endless information, endless viewpoints. There is endless corruption and endless complexities in the whole system, and it's hard to know who is right.
Exactly.  I realised eventually that no matter how much I watched, I would never find the final answer that would shut down the arguments of the view opposite to mine. But then why was I watching these videos?  Because I simply loved hating the right wingers...
Meditation makes me angry...

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2012, 09:46:15 PM »
It's attractive all this stuff because we know there is some truth behind it. However, it really messes with your sense of equanimity, feeds compulsive thinking and really it comes down to a form of entertainment.

I've been there and I know for sure that development of wisdom, compassion, morality and the ability to be present right where you are in the moment are going to amplify your ability to sort the crap from the truth and be of use in this world.

Nightly doses of Alex Jones, or similar, just condition you into fear ... hatred ...

Hate is one of the root poisons to be dissolved by breathing and relaxing into acceptance and self discovery. As you meditate when you become aware of the hate, let go, relax and return to the breath as you would with any distraction. It will come back again and again and every time you do this with it you will open it up to deeper and deeper understanding instead of indulgence.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 09:49:04 PM by Matthew »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

frepie

  • Member
    • Goenka and personnal
    • Looking for answers and trying to loose weight
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2012, 10:28:04 PM »
But, from a social standpoint, outrage and anger has forced the powers in place to change and made our part of the world a better place to live. Should we refrain from these emotions in search of equanimity and tolerate injustice?
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 10:30:48 PM by frepie »
Meditation makes me angry...

rob

Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2012, 10:35:42 PM »
I think there's a point at which polarizing issues become little more than ego fodder, as Andrew pointed out. I used to be very political, devoured shelves of books on political and economic topics, debated, argued, protested, etc.

Just today, I was arguing politics with my ex girlfriend online (as if we were in danger of running out of things to argue about!)

We don't agree, and I was becoming agitated with the exchange, even though the topic was a social issue (welfare) that doesn't heavily impact either of us. But for all of my past political involvement and development of ardent, educated opinions, do you know what has changed? Nothing.

The entire thing was an exercise in finding platforms and lines to draw in the sand. A masturbatory effort to establish unwavering, righteous principles, the counterbalance of which would only further reinforce my ego. The stronger my opposition becomes, the more I dig in my heels.

"THIS is who 'I' am! THIS is what 'I' stand for!"

And my exchange with my ex was no different. Essentially it was a sparring match between her imaginary friend and mine. Nothing to gain, no chance of effecting change, no concept of how to practically improve the situation. Just a dance between threats to our individual egos.

And this is what they count on. Whether you're being sold a candidate or an iPad, the strategy is almost always to present the "product" as a means to further establish the self that you would like to project to, or insert into, the reality of others.

Of course, I have neon orange squeeze cheese dried to my sofa cushion, so what do I know? ;)

« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 10:43:58 PM by rob »

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2012, 12:15:58 AM »

Of course, I have neon orange squeeze cheese dried to my sofa cushion, so what do I know? ;)

At the very least, you know that there is dry neon orange squeeze cheese on you cushion and you will probably do well to sit on another one for your next session. If you hadn't noticed you could have been walking around with that on your pants...  :-*  ;)
getting it done

rob

Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2012, 12:17:43 AM »

Of course, I have neon orange squeeze cheese dried to my sofa cushion, so what do I know? ;)

At the very least, you know that there is dry neon orange squeeze cheese on you cushion and you will probably do well to sit on another one for your next session. If you hadn't noticed you could have been walking around with that on your pants...  :-*  ;)

Sitting in cheese, I know that I am sitting in cheese.

frepie

  • Member
    • Goenka and personnal
    • Looking for answers and trying to loose weight
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2012, 01:20:37 AM »
My point is that outrage and anger can be motivation to social changes for the better.  How do Buddhists reconcile this reality with the goal of equanimity? What is the difference between equanimity and apathy?  When does a Buddhist decides that a situation is no longer acceptable ?
Meditation makes me angry...

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 02:11:23 AM »
My point is that outrage and anger can be motivation to social changes for the better.  How do Buddhists reconcile this reality with the goal of equanimity? What is the difference between equanimity and apathy?  When does a Buddhist decides that a situation is no longer acceptable ?



I wouldn't know specifically about the mystery unit called 'Buddhist', but I think observation is everything. I get angry at my kids. Pretending not to be angry, or lamenting that anger, or other wise holding out that anger is always bad, is naive at best. It comes/ it goes, it is not me, mine, or I. the basic human condition is being expressed and dealt with on many different levels, as you point out, anger is often appropriate. Awareness of that anger, what we do with that anger, and whether we find identity in that anger are all levels to consider at various times.

PS, rob, that cheese comment has so many levels too... 8)


getting it done

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 02:31:04 AM »
Just to elaborate on my own anger situation, the more I go along the more aware I am of the inadequacy of much of what 'I am'. If I properly following the instructions of this practice; take full responsibility for, without actually identifying, or in my case, notice there is identification, but through mindful observation there is an internal space to both feel that inadequacy yet not (to the best of my skill level) lament it, spin stress and suffering on top of it, then anger falls into place at a level of interaction in which it belongs. Maybe next time I will have a wiser response, who knows?

this is a great discussion, I'm glad we are having it, it is helping me clarify what 'needs to be done'.




getting it done

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 10:20:59 AM »
A man that I knew and that was much into martial arts and into shamanism (Ronald E. Chavers), made a distinction between "Fighting With" and "Fighting Against".
In Fighting Against, there is a quality of closing-oneself-off-from: somehow, it is felt as proper to know very little about the thing/situation/person that one hates. Certainly, an emotional closeness to the enemy is felt as improper.
In Fighting With, there is the sense that you are doing something together with you opponent. As I said, this man was much into things like karate. So he could have a sense of being-together with his opponent while being in a fight. In my view, it was more an opening-up to the fighting quality of life. He felt, that some cultural groups kept themselves strong by embracing a fighting quality.

To my experience, in a relationship like a marriage, and in a friendship, there are times that is is elegant and wise to be angry and draw the line with an open heart. (Or to open one's heart again after drawing the line.)

In her book "Dragon Thunder", Dianana J. Mukpo tells, that in the beginning of her marriage, her husband would beat her. His "excuse" was: "That is what Tibetan men do". (She was an English woman, married at sixteen to Chögyam Trungpa, a Tibetan refugee and lama.) One night, she was so angry that she took his walking stick while he was sleeping and started beating him. He woke up and said: "What are you doing?" Upon which she retorted: "That is what European women do." He never beated her again.
So there is the combination of a crisis and the will - form both sides - to come to a solution of the crisis.
   . . .    In this case, of course, the two parties where more or less equal in power - although the man did not see it that way at the start.

OK. My two cents

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2012, 11:29:52 AM »
My point is that outrage and anger can be motivation to social changes for the better.  How do Buddhists reconcile this reality with the goal of equanimity? What is the difference between equanimity and apathy?  When does a Buddhist decides that a situation is no longer acceptable ?

Frepie,

You are right that anger and outrage can be harnessed to lead to social change and often have been. As unexamined emotions however they can lead to unexpected or poor outcomes - and they are particularly prone to manipulation. You have asked what I consider to be a really challenging set of questions here. And not simple to answer.

Take the recent situation in Libya - the Western powers bombing was made politically acceptable because of the anger and outrage created in the West by TV propaganda. The outcomes have not been what was hoped for or expected. Yes Gaddafi has gone (though we were all pals with him a year before), yet the power vacuum left is being filled by a mishmash of guerilla groups and militia who look like they will split the country. The bombing was meant to save civilian casualties and lead directly to 100,000 or so civilian deaths.

As you disidentify with anger and hatred it doesn't mean that you fail to see injustice or fail to act with regards to it. Equanimity and apathy are different: The first is a state of seeing things as they are, including injustices and your own reactions to them, but not reverting to habitual identification with the emotions - and thus allowing more skilful means to be employed in overcoming the issues. Apathy is indifference: just giving up.

You ask "When does a Buddhist decide that a situation is no longer acceptable?"

I find it unacceptable that 20,000 kids die of starvation, that we wage wars for oil, that our entire economic system is predicated on riches for a small number demanding relative poverty for the rest ... the list goes on.

My sphere of influence in regards to these injustices is small. I see that overcoming my own hatred and my own anger will allow me to see such complex realities more clearly, to speak more forcefully and skilfully - and perhaps one day to expand this sphere of influence to a point where actions and words could make a real difference.

You can't beat violence with violence - and today, whether we like to recognise this or not - our politics, economics and societies are entirely predicated on violence. But we are undergoing a transformation in that regard. We are treading the murky waters of deep social change, a change from the prevailing attitude of dominance and dominion to inter-dependence and stewardship. It is a massive global transformation and it's pace is slow yet quickening.

Just some thoughts on your interesting question. I know I'm not at a point of having transcended these emotional attachments myself so I claim no great authority on the issues but all the founders of great religions and all the holy men and sages through history have pretty much agreed on one thing, if nothing else: we must learn to live in peace.

Governments and armies and police will not achieve this for us: they are a symptom of the problem. The leverage is in changing 7 billion hearts and minds.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Alexanderjohn

Re: My youtube attachment
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2012, 02:37:26 AM »
Quote
My point is that outrage and anger can be motivation to social changes for the better.  How do Buddhists reconcile this reality with the goal of equanimity? What is the difference between equanimity and apathy?  When does a Buddhist decides that a situation is no longer acceptable ?

Excellent questions. I stayed at Than Geoff's (Thanissaro Bhikku) forest monastery last year and asked him these questions. I can't remember exactly what I asked but one thing was what place activism etc plays on the path. He told me he sees it as a form of service to others. I think if we are really honest about our motivation for acting on our outrage. If we are acting through empathy then I think this can definitely be a positive force. The purpose of equanimity is not to deny our overwhelming human emotions like anger, it is to learn to mindfully ride them out like a wave.

A little experiment if you haven't seen this already but I'm sure you all have:
KONY 2012

What do you feel throughout this video?

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
4 Replies
1959 Views
Last post June 10, 2011, 12:32:08 AM
by soma
2 Replies
1351 Views
Last post May 19, 2015, 06:28:55 PM
by Vivek
4 Replies
2232 Views
Last post June 27, 2015, 04:20:27 PM
by Matthew
10 Replies
2065 Views
Last post August 03, 2016, 12:03:24 PM
by Nicky
0 Replies
815 Views
Last post March 30, 2017, 03:39:52 PM
by Matthew
5 Replies
1157 Views
Last post June 04, 2018, 07:20:30 PM
by raushan
3 Replies
933 Views
Last post October 27, 2018, 10:45:05 PM
by Middleway