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May 08, 2014

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Methexis,

I am curious what you hope to gain by tearing down the creeds of others. You may or may not be right (I believe you have misunderstood what siddhis are in fact, though clearly there are also charlatans who exploit the credulousness of some). For those with acutely developed psychic faculties, there is nothing particularly strange or weird about such things; it is an intuitive form of knowing, and may not be subject to the kinds of mental manipulation of ordinary mind required to do objective tests and so on that would satisfy the career skeptics. But just as you have your views, I gain nothing by trying to convince you otherwise. I simply don't understand why it would be so important to you to lead others to abandon Zen. If there are cults in Zen, there cults of material wealth, sex, and corporate power, all quite a bit more dangerous than any religious cult, in my opinion. After all, whether people have religion or not, they will and do believe in something, even if it is the rational-material universe of anti-religious skepticism. So again, what do you gain by this, spiritually or materially or in any way whatsoever? Please don't jump to any conclusions about why I am asking: I merely am curious why it is so important to you to manifest in this way. I have seen a side of deep spiritual reflection to your character that does not cohere with this latest enterprise of devout skepticism.

Lineages are pseudo-history; hagiography is ancient photoshop.

The only reason why we have Buddha miracles and superpowers (siddhis) and Christ walking on water and creating fish BUT no L. Ron Hubbard walking on water or making 7 steps and saying "I am the World Honored One" upon birth is that during L.Ron Hubbard's lifetime cameras were already invented, so it's hard to levitate or do miracles now!

My favourite part of your Blog is that you teach people to question spiritual teachers. I exchanged E-mails with Lachs and he personally told me that super popular Zen teacher, Sheng Yen, told his students he can "read their minds!"

I'm sure that, if pressed and tested, and proven that he can't read shit, he would resort to saying it was "upaya"

But what are the limits of "upaya"? Can encouraging your students to spread HIV and indulge in sexual depravity like that Tibetan guy, I forget his name now ("Crazy Wisdom") - is that still good "upaya"?

This is not a coincidence ... The philosopher Slavoj Žižek was right when he said that Buddhism's main weakness is the concept of the "Bodhisattva".

"Saving all beings" is megalomaniac violence.

But how is one - say, a student - to know whether the antics of his so called master are "upaya" or just douchebaggery?

A Soto Zen guy, I think Deshimaru (sp?) said: "You have to be for 10 years with a master before knowing if he's a douchebag or his crazy antics are just upaya."

Oh yeah? Well, fuck you! I'm not gonna give you 10 years of my life just to find out whether you're a troll.

Most Zen communities are basically relatively harmless cults. Whenever there's a "Master" and dissent is looked down upon, it's time to use the word "cult". Not all cults are equally harmful. Some New Age cults are relatively harmless.

To understand cults, I recommend the excellent book "Going Clear", on Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard. Studying cults produces tremendous insights into human psychology!

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