16 February 2014
Cats come in three vague categories of size, as do abusive organisations. As with cats you have tigers, ocelots, and Tiddles who curls up at your feet in bed, so with organisations you have totalitarian states; cults; and abusive families. While they operate at different scales of size and danger, the dynamics are identical, as many recent observers have pointed out between, for example, with references to the British SWP and in comparison between Scientology and North Korea.
You can start to feel like if only you could get more deeply into these spaces you’d know The Big Answer to Everything and could then bring it back and SAVE THE WORLD!*ahem* Yes. That, in the first paragraph, is precisely what I used to feel about myself, my art, and this blog. I sometimes think that my scepticism and sense of the absurd is all that saved me from becoming something from the third paragraph, and it may still be a danger. Read the rest of this article from Zen monk / punk bass player / writer Brad Warner.
But it’s not really true. People have been attempting to do this for centuries and nobody has ever succeeded. It’s pure egotism to feel like you alone will be able to do what all the great masters of every tradition were not able to. [...]
Or else you become what the Buddhist traditions call a “self-enlightened one.” That’s somebody who keeps going deeper and deeper and deeper into her/himself until nobody and nothing else matters at all. You end up sitting under a blanket with admirers feeding you oranges but you can’t really do anything for them because you’re so far gone.