2008.09.29 13:00 - If They Knew Better, They'd Do Better.

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    Stim was the guardian that afternoon. He sent me, Pema, the chat log, which I put up. I also choose a title.

    Adams Rubble: Hello Corvi :)\
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hiya, Adams!
    Adams Rubble: Hello Wol :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: adams..Hi Wol..where does one send new people to this circle..isn't ther a notecard?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: or just use the link.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire waits for Wol to rez
    Wol Euler: um, htere will be a notecard-giver as soon as I or someone else builds one.
    Wol Euler: I can give it to you if you like,
    Corvuscorva Nightfire accepted your inventory offer.
    Wol Euler: for you to distribute.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thanks Adams..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire grins at Wol..
    Adams Rubble: That's one I made up. It's a bit old
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: is this one ok?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I'm going to send it to a friend.
    Adams Rubble: I still give it out
    PaB Listener Master: I've been touched by a PaB guardian.

    PaB Listener Master: Recording has started!
    Adams Rubble: Now we have to watch what we say :)
    Adams Rubble: hehe
    Wol Euler: naaah
    Wol Euler: well, no more than usual.
    Davmar Hykova: hello
    Adams Rubble: Hello Davmar :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hiya Dav.
    Davmar Hykova: hi Adams
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Adams. Dav came to the last one.
    Davmar Hykova: Hello Corvi
    Davmar Hykova: Hello Wol
    Adams Rubble: Yes, I remember
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I mean..Dav came with me last time I came.
    Wol Euler: hello davmar
    Adams Rubble: I am a bit out of it today and don;t have anything to start things off :)
    Adams Rubble: Hello Adelene :)
    Wol Euler: hello adelene
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hello, Adelene.
    Adelene Dawner: hi guys :)
    Davmar Hykova: Hello Adelene
    Adelene Dawner: I should be working but I noticed Adams being on...
    Wol Euler: :-)
    Adams Rubble should be working too :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire smiles.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: mmm
    Wol Euler should be in bed soon.
    Adelene Dawner: I've had some rather frustrating run-ins with Christians in the last few days and figured that reminding myself that they're not all pains in the butt would be a good thing ^.^
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: mm
    Wol Euler: lol
    Adams Rubble: hehe
    Adams Rubble just uses Christian metaphors :)
    Adams Rubble: Hello Stim :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hiya stim!
    Wol Euler: hello stim
    Adelene Dawner: Hi Stim :)
    Davmar Hykova: Hi Stim
    Stim Morane: Hello! Sorry I'm late!

    Adams Rubble: Hello Stim :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hiya stim!
    Wol Euler: hello stim
    Adelene Dawner: Hi Stim :)
    Davmar Hykova: Hi Stim
    Stim Morane: Hello! Sorry I'm late!
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Late/
    Stim Morane: I lost track of time.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ??
    Wol Euler: time is relative ;-)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: time?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire snorts.
    Adelene Dawner giggles.

    Stim Morane: Have I stepped into the wrong meeting?
    Stim Morane: :)
    Wol Euler: heheheheheh
    Corvuscorva Nightfire laughs..
    Stim Morane: I can leave again ...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: won't help.
    Wol Euler: nonono.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: we'll be just as silly when you return.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Wol Euler: Bring us to order. Instill discipline in the ranks.
    Adelene Dawner: pffffffft ^.^
    Stim Morane: I'm much too lazy to qualify for that job.
    Stim Morane: Let's stay on the silly street
    Corvuscorva Nightfire grins.
    Adams Rubble gave you 2008_09_29 so far.
    Wol Euler hums the "Sesame Street" theme

    Adelene Dawner: I did have something of a topic, actually... though I'm not sure if I want to bring it up with Stim here. My head's still spinny from last time.
    Stim Morane: :(
    Adelene Dawner: It's a communication issue, Stim, nothing about the topics being discussed - we'll get that resolved eventually if we talk enough, I'm sure.
    Adelene Dawner: ...anyway, topic...
    Adelene Dawner: The Christian concept of 'sin' doesn't appear to be very closely related to the concepts we've talked about of 'right/wrong action'. Given that, what does the concept mean (can we describe it better) and is it relevant to anything we do or should talk about?
    Adams Rubble prefers the Buddhist approach
    Adelene Dawner: Me, too, Adams.

    Stim Morane: How did this one pop up for you Adelene?
    Adelene Dawner: I work in a nursing home. We have bible study groups come in. The last one treated me to a lecture on how I'm going to hell because I was unwilling to participate in their activity... which is fine, but I'd like to have a better explanation of why I think they're on the wrong track than 'that's not what I believe, thanks'.
    Wol Euler: lol
    Wol Euler: laughing at them, not you.
    Stim Morane: Did the person literally say that to you?
    Adelene Dawner: Oh, yes.
    Davmar Hykova: sadly religeous zealots play this card all the time
    Adelene Dawner: 10 minnute lecture in front of the residents. I'm rather thankful that a few of the residents who could've been there weren't.
    Davmar Hykova: because they know that ultimately you cannot prove 100% that there is no god
    Adelene Dawner: (And if it happens again, I'll be dealing with it from a harassment-at-work angle.)
    Wol Euler: damned right
    Davmar Hykova: just like they cant prove there is
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods to Adelen.

    Stim Morane: perhaps the "keeper" point in this otherwise outrageous "hell" angle is the concern for acting well, and the observation that when we go against our better judgment, we tend to make and also experience trouble, suffering.
    Stim Morane: This part is subject to observation.
    Stim Morane: The rest ...
    Adelene Dawner: say more about 'keeper', Stim?
    Stim Morane: I mean, the part that is worth keeping or respecting.
    Adelene Dawner: ...oh, nevermind.
    Adelene Dawner does not parse language in the same way that Stim uses it, but re-reading helps sometimes.
    Stim Morane: I am not sure why people want to trade in their own ability to learn, and replace it with the view you were exposed to.
    Adams Rubble is a bit surprised that management would allow an outside group come in and interfere with their employees
    Adams Rubble: Sorry, I have to leave and wanted to leave a little bit of a contribution to the discussion
    Corvuscorva Nightfire smiles at Adams..bye....
    Wol Euler: awww, bye adams. take care.
    Stim Morane: Bye, Adams!
    Adelene Dawner: Boss doesn't know that the interference happened, yet. They're supposed to be here for the residents (who have the right to leave any activity they're not comfortable with), not for me (who can't leave).
    Wol Euler: huh
    Adelene Dawner: cya Adams
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Adams Rubble: I wonder if it might help to ask management's advice then

    Stim Morane: One question I do have for you, Adelene, is whether any of their claim actually "stuck" with you on some level? Did it leave you with any doubts?
    Davmar Hykova: by Adams
    Adams Rubble: bye then
    Adelene Dawner: I don't believe in the Christian mythos - it doesn't make sense to me. I do wonder why so many people do believe in it and how it's stuck around so long if it's not in some sense true or at least useful, so I keep picking at it from that angle.
    Stim Morane: That is another angle on my question. It may have stuck around because it fits with the child mind level.
    Stim Morane: And everyone retains some features of that mind, to some degree.
    Davmar Hykova: I think its very well explained in the essay by Karl Marx titled "Religeon - Opium of the people"
    Adelene Dawner shrugs.
    Davmar Hykova: Life was so awful for people in years gone by the needed something to believe in such as redeption in heaven to make their regular lives bearable

    Adelene Dawner: I've never really bought into that whole 'sinner by nature' concept, at all. I have no idea why not. That seems to be the antithesis of the concept I've come across in Zen and Buddhist teachings of 'trust your basic goodness', which *does* make absolute sense.
    Wol Euler nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: huh...the other part of being a sinner by nature...is the cared for by jesus and the father god.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: though I have to admit I like the trust your basic goodness idea better.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^ @ Corvi
    Stim Morane: The Zen view, or Buddhist view, as it played out in China, playout AGAINST the backdrop of millenia of worring about this issue. Chinese from the earliest times worried about whether human beings were "fundamentally" tainted or evil, vs fundamentally good in some sense. The latter view won out, mostly because the experiential, "check for yourself" technology came in with the contemplative traditions.
    Wol Euler: people who think of themselves as "good" don't need to buy salvation, which is the Abrahamic religions' business plan.
    Stim Morane: I.e., it went from idle speculation or dogma to something you could actually investigate.
    Adelene Dawner: *YES*, Wol.

    Adelene Dawner: But I need a way of communicating that to people who fundamentally believe that I-personally, and everyone-personally, am/are fundamentally evil. Which may be impossible.
    Wol Euler: ... or just let them continue in their error?
    Stim Morane: At the monastery here in Berkeley, where I teach, some monks often participate in "inter-faith" conferences. And they run into this kind of view all the time.
    Stim Morane: They found that there was no way to argue their way to clear consensus and reconciliation.
    Adelene Dawner: Hard when they're getting in my face and explicitly asking why I'm taking the path that I am. I like to be truthful and accurate.
    Wol Euler: I can't see that anyone who is involved in christianity to the point that they would be part of such a mission, would be open to hearing that their life's work and beliefs are not absolutely true.
    Stim Morane: They also found that just being compassionate to the hell-pushers tended to win them over.
    Wol Euler: agreed, adelene.
    Wol Euler: huh
    Adelene Dawner: That's my general game plan, Stim.
    Wol Euler: :-)
    Stim Morane: I admit I haven't tried it.

    {This last was a joke.}

    Adelene Dawner: This may be a special case though.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: It does work.
    Adelene Dawner: It actually does work very well most of the time.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I am in the bible belt..an atheist.
    Wol Euler: o.O
    Wol Euler: and they let you touch their food?!
    Stim Morane: The monks told me it tended to confuse the other guys.
    Adelene Dawner: It challenges a basic assumption of the hell-pushers in a fundamental way - the idea that 'unsaved' people can't do good.
    Davmar Hykova: are you Corvi, that must be difficult
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: my friends growing up were evangalists..
    Stim Morane: I see.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Wol Euler: aaaah
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: it does indeed.
    Adelene Dawner: Which is very fun to watch ^.^
    Stim Morane: Oh you're so evil, Adelene!
    Wol Euler chuckles
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Corvuscorva Nightfire giggles.

    Adelene Dawner: (Not buying into the good/evil dichotomy has its upsides ^.^)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire thinks about this..
    Davmar Hykova: I have to go bye everybody
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye, Dav.
    Adelene Dawner: cya, Dav
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: see you soon.
    Stim Morane: Bye Davmar
    Wol Euler: bye davmar, thanks for coming.
    Adelene Dawner: So yes, just being compassionate around/to them is very useful. But when they're in my face asking questions, what works best? I defaulted to 'trying not to literally laugh at them' last time, which was not optimal, I'm sure, since I'm very bad at hiding things like that.
    Wol Euler chuckles
    Corvuscorva Nightfire bursts out laughing.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I usually use a version of my not interested in the phone offer line.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: something like..Thank you for your concern, but I am not interested.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: unless I'm willing to engage.
    Wol Euler: I go into tape-recorder mode usualy: "my fate is none of your business, but thank you for asking."
    Stim Morane: Some things don't have neat solutions.
    Adelene Dawner: mm. The 'click' part of that is important though. In this case I can't just walk away.
    Stim Morane: It's sad.
    Stim Morane: But note that it is they who have created these problems.
    Adelene Dawner: (And as much as I talk about calling harassment - the chances of my actually doing that are surprisingly slim...)
    Stim Morane: We sometimes blame ourselves somehow.

    Wol Euler: ah, you could say "stop that you are upsetting my patients." They would have to back down then...
    Adelene Dawner: No blame, Stim. This isn't my fault nor really theirs - if they knew better, they'd do better. But it still needs to be handled and this is the only body I have to do it with.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: or...I can't really talk about religion at work.
    Adelene Dawner: good idea, Corvus. ^.^
    Stim Morane: I meant "subconscious" blame.
    Adelene Dawner chuckles. "None of that, either."
    Stim Morane: :)
    Adelene Dawner: So basically it sounds like taking a "this discussion can't happen in this context" tone is the best option. I was hoping for a more direct one... but I think you're right, the fundamental issue here is a tough one to be pithy about. (I will try, tho!)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: It can't happen easily n that context.
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: this comes up in my job often, actually.
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: if the person continues to engage me...I am often incredibly honest with them....once we have a relationship.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but it is tricky.
    Adelene Dawner: Actually... "I see no reason to believe your assertation that I'm a sinner by nature" is pretty pithy. Needs better words perhaps.
    Wol Euler: problem is, it would spur them on to explain it to you.
    Stim Morane: You could print out a note card ...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: only works for me when I have built a relationship with the person, first.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hahahha
    Adelene Dawner: I've considered using writing, Stim, if this is an ongoing issue.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and it does spur conversation.

    Stim Morane: This doesn't come up for me very often because once they learn that I'm a Buddhist, they leave.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Adelene Dawner grins. "Does that actually *work*? Maybe I should try it."
    Wol Euler: (brb, kitchen duty)
    Stim Morane: Yes.
    Stim Morane: They've been told some pretty strange things about Buddhism, so it acts as a very effective deterrent.
    Adelene Dawner: ahhhh
    Stim Morane: I've had taxi drivers consider putting me out of the car in the middle of t he freeway.
    Adelene Dawner: Oh, my.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: really?
    Adelene Dawner: Dare I ask why?
    Stim Morane: they wanted to convert me, then realized I was beyond saving.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ahahhha
    Adelene Dawner adds her taxi company to the list of things she's greatful for...
    Stim Morane: But it's the contagion factor that really gets rid of them.
    Stim Morane: they're afraid of picking up something ...
    Adelene Dawner: :D
    Stim Morane: Anyway, I'll return to my compassion angle. Forget the rest of what I said.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thy already picked you up..or you wouldn't be in the taxi..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: too late
    Adelene Dawner: Actually, those things can be added to the compassion angle, without diluting it at all... though the compassion angle thing might eventually dilute Buddhism's useful 'weird' reputation.
    Adelene Dawner: 'actions speak louder than words'
    Wol Euler: back

    Stim Morane: The basic point is that they started by approaching you, or me, etc without caring at all about a direct human contact.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Stim Morane: Once that contact is actually established, they have to look again, with fresh vision.
    Adelene Dawner: Good point Stim.
    Stim Morane: Being confrontational, as they were, is quite different from really seeing you.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nodsnods.
    Adelene Dawner: very true
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I can even think of times when Buddhists have doen the same.
    Stim Morane: Exactly! IT's a human failing.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Stim Morane: We tend to take short cuts.
    Stim Morane: This is part of what should motivate our compassion.
    Adelene Dawner: relevant concept: heuristics
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Adelene Dawner does not like, and tries not to use, heuristics. But they're necessary. The world's just too complicated otherwise.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Heuristics?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire goes to wiki
    Adelene Dawner: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristics (for the log)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: got it.

    Stim Morane: Sad but true. But when we can see their limitations, and the advantages of a more open and direct way or seeing life, we can be persuaded ...
    Wol Euler admits to having to refresh her memory.
    Stim Morane: Habits are rarely optimal.
    Adelene Dawner: indeed, Stim
    Stim Morane: So I would distinguish between habits and heuristics that have proven value.
    Adelene Dawner: When I say that I think slowly - a lot of that is that I don't use the heuristics, if I can at all help it, and thinking takes longer without them.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, interesting topic!
    Stim Morane: I need to go.
    Adelene Dawner: cya Stim :) Thanks for the discussion.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye Stim..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Thank you, indeed.
    Wol Euler: bye stim, take care.
    Stim Morane: Bye! Thanks for the chat! It's a good example of many things in life.
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