Saturday, May 20, 2006

Go Figure

When Bob asked me to stop posting on his blog the other day, I didn’t stop. I stubbornly continued to post and even went so far as to repost messages that he deleted. It was my childish way of saying, “You have treated me like shit, and I’m going to make you pay for it. I don’t give a damn what you think of me for doing it. My voice will be heard until I decide to leave.”

Well, this morning I finally decided that enough was enough. I was not acting with integrity by continuing to post there, and so I left a message there saying:

“I apologize for overstaying my welcome and posting comments after I've been asked not to. Wherever we are on our journey through life and in our quest to understand and cope with existence, may we all find the light of truth, live accordingly, and be happy.”

To give you some idea of the mentality that prevails over there, this is what someone posted afterward:

“When presented with the truth about himself, nagar folded like a house of cards. Instead of being grateful for the best gift of his life thus far, he picks up his marbles and goes home to remain omnipotent king of his small universe..”

The person who said this was on the forefront of those who had denounced my presence there and demanded that I leave. Then, when I decide to leave, he says that I ran away like a coward to my own blog where I could be the controlling king of my “small universe.”

What would he have had me do, I wonder. Keep posting on Bob’s blog after I had been told to stop and had decided to comply? It seems that one can’t win either way with some of these people. I'm damned if I stay, and damned if I leave. Well, “hoarhey,” I may have gone back to my blog, but I have news for you. You and Bob and the rest of the One Cosmos community are welcome to post comments here to your heart’s content, and I won’t act like an imperious monarch the way some people do and delete them because they disagree with me, and I won’t tell you to leave. Bob and the rest of you seem to pass yourselves off as people in tune with “absolute” spiritual truths, so you are surely aware that the “Golden Rule” is central to all the great wisdom traditions. Too bad you don't live up to it on Bob’s blog. On my blog, I WILL.

So, welcome, my friend, to a new kind of kosmos where all are treated as one.


Gagdad Bob said...

I cannot speak for Hoarhey or for anyone else, but I thank you for respecting my wishes.

I believe that from the moment you stumbled upon my blog, you utterly misunderstood its purpose. I make no effort whatsoever to publicize myself or my book, and have never attempted to convert a single soul to my way of looking at things. If someone is truly at peace with God, I do not make it my business to interfere.

Both my book and blog are addressed only to those who wish to read, understand, and profit by them, and to no one else. If my ideas do not resonate in you, I will be the last person to try to convince you otherwise.


Nagarjuna said...

Bob, it means a great deal to me that you took the time to come here and say what you did. I profoundly appreciate it.

I guess I DID misunderstand your blog's purpose. I assumed that because you and the rest of the One Cosmos community were obviously so intelligent and articulate, there would be an openness to discussion to political and religious perspectives differing from your own. Not reflexive acquiescence to those differing perspectives, mind you. Just a willingness to allow their expression and, perhaps, to acknowledge that some of the motivations, shortcomings, and dangers you astutely saw in extreme leftism had their ugly counterparts in extreme rightism.

For the record, I was never out to convert you to leftism or to whatever my own perspective, which is not readily subject to definitive labels but is fluidly transforming into something that increasingly draws from all aspects of the political spectrum, happens to be. Perhaps I didn't make that sufficiently clear, or was never given the chance to. Or perhaps it didn't really matter to you. I did not toe the party line, and that was reason enough to ridicule me from the outset and finally expel me.

In any case, whatever might be said about the reception I received on your blog, the fact of the matter is that I acquitted myself in less than exemplary fashion. I should have stopped posting when you asked me to, if not long before. It's your blog, and you have the right, I suppose, to carry on there however you wish and to disparage and ultimately exclude all posters and comments you deem inappropriate to your purposes.

But I would ask you to contemplate the question of whether you handled things in optimal fashion and in a manner true to your spiritual principles. I confess that I certainly didn't.

I'm not suggesting that people who are spiritually evolved must be insipidly lukewarm in how they express their beliefs or unwaveringly sweet with and meekly accepting of those who express viewpoints with which they disagree. But I AM suggesting that whatever one's religion or spiritual path might be, compassion, kindness, and what one famous psychotherapist called "unconditional positive regard" should ideally inform one's every interaction with others, even when we don't like what they believe or have to say. At least I believe this until I have good reason not to.

I'm still not sure what I said on your blog that was so jarringly dissonant with the beliefs you and your community share. I never said that capitalism is the root and essence of all evil or that socialism and leftist thinking in general is the epitome of truth and goodness. You say your blog is addressed only to those who "wish to read, understand, and profit" by it, and that is what I wished and still wish to do. But the profit is greater when the reader is allowed to ask questions and engage in discussion in a forum that accords him basic tolerance and respect. I wanted to do that. I still do, but will not because I'll remain true to my promise not to post there if my presence is not desired.

Once again, thank you for your comments here, Bob. I truly wish you and yours and your blog the very best. And, although I would be incredibly surprised if you took me up on my invitation to visit and post further comments here, please know that my invitation was genuine.


Anonymous said...

Nagar, these are people that from their own mouths say " step over him, like you would step over homeless people" while at the same time talk about God and spirituality. What kind of enlightenment do you honestly believe any one of them has reached when they can say such disparaging things about other members of the human race? Let them wallow in their egos and pat each others' backs, it's the only thing they have with each other.

Nagarjuna said...

There have been occasions when I too have stepped over homeless people lying passed out drunk on the sidewalk. But I didn't do it with pride or wear it as a badge of honor. A serious problem I see with the political and economic right is a devaluation and dismissal of human weakness and suffering with the hollow rationalization that people in these situations freely "choose" to end up literally or figuratively in the gutter, and, even if a vansihingly small number don't, hey, life just isn't fair, so why bother trying to make it so?

I agree with you that there's nothing spiritual about this attitude, just as there's nothing spiritual in the attitude of those at the opposite end of the spectrum who hate and vilify those at the other end. I have been guilty of hating and vilifying people on the right and painting them with the same broad brush of mockery and scorn with which they paint people on the left, but I don't want to do that anymore.

And one thing that helps me in this regard is to try to see the essential humanity and divinity in everyone and to approach everyone with an open mind and heart. I didn't do as well with that on Bob's blog as I might have, but I'm encouraged by the fact that I didn't react as badly on the inside or outside as I might have and surely would have in times past.


Hoarhey said...

I'll speak for myself.
I said "step over the homeless man" out of respect for his choice to be where he was and his wish to remain asleep and not be meddled with. It was a metaphor, to suggest to JWM that he also step over you as it was obvious to me at least that you had made your own choice and wished to remain asleep to anything Bob had to say.
You had made up your mind and it became evident that you were there only to disrupt and filibuster.
What JWM later had to say in his parody of you, though a cold slap in the face, was the best gift you could have gotten as far as an awakening that you could take and build from. It's the person you've become but can't or won't see. That's the real reason you left, it was too real to handle. Bob deleted it out of compassion for you.
People there really did try and help, too bad you couldn't understand.

Nagarjuna said...

Hoarhey, I didn't go to Bob's blog with my mind "made up" that everything he and the rest of you said was wrong. The only thing I became quite convinced of from the very outset was that you were acting like smug, self-righteous, know-it-all jerks. But I believed and still believe that your viewpoints are worth hearing and contemplating. So, you are very mistaken to assert that I was there only to "disrupt and filibuster." You are also very mistaken to assert that I left because I couldn't handle what people were saying to me. I left for the reason I've already stated. I left so far as commenting there is concerned, but I will continue to read posts there and no doubt comment on them in the Yahoo group to which I've been accepted. If you or JWM want to try to slap me in the face with the cold, hard truth there, go ahead and take your best shot, if that's what floats your boat. I will ignore your provocations and focus on issues.

Thank you for coming here and posting your take on things.