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 Underground

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tufsoft



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PostSubject: Underground   Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:00 am

Just read a book called "Underground" by Haruki Murakami. Murakami is a novelist, but when he returned to Japan after a period of exile in 1996 he became interested in the sarin gas attack which had recently happened on the Tokyo underground, and he interviewed a lot of the survivors of that attack. The book, as published, is really two books in one, the first part consists of interviews with survivors of the attack and in one case with the widow of someone who died in the attack. Murakami writes very sensitively about these cases, and sometimes very movingly. The second part of the book consists of interviews with Aum members, some of whom are still in the cult and some of whom have already left. He doesn't interview any of the people who actually released the nerve gas, of course those people were in custody at the time of writing and I imagine still are, if they haven't been executed.

The second part of the book is very interesting from the point of view of the psychology of cults and why people can be persuaded to blindly follow ridiculous orders. Murakami connects it with Japanese mass psychology, but I think his remarks have a wider application than than.

Because of laws allowing freedom of religion, the Aum cult still survives, though they got rid of the leadership who ordered the sarin attacks. Many of the people Murakami interviews are still members.

"in Aum they found a purity of purpose they could not find in ordinary society. Even if in the end it became something monstrous, the radiant, warm memory of the peace they originally found remains inside them, and nothing else can easily replace it."
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Underground   Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:26 am

tufsoft wrote:

"in Aum they found a purity of purpose they could not find in ordinary society. Even if in the end it became something monstrous, the radiant, warm memory of the peace they originally found remains inside them, and nothing else can easily replace it."

This so succinctly expresses the dilemma of spiritual groups/cults.  That purity of purpose is the only aspect of my experience at SA that I miss.


Last edited by Isan on Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:05 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : corrected formatting)
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Underground   Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:51 am

Isan I understand and totally respect your comment about purity of purpose. I feel on individual ways this was achieved,the dilemma of course is twofold was Josh sent to the goat shed with purity of motive? or was something else going on?

The other part is the spiritual aspect of zen realization this present moment, there is no before nor an after there is nothing to strive for and nothing to give up individual purity for me is not outside of everything else.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Underground   Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:41 am

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
Isan I understand and totally respect your comment about purity of purpose. I feel on individual ways this was achieved,the dilemma of course is twofold was Josh sent to the goat shed with purity of motive? or was something else going on?

The other part is the spiritual aspect of zen realization this present moment, there is no before nor an after there is nothing to strive for and nothing to give up individual purity for me is not outside of everything else.

Perhaps you are referring to Howard's post, which has gone missing? I don't know why but it wasn't the result of administrative action :-)

Regarding "purpose" there was a period of time at Shasta Abbey where I felt I was in exactly the right place doing the exactly the right thing. That experience included numerous qualities, eg clarity, belonging, purity of purpose, certainty, and so on. As Howard suggested it may have just been a stage and the loss of it was necessary going forward. It seems that many people have a similar experience in groups and it serves to keep them involved even when it's clearly no longer in their best interest.
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Howard

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PostSubject: Re: Underground   Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:12 pm

@Isan...Hmmmm..re-posted again.
This so succinctly expresses the dilemma of spiritual groups/cults.  That purity of purpose is the only aspect of my experience at SA that I miss.

Count your blessings. A purity of purpose is little more than a glorified exercise in concentration.

A purity of purpose, while a useful and rewarding step on the path towards suffering's cessation, becomes it's own hindrance whenever that step gets mistaken for the path itself. This understandably occurs when discovering the comfort & certainty that a purity of purpose can initially offer and choosing to just stay there rather than moving on into the dis-ease and uncertainty that the next step  (insight development)  offers.

When I meet folks, who act like cultists, all I see is the personification of a purity of purpose.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Underground   Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:39 pm

Howard wrote:
@Isan...Hmmmm..re-posted again.
This so succinctly expresses the dilemma of spiritual groups/cults.  That purity of purpose is the only aspect of my experience at SA that I miss.

Count your blessings. A purity of purpose is little more than a glorified exercise in concentration.

When I meet folks, who act like cultists, all I see is the personification of a purity of purpose.

Thanks for posting again. I believe this is a really important point. Losing that initial sense of purpose/clarity/certainty can feel like failure, especially when it coincides with leaving a group that engages in scapegoating, etc. It takes determination to ignore both the inner and outer critics and just carry on.
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chisanmichaelhughes

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PostSubject: Re: Underground   Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:15 pm

I agree a very important point. One is indeed fortunate to feel and live with a purity of purpose, and two faced perhaps to hide behind a sense of righteousness, when engaging in scapegoating. And rather deluded to base a spiritual path on a personal sense of anything.
Surely the spiritual path must include determination to ignore both the inner and outer critics and just carry on.
The Buddha Mind arrived at dawn
Only the inkin
Yawned
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