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 On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's

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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:16 am

First topic message reminder :

I decided to start a topic that focuses on Kennett's personality and by extension the "personality" or style of Shasta and the OBC.

As I had said elsewhere on this site, the unrecognized shadow of the founder of religious organizations (cults) is fully lived out and expressed in their communities and organizations. The more the guru's shadow is unacknowledged, the more harmful it becomes in its expression -- for years, decades, for ever actually. Until it is consciously and fully faced and engaged.

This statement is not just philosophy or conceptual. When I ran SORTING IT OUT -- when i talked and counseled well over 1,000 people who had been in various religious / spiritual /cultic organizations, what became overwhelming apparent was that the shadows of the gurus were running rampant and causing all sorts of suffering in the lives of their devotees and students. And Shasta was a prime example of this strange and convoluted drama.

In all cases, the main narrative in these organizations and communities was that the roshi / rinpoche / guru / perfect master had no self, no ego, no persona, no personal desires or wants, no shadow and that everything the master did was an expression of the divine, of the Buddha Nature, of selfless perfection, of God.

This was the great narrative, the mythology, the hope, the dream, the fantasy.

And in every case, without any doubt, this narrative was an illusion, an enchantment, a childish fantasy -- that caused sadness and harm and confusion in the hearts and minds of the followers.

Welcome to reality.

This grand story was supposed not only to be a GREAT TRUTH but also a powerful skillful means - the idea was that the followers, by seeing only truth and beauty in the actions of their guru -- would become quickly or instantly enlightened.

Another fantasy. Illusions lead to more illusions.

Now, back to THIS TOPIC. Over the next postings, I am going to talk directly about Kennett's personality, her unresolved issues, her history, ego, self, and how her personality affected her students and her legacy -- all the aspects of her life that were not supposed to exit anymore -- after she became an official Zen "master." She had a kensho, she received transmission, she was certified by a Zen abbot -- and from that moment on, the story goes, she had no self, no personality, no shadow, no negative aspects. Well, maybe she was still a tiny bit "human," maybe she had a few eccentricities or slight flaws, but for all practical purposes, she was a living Buddha and not really human.

So, in this topic, I am going to address the my reflections on her personality / shadow / human nature as I experienced it, not the fantasy, not the myth. I am going to talk honestly about what I saw and what I experienced in living closely with Kennett for those seven years.

I know how rude and inappropriate this is -- from the point of view of the current followers - how dare I talk like this!!!! Well, from my point of view, many decades long gone from the cult, I don't play by those rules anymore and anything else seems dishonest and frankly crazy. Tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. Isn't the truth supposed to set us free? Ignoring reality leads to ignorance - doesn't it? You want to stay ignorant, ignore what is in front of you.

And, to be clear, I don't care that current group members believe that everything I say is some misunderstanding, that i didn't "get it," or whatever their spin is. As we know, they are in no position to have any independent thought or insight. That would just be too destabilizing.

Carl Jung said that one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

So that's the point of the coming stream of posts. Please join in..... as i start to post stuff.
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jack



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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:47 pm

Yeah. I read some of Trungpa's books too. Even read one of his son's books which tried to be profound about how mindfulness would improve your golf game or something like that. Not impressed.

Montaigne wrote in the 1500's something like the "The wealthy had the grave misfortune of being able to afford doctors." (Given the state of medical knowledge and the ghastly remedies prescribed, I think he was quite right.) I guess I've never been advanced enough to have the grave misfortune of finding a guru.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:38 pm

Jack

I had one of his books too, time ago, can't remember the title, but it was on Guru devotion. And since we're at it, how about the story about Marpa the translator and Milarepa, a test of ultimate Guru devotion, exept that that was written to demonstrate the evil consequenses of the uses of black magic and that the hardship that Marpa put Milarepa through was to expiate him from the resulting Karma thereof. I had always been suspicious of Tibetan type of Buddhism, mostly because of the frequent mention of uses of Magic, Tantra, etc., which now is easily available to be read on the internet, but which was talked of, documented even by very early travelers, forages by the adventurous into Tibet. I think any traces of darkness, negativity, even minor ones such as coldness, disdain, slight, contempt, etc.have no use and need to be completely avoided in any practice because they are not harmless.

Brigitte

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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:10 am

It'll be interesting to see the movie "Crazy Wisdom"- the documentary on Trungpa. I heard it will be premiering next month.

Thanks yet again, Josh for posting this kind of stuff.

I must say that it doesn't help to keep ones head buried in the sand. If anyone believes that just because someone says they are a Buddhist that they will not harm you, they are being naive. It is our responsibility to find a place where we will not be harmed. The combination of the burning desire for practice and a crazy guru is a recipe for disaster. And what Josh continues to show us is this is a framework or a model that repeats itself over and over again. All the cultic studies agree with this as well and prove the same exact model. The sad thing is, there are even more sangha's out there that haven't even been mentioned yet that have some serious problems as well. I really question Buddhism in America and in general now and yet I hold those profound teachings that I have experienced close to my heart.

Keep your eyes open people! And don't take any wooden nickles!

Peace!
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:18 am

Trungpa is a very complex situation. Much of what he wrote was quite brilliant. Clearly, he had some deep insight and was able to translatejit into western terminology and psychology. I still refer to many of his teachings.

AND, at the same time, there were lots of shadows and abuse of authority, besides the open alcoholism and his having sex with literally hundreds of his female students, all of which was well known and not hidden. Now, of course, his followers, see all this as just examples of "crazy wisdom," enlightened activity, but i don't buy it. This could get into a much larger discussion, but that is not something useful here or now frankly.

I knew dozens of former members of Shambhala and actually know and interacted with hundreds of current members of the organization. Because I often do PR for the Dalai Lama when he comes to New York and managed the communications for the head of the Kagyu tradition, the Karmapa's visit to the U.S. a few years ago, I occupy an oddly respected position in the Tibetan Buddhist world, but i am a weird independent duck to many of them. They treat me with deference even though I have at times openly criticized some of the Shambhala practices and even made fun of them a few times.

The upcoming documentary film Crazy Wisdom will be mostly a valentine to Trungpa, from what I saw. It will acknowledge his drinking and womanizing, but in the context that it was all wild crazy wisdom.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:30 am

Josh,
While I find your posts to be thought provoking and educational, I have to admit that, as a whole, I am getting the feel from you as an enneatype eight yourself. You grab the reigns of the conversation and head it in precisely the direction you want. When anyone tries to steer it differently you dismiss them and redirect your posts to exactly what you want to say. Your approach also reminds me very much of that of Daishin M. and Haryo. They came to proclaim, not engage. I get a clear picture of you ideas, but your posts show very little of who you are, other than someone who knows exactly what they want to convey and not convey. Exactly what they want to reveal and not reveal. Exactly where the conversation should go and exactly where it should not go. I'm no expert in enneatypes, but from what you've educated us about them, you're looking a little like an eight.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:40 am

Speaking for myself. I think its fine being an eight providing one is aware of it and the effect it has on others.They cant be all bad.I believe its really difficult to change ones personality and have asked monks over the years , does this stuff ever truly go away. Never got an answer.I think meditation practice can blow compacted thought apart so that it can be seen more easily, without practice it will gravitate to a confused lump again. I also think its impossible to see in another, what is not already present somewhere within oneself. You have such a good way with words Henry I do wonder if you have ever lost an argument. If you were reduced to being a wimp in the past, that is certainly not what you show now.(good for you) Is it a case of never again.
I must study the eneagram to see where I come out.
Sorry I diverted from your question to Josh.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:13 am

I have to confess, I see a lot of "eight" characteristics in myself. It can be a little stunning to see it set down in a description and realise "wow, that's me". I don't give that much weight to the enneagram concept overall though. I think it's interesting to read about once but I don't expect to apply it by assigning personality types to others. It would be of more use to say to myself "you might be an 8, so cool it. Watch your step."

John, I just saw your reply -- you beat me to it, about the effects of one's personality on others being more to the point.

Re: Josh directing threads, I have seen him guide his own threads back on topic when they've been taken on a detour, which is fine. I haven't seen any excesses along those lines -- just my two cents.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:15 am

Well John
Looks like I've thrown down the gauntlet so we'll soon see if I lose this argument with Josh. Actually I really don't see this as winning an losing. I'm making an observation and if it's incorrect, or only a partial truth I'm happy to learn from others, including Josh. It seems to me that though he has a point, or many, I sense what I sense, and it is my point of view that many of us have come here to learn as much as expound. If any of us including myself exhibit the very characteristics we accuse Rev Kennettt of it seems fair that we get called on it. That we have faults of our own and like hers is just another reason to check how we come across when evaluating Rev kennett's personality and actions and how they effected her students. If we don't do that OBC Connect can disintegrate into a lynching mob. I think it's important to be clear and specific as to things Rev Kennett did that we believe created and continues to create harm as a legacy the OBC continues, but to reduce her to a stereotype, or even seem to do this, is it's own very real danger.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:31 am

John
As a more direct answer to your question--Yes, I regularly lose arguments to my wife.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:52 am

I am not an Eight. not my type.

I think you are right about your key points I am putting out this information and I may certainly be too forceful about it.

I think I am too eager to share some of this information and you are right, that it becomes mostly pushing it out and not a true dialogue.

I think if we were all hanging out together in person, it would be a different story.

I appreciate your pointing this out.

josh
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:01 pm

Josh

I'm not persuaded about enneagrams. They are perhaps useful as a viewpoint, but not convincing as reliable truth. So whether Jiyu was type 8 or 17 is of no interest or help to me.

However, in the larger context of what you've written, I think your effort to destroy the "guru" dance is both healthy and useful. I'd read "Dark Zen," and similar material before I started Buddhist practice. Since then I've read other credible histories. The Buddhist past is checkered. There is no pure line. The irony of Buddhist history is that it is Buddhist truth itself. Things arise, grow, bear fruit, become corrupt, rotten, and die and then truth arises again. That is as true of organized religions (including Buddhism) as it is of other compounded things.

I think the Jiyu stories are generally helpful for those open to finally seeing Jiyu's behavior as that of only a flawed human being -- not a saint, not a semi-deity, not an ahahant, etc. At some point though, the work is done -- the thing is dead; pulling out the toenails, quartering the corpse, and dragging the bones through the street at some point has a tendency to resurrect the "guru" rather than further discrediting it.

Once the stage is reached where the guru glue comes unstuck, further efforts to redo the unsticking only undermine the credibility of those who keep trying to unstick you. Can't they see you are already unstuck?

I have appreciated the references, value your experience in dealing with people fleeing toxic gurus, and have enjoyed your stories. I think you've contributed substantially to this forum.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:18 pm

in terms of the enneagram, absolutely. I present this material just as one reference point and frankly, for those who don't relate to such systems, they should ignore it which is probably what many or most of the people on this forum are doing. but i wanted to share it since i personally have found it useful and gained insights from it.

and i do think people who have been through the OBC Shasta experience and come out confused and hurt need other ways to view what happened, the dynamics, why Kennett and the seniors behaved as they did, etc. Some may want to explore their experience in depth, others might move on more quickly or have less interest in figuring it out, or as it called it, "sorting it out."

dragging a dead corpse around is very smelling and annoying. and i did want to get some of these stories and insights out -- on this forum -- and that to me is useful. Believe me, i have barely thought about Shasta for decades - but for this discussion, it was worth digging up some old memories and sharing them -- but i almost didn't did do.

And I am almost done....
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:54 pm

I agree with all you say here Jack. And Josh pointing to the enneagram has helped me look at myself a bit more, along with the history of my behavior. So it has been useful in that way.
I think I have become unstuck from a lot of confusion, but whether that freedom will eventually lead me to being stuck to something else, I am not sure. It would seem that there is no such thing as an elevated spiritual person. Just people who have a deeper understanding and insight and a willingness to help with the journey. All mind made and handed down from time immemorial. No ones fault, just our wish to be connected to something greater than ourselves. Very naturally human. I feel there is still something deeper that I am still stuck to that I feel afraid to let go of- it keeps me together-- must go and sit.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:25 pm

Quote :

In all cases, the main narrative in these organizations and communities was that the roshi / rinpoche / guru / perfect master had no self, no ego, no persona, no personal desires or wants
It might be useful to consider that the organization of religion takes the yoke of spiritual practice and wraps it in the white (lookout! unintended pun... I just kill myself!) of social theories and policies. Further, there is a real misfit between an absolute monarchical social organization wrapping people whose life-world is a fairly democratic social order and a practice of liberation.

In this kind of situation, a central strategy of the social rules is to place the master outside the sphere of discourse, whilst having the master be the final arbitrator of all discourse. However, the significance of our (human) dilemma transcends being a mere checklist of what is right.

Now to speak of breaking the precepts: I suggest that condemnation as a community practice serves to show the community who is inside and outside the community. With the benefit of western history, we can see where the devil and evil is a construction of the other as an absolute rule, a proscription not to be violated, because you will be the other ... in all the horrific grandeur that is meant by that) .

... and those wicca dudes are seriously trying to mess with our heads.

I think another major problem is having the assumption that religious communities are one-dimensional: they are just spiritual.

But when we can see that life in religious communities have several dimensions (for example purpose (the spiritual), socio-political, economic, psycho-social pedagogy) then we can be unconfused about the nature of actions and interactions that play out in the community. For example, some of the distress and pain that people on this forum speak of involves being on the wrong end of an autocratic behavior that both enforced a position that everything is spiritual and then deliberately submerging the difficulties of the everyday-world beneath the established discourse.

I feel it is important to say that if we grew up and lived in an autocratic culture (lean to the east) all that you want to talk about might amount to a complete non-issue for those in charge and those co-opted to the system of authority (oh that's everywhere). I guess culture has "evolved" to the point where many are no longer fit to thrive in a context where the ruler's word is the law: anyone seen the Tudors?

I hope you can also speak of your life as a courtier in a community where the Zen Master is a monarch, absolute ruler. This is not merely true for the Zen Mission Society/OBC, but Zen (and too many others) everywhere: although I would not be surprised if there were a few Zen Masters (and others of that ilk) who have made their way into the contemporary world.

"even a demon is a buddha in his own world" was something I learnt from my association with ZMS/OBC...

Now back to you....


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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:31 pm

I am posting here a story about Rosie O'Donnell -- and the collapse of her talk show on OWN, Oprah's new network. Why? Good question. Rosie is a rather clear example of an ENNEAGRAM EIGHT personality - the same type / pattern as Kennett. The story shows Rosie in action, lots of yelling, humiliating her staff in public, total self-absorption, and so on. Yes, Rosie can be charming and a force of nature, but also quite emotionally brutal. So you might see some similarities here.

The Daily Beast

Rosie O’Donnell’s Disastrous Oprah Winfrey Network Experience
Rosie O’Donnell signed a multimillion-dollar deal with OWN for a talk show that was supposed to save Oprah’s failing network. Instead, it tanked. Ramin Setoodeh talked with staffers about what went wrong.


by Ramin Setoodeh | March 17, 2012 10:12 PM EDT

The St. Patrick’s Day episode of The Rosie Show on Friday opened with an unknown tenor crooning the hymn “Ireland (I’m Coming Home).” Sitting behind her desk in a small, audience-free studio, Rosie O’Donnell blabbed about how much she loved Chicago, her place of residence, and how she wore a coat for only two days this winter. She pontificated about her upcoming 50th birthday next week. She said that when she was born, her parents considered naming her after the season. “Spring O’Donnell,” she said with a chuckle. “It doesn’t really flow.”

The episode trudged along, rather inconspicuously, with the first guest: the tattoo artist, former reality star, and ex-fiancée of Jesse James, Kat Von D. The Rosie we all knew and loved—the one who built a $100 million empire with her landmark talk show that ran for 1,193 episodes from 1996 to 2002—was virtually absent, replaced by a subdued and checked-out host. “Um … so … you’ve been in the limelight, had a public romance?” O’Donnell asked. “I thought that was the first famous guy you went out with,” she said, not even mentioning James by name. Since the episode was pretaped, it made no reference to something else significant: the show’s demise.

As the final credits rolled, the Oprah Winfrey Network issued a press release announcing The Rosie Show had been canceled, following six months of humiliating ratings.

At the Harpo offices in Chicago, O’Donnell’s staff had been alerted of the decision only hours before, after weeks of rumors that the show was on the chopping block. Over a short TV life span, through countless reboots and hiatuses, the series had morphed from a delightful comedy hour that nonetheless premiered to weak ratings in the fall to a bleak, Larry King–style interview program with C-list guests like the cast of Dance Moms and Jaleel White. Through all the changes, some 30 employees from producers to writers had left because of budget cuts and possibly because of a boss who couldn’t decide what she wanted and frequently humiliated them in public. “It was such a [banned term] hellhole,” says one former staffer.

O’Donnell, despite her warm TV persona, has always had a reputation as a demanding perfectionist. Worshiping at the altar of Ro when she pulled in 5 million viewers as the queen of daytime and made everything she touched into gold—from Tickle Me Elmo to Koosh balls—was one thing. But O’Donnell’s new show averaged 186,000 viewers a night and hit an all-time low of 60,000 for one episode. After the format changed in January to a single-topic talk show, her ratings plummeted to a nightly average of 130,000 female viewers between ages 25 and 54, down from 180,000 earlier in the season. OWN had counted on the show to boost its primetime lineup, but instead, Rosie was a weak lead-in to all the inspirational programming that followed.
O'Donnell Patti Blagojevich

What went wrong? Multiple insiders interviewed for this story say that both Ro and O are to blame; the network never fit O’Donnell, and O’Donnell wasn’t able to make the splash she was supposed to. (Through her representative, O’Donnell declined to comment; an OWN representative also wouldn’t comment on the record.)

When The Rosie Show debuted on OWN last October, it was a Hail Mary pass by two of TV’s best gabbers. Winfrey recruited Rosie for her flailing network, with the hope that O’Donnell would bring viewers and buzz. O’Donnell’s last regular TV stint, as one of the co-hosts of The View, ended in 2007 with a spectacular on-air shouting match between O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck—soon after, O’Donnell spoke bitterly about View creator Barbara Walters having exploited her. Yet she also brought The View a jump in ratings that season, and NBC was courting her for a syndicated talk show, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations. She was ready to make it official with NBC when Winfrey visited her house for lunch. O’Donnell ended up signing a two-year, multimillion deal with OWN—because she admired Oprah so much. She also thought the network would give her the freedom to do whatever she wanted.

On the day the decision was announced, O’Donnell wasn’t even in Chicago to tell her staff the bad news.

At first, the new Rosie Show was a lot like the old Rosie O’Donnell Show, which is to say it featured the Rosie that America used to love. Rosie cracked jokes with her live audience and belted out Broadway numbers. She ended each episode with a game show that paired her celebrity guests (Roseanne, Sharon Osbourne, Valerie Harper, etc.) with regular people. The critics—those who could find OWN on their TV dials—offered a smattering of raves. “The Rosie Show is an OWN program that doesn’t ask viewers to look inside themselves,” wrote The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley, “it just entices them to watch.” Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker called it “a blatant success in terms of quality.”

OWN wasn’t so sure, however. The premiere debuted with only 497,000 viewers, and by the end of the first week, Rosie had tumbled to less than half that audience. One issue was the time slot. OWN wouldn’t air Rosie during the day, because it didn’t have any original daytime programming. The network didn’t notify O’Donnell until the end of the summer that she had the 7 p.m. hour, which sent the staff scrambling to hire a band for a nighttime show. That also meant most of Rosie’s core demographic—soccer moms—would be eating dinner during its airtime. Making matter worse, the talk show had 74 different lead-ins, including reruns of reality TV series like Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry? and Police Women of Broward County.

The network had asked O’Donnell to abandon her native New York for Chicago, and that proved to be another major disaster. By taking Winfrey’s old studio, O’Donnell was able to employ dozens of Harpo stagehands and crew, saving them from being fired. But it meant that celebrities would now have to fly—“coach,” Rosie used to joke—to Chicago to appear on a little-seen talk show. “People don’t go to Chicago on media tours anymore,” says one publicist who turned down his clients from appearing on the show. O’Donnell also had the idea to film a weekly reality series about her life in Chicago, but OWN didn’t have the staff to devote to it, and it turned into a sporadic monthly occurrence that confused viewers.

O’Donnell was confused, too. She didn’t know what she was supposed to be and was losing confidence in the funny material that once made her great. She started spinning in different directions (should she be more political?) and frequently lost her temper, according to staff members. During a taping in the fall, according to a source familiar with the incident, O’Donnell uncontrollably yelled at a publicist backstage because she didn’t like the parameters agreed upon for an interview. When the publicist wouldn’t back down, another staff member physically separated the publicist in another room from the talent so that O’Donnell could get what she wanted.

Several staffers were very upset when O’Donnell clashed with Winfrey’s longtime director Joe Terry (who has since been hired by Katie, the forthcoming Katie Couric talk show). People thought she humiliated him when she scolded him in front of a live audience for using the wrong camera shots, suggesting he didn’t know what he was doing. She fired Winfrey’s stage manager because she felt like he was ignoring her and not doing his job properly. But some of her biggest fights were with “the games department.” She couldn’t decide what she wanted—The Price Is Right, physical games, or trivia—and was constantly belittling the people who worked on them.

She also wasn’t connecting with her bandleader, Katreese Barnes, a two-time Emmy winner from Saturday Night Live. O’Donnell was frustrated because Barnes couldn’t play obscure Broadway songs off the cuff right when she named them on live TV. “I just think you can’t develop chemistry and get to know somebody without spending time with them,” says Barnes, who is moving to Los Angeles for a new job with CW Network. “I didn’t spend enough time with her for her to know who I am, because my work speaks for itself. I’m not upset that I don’t know Into the Woods by heart. A little heads-up would have been nice.”

And then there was the problem with the show’s announcer. O’Donnell had temporarily given the job to a friend of hers, but viewers at home were complaining that her voice was too annoying. One day at a taping, she met a 29-year-old African-American woman named Hollee Chanel, who was so hysterical, she was hired on the spot to become the official announcer. Chanel was something of a folk hero on the OWN set, because she had just lost her job at a nonprofit organization and was now becoming a budding star, thanks to O’Donnell. But by January, Chanel was relieved of her daily duties.

She was told she could be a correspondent. She did one segment, on parents who fail their kids—by locking them in the car by mistake, for example—but it never aired.

There was another tricky problem. Market research had indicated that even the show’s gay-friendly audience was tiring of all the gay references and hearing O’Donnell talk about being a lesbian, but O’Donnell disregarded that critique. On a recent Friday night, she advertised on Twitter that she was doing a special where she talked about being gay in America. The show ended up being an interview with Randy Roberts Potts, the grandson of televangelist Oral Roberts, and it featured clips of Rosie talking to her staff about coming out. During another episode, she implied on TV that one of the younger staff members was gay, when he had never talked about his sexual orientation. The incident left him upset and embarrassed.

When O’Donnell returned from Christmas, after being booked as a guest on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live on Bravo, she ordered that her staff build her a new set. She wanted a smaller, more intimate talk show like his. A few episodes later, she completely removed the audience.

Some of the odd changes were being encouraged from the top as a cost-cutting measure. Lisa Erspamer, a longtime Oprah employee and OWN’s executive vice president of production and development, had planted the idea with Winfrey to bring O’Donnell to OWN in the first place. As soon as the ratings didn’t improve, Erspamer had O’Donnell’s ear, too, and started questioning some of her decisions. She said Winfrey didn’t like O’Donnell’s giant red curtain, and the staff had to dismantle it. (Oddly, Winfrey and O’Donnell rarely had any direct discussions about the show, according to sources.) Why were they wasting so much money on game shows—or Chanel, who had to be paid several thousand dollars a week? Erspamer did not respond to a request for an interview.

After O’Donnell decided to scrap the whole show by giving up Winfrey’s monster studio, she traded down for a tiny side studio, with no band and no announcer. Without an audience, O’Donnell looked and sounded deflated. Although early test research indicated that O’Donnell didn’t rate well when she spent too much time interviewing celebrities, the new format had that as the focus. A few guests, like Chelsea Handler or Patti Blagojevich, were fascinating. But most of the time, the production values were so minimal, it felt like watching a televised version of a local Chicago radio show.

As the new format was introduced, O’Donnell spent nearly an hour grilling the character actor Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding) about his life, his childhood, his marriage, and fame. If the interview weren’t tedious enough, she had him play his childhood cello. (He wasn’t very good.) The full hour with Tony Danza wasn’t much better. Last week, Rosie had Liza Minnelli on, and the two women gushed about each other for the entire show. The interview was so toothless, it felt more like eavesdropping on two patrons having lunch at the Sizzler.

Even though morale on the show was said to be low, Chanel, the fired announcer, has no hard feelings. “Regardless of whether or not the public responded to it, I admire Rosie for having the courage to make the decisions no matter what they were, to be true to herself, to be true to what she wanted to do,” Chanel says. “You have to admire that about somebody.”

Erspamer, who had championed O’Donnell’s arrival, left OWN in January. Other executives huddled as early as two weeks ago to see if they should try to give The Rosie Show one more chance, with a different time slot. Winfrey herself eventually decided to kill it.

Before she made up her mind, Oprah paid Rosie a visit. Staff members who witnessed the exchange described it as awkward.

“Wow, is this the new set?” Winfrey mumbled.

“I love it,” O’Donnell said.

“Well, good,” Winfrey said.

On the day that the decision was announced, O’Donnell wasn’t even in Chicago to tell her staff the bad news. She was in New York, tweeting about what a fun day she was having on Broadway. Rosie, who was once dubbed the Queen of Nice, was taking a meeting for a revival of Annie. For her next act, she wants to play the part of Miss Hannigan.

Lots of yelling is required.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:48 pm

In my understanding of the enneagram there is the unconverted aspect of each type, and there is the transformed aspect of that same typology and personality traits. Presumably if we each do our spiritual work, the dark side becomes more conscious and the raw material of our life's transformative work. In your view, what does the transformed "8" look like? In what way might their darker qualities be converted into positive attributes that actually have a constructive value in the human community? What might a transformed Jiyu Kennett or Rosie O'Donnell have behaved and chosen differently?
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:16 am

No enneagram type is good or bad. These are patterns - and i see each type as a continuum - like water -- many gradations and states of water. On one side, you might have hard frozen water--- the stagnant water -- then a pond -- then flowing water, then a waterfall and so on. The more awake you are in your life, the less rigid and neurotic and self-absorbed we are - and the more open, kind, self-aware, and so on.

Eights will always be strong leaders, but there is a vast difference between a ruthless tyrant and an inclusive self-aware CEO. More awake Eights are first much more self-aware of how they act and affect others, they modify their instinct to be hard charging with some restraint and introspection. They need to be able to acknowledge that they are not always right, there are other points of view. They are all about justice, defending the underdog, helping those in need. An awake eight would also surround him or herself with a few good friends who could speak truth to power, and they would listen and not behead them.

Awake eights make incredible leaders especially in trying situations, times of crisis. But rather than being the bulldozer, they would be more inclusive and respectful of others and create a positive team environment -- yes, they are still the boss, but rather than instilling fear and blind devotion, they would inspire natural respect and admiration.

More aware eights do not fear sharing their feelings, failures, doubts and vulnerabilities. They stop seeing those aspects of themselves as weaknesses. Eights grow in relationships - but their significant other needs to be able to speak to them directly, not be intimidated, not back down, and then the Eight can find their vulnerable dimension that is soft and kind - and in no way undermines their dynamic strengths.

That's the short story.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:14 pm

I have just read for the first time Josh's "enneagram" analysis of how the dysfunctions of OBC temples reflect the personality types of the founders.Interestingly,I had a parallel conversation a couple of days ago-different organisation,consonant theme.I will describe this conversation later,but back now to the enneagram theory.

It seems to be a useful formula,and from what you say Josh,I get the idea that a personality type leaves a sort of "template" on the group that gets kind of worked in to the institutional culture and style,into its rituals ,probably into the intricacies of the relationships between members.

I can't quite articulate why,but this all chimes strongly with me.When I say I can't articulate,I can't reason it out,but I can reflect on my family,my school,my childrens schools,my workplaces,relationships,the meditation group I attended this evening,and observe this principle in action in all these contexts.

I can't yet understand the enneagram theory itself.Admiittedly,that is on the basis of a visit to one website .

I attempted a "free trial" analysis of my personality.The results were inconclusive ,and I didn't understand how to proceed.I mean how to use this to gain some insight.(I feel I am a pretty poor judge of my own motivations etc.I can use all the help I can get....)

Perhaps you can direct me to some reading or other source.........

About the conversation.

The other day I went for a cuppa to my favourite cafe.And sitting there were X and Y,old friends and colleagues from my days as a community artist /activist.

It was a delight to see X and Y again after all this time.(I see X every three or four years)We got to talking about Z.Z is a youth worker now,but when we met him,he and his brother came to our project looking for a venue for their punk music gigs.They heard about us and thought we might help.We loved them.They were totally committed, furiously enthusiastic,quite wacky,and actually their project was a gift to us.

We successfully applied for funding,and the bands,"Total Chaos",and "The Reptiles",had gigs at our venue,"The Garage" every Sunday night,with us in attendance to mop up the occasional casualties to glue sniffing ( then the drug of choice on the mean streets of Newcastle and Gateshead North East England).

Z and I met at a party long after "The Garage" had closed down, and we had all moved on.We got talking and hey,he was overwhelmingly warm in his praise of me and X.He said that our saying "Yes" to the punk bands,and the way we ran the project ,had changed his life.Our attitudes and behaviour,he said ,were examples that informed his current practice and inspired his career choice.

You can imagine I found this tribute quite moving.

When I spoke about it to X,she too was very gratified.I think the experience could be described as a virtuous cycle(as opposed to a vicious one).As a conversational topic,for two sixty- something old feminists,it was unusually nourishing.

There are lots of examples of good practice aren't there,Green Gulch Tassajara(best bread book ever ,Tassajara),SFZ Centre.and loads more

So I'm feeling warm and fuzzy tonight,long may it last.

How about some enneagram info Josh,or have I missed a posting with just the thing ?

Oh and another thing .the meditation group tonight and an interesting jostling of paradoxes.

The group is an OBC affiliated group.Whatever that means.

I think the enneagram type is relevant though.....

An OBC monk was visiting.At tea he mentioned an email I had sent.I sent the mail to air a concern I had about the way the group functioned regarding views and their expression.I was referring to a discussion about a passage in Zen Mind Beginners Mind,where Suzuki says that "Your Teacher" knows all his trainees, and can see their spiritual state.There was a contingent involved in that discussion ( me and one other),which argued that Suzuki was out of date on this.Most Buddhists don't have"A Teacher",and most Buddhism in the West is non -monastic,non hierarchical.

The matter was quite timely I think.The monk this evening encouraged discussion of my mail.The discussion was quite animated and revealing.eg one participant said she thought there were people in the group who "know much more than me." about Zen.So somehow "The Teacher" who knows more than the participants was,for her,other participants(trainees,but I'm trying not to use Buddhistic terms).And here I had been arguing the case for demystification.Thereby making mystery in the place of plain common sense.

and also in the place of good old Dogen's good old Fukanzazengi which good old says every good old time that meditation and its benefits is recommended to all, because it isn't the special property of a special person ,isn't something that is done in stages.........

Hey ho..onwards and sideways!
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:24 am

In terms of understand the Enneagram, I would recommend some of the better books by Helen Palmer and other enneagram experts / teachers. Go on amazon.com and you can see so many books. Find a good introduction and then read through the book. On-line resources will be somewhat truncated.

I don't know where you live, but sometimes you can find weekend workshops or on-going classes. I find the system useful especially as it can provide insights into personality dynamics and how we are wired differently. Like any system, it can be over used and some folks don't relate to these kind of lenses at all. Beyond my analysis of Kennett through the enneagram, others on this site applied other psychological insights to what happened.... also very useful.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:13 am

Thank you Josh.

I will try Helen Palmer.It is very useful to have a recommendation.

I am a psychoanalyst by trade,and find it a challenge to see things through different lenses,but I'm sure it will be rewarding.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:02 pm

I decided to post this review of a new incredibly well researched book about the American business patriarch - Joseph Kennedy, JFK's father. Many people have trouble reconciling the dimensions of complex personalities. How can a person be brilliant, charming, powerful and kind some of the time and tyrannical and selfish on other occasions? How can a person have two or three faces? We tend to want to keep things simple and black and white - our heroes and saints are perfect or close to perfect and our enemies are bad buys, evil through and through. Life is much more complex than this - that is the real life of human beings - and there are many people who are very complicated, to say the least. I could almost say they are crazy, but highly functional and powerful, yet nonetheless overwhelmed by paranoia, fear, rage and grandiosity.

This complexity not only relates to Kennett, but to many spiritual leaders / "masters", CEDs, political leaders and so on. Contradictions abound, but that is human nature. It is not some divine expression, buddha nature or crazy wisdom -- it is often just various colors of crazy.

November 15, 2012 - NYT - Family Guy
By CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY

THE PATRIARCH
The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy
By David Nasaw
- Illustrated. 868 pp. The Penguin Press. $40.

The next time you land at Logan Airport in Boston, pause a moment to reflect that you are standing on landfill annexed to what was once Noddle’s Island. Here, sometime in the late 1840s, a young escapee from the Irish potato famine named Patrick Kennedy first set foot in the New World. A cooper by trade, Patrick died of cholera in 1858 at age 35. His grandson and near namesake, Joseph Patrick Kennedy, was born in 1888 in a neighborhood now known as unfashionable East Boston. The rest, as they say, is history. In the hands of his biographer David Nasaw, it is riveting history. “The Patriarch” is a book hard to put down, a garland not lightly bestowed on a cinder block numbering 787 pages of text.

Nasaw is the Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Not quite as disinterested a credential as one might hope for in a Kennedy biographer, but Nasaw informs us that the family placed no restrictions on him, and allowed him unfettered access to the deepest recesses of the archive. This book is a formidable labor of six years.

Kennedyland is terrain notably susceptible to idolatry, hatemongering, whitewash, conspiracy-thinking, sensationalism and other agendas. Nasaw credibly avers that he has taken forensic pains to excise anything that could not be confirmed by primary sources. I am no historian, but the evidence appears to support his claim. His research is Robert Caro-esque; barely a paragraph is not footnoted. And he is unsparing about his subject’s shortcomings, which are numerous.

Given the extraordinary sweep of Kennedy’s life — banker, Wall Street speculator, real estate baron, liquor magnate (but not bootlegger), moviemaker, Washington administrator, ambassador, paterfamilias and dynastic founder — the miracle is that Nasaw was able to tell the whole [banned term] story in only 787 pages.

The book’s subtitle, “The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times,” is if anything an understatement. Joe Kennedy was personally involved in virtually all the history of his time. There has been no dearth of books about America’s royal family, but this one makes a solid case that the ur-Kennedy was the most fascinating of them all.

Fascinating, that is, as opposed to entirely admirable. Not that he wasn’t in ways, but boy was J.P.K. one complicated boyo. To paraphrase the heavyweight Sonny Liston’s manager: Joe Kennedy had his good points and his bad points. It’s his bad points that weren’t so good.

On the positive side of the ledger, he was an utterly devoted father. He adored his children and, when he was there — which wasn’t often — was a touchy-feely, hands-on daddy. When he wasn’t there, he regularly wrote them all copious letters. He superintended every aspect of their lives. And in his own highly idiosyncratic way, he was a devoted husband to his wife, Rose, a priggish, pious, humorless and deeply boring woman, while conducting conspicuous affairs with Gloria Swanson, Clare Boothe Luce and “hundreds” of other women.

Also on the positive side: he was a genius at management and organization; a Midas at moneymaking. He amassed his immense fortune without even seeming to break a sweat. As a Wall Street manipulator, he was involved in some shameful episodes; but he was also the first chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and headed up the Maritime Commission at critical times in the nation’s history. At these enormous tasks he performed tirelessly and valiantly.

As for the not-so-good part: he was a deplorable and disastrous United States ambassador to the Court of St. James’s during the crucial prewar period. One ought to refrain from smug judgments on the commonplace biases of prior generations. Kennedy was culturally anti-Semitic, but over time his anti-Semitism metastasized into a grotesque and paranoid obsession.

His isolationism was formidable and adamant, but in that, too, he was hardly unique. A lot of Americans, notably Charles Lindbergh, wanted to keep America out of another European war. But Kennedy’s relentless drive to appease — indeed, reward — tyranny was monomaniacal, preposterous and dangerous. In his view, Hitler was really just another businessman with whom a deal could be struck. Here his business genius impelled him in a direction that would have led to hell.

But it was his profound defeatism, a trait seemingly contrary to his talent for rising to a challenge and getting things done, that was so — to quote from the subtitle — remarkable. At one point we see him fulminating at the Royal Air Force. Why, you may ask, is Ambassador Kennedy in such a rage? (“Yet another rage” would be more accurate, for you can open “The Patriarch” to almost any page and find him spluttering in fury, indignation or resentment. Or all three.) Well, the answer is that he was livid at the R.A.F. for winning the Battle of Britain and thus halting the German invasion of England. No, Nasaw is not making this up. You see, all that those brave young men in their Spitfires had really accomplished was “prolonging” Britain’s inevitable defeat. One rubs one’s eyes in disbelief. Next to Joe Kennedy, Cassandra was Pollyanna.

As the saying goes, to be Irish is to know that sooner or later the world will break your heart. Daniel Patrick Moynihan adduced this chestnut of Hibernian Weltschmerz on Nov. 22, 1963, upon the assassination of the patriarch’s son. Nevertheless, for someone on whom the gods had lavished every blessing — as well as one hell of a lot of the proverbial “luck of the Irish” — Joe Kennedy was possessed of a pessimism that ran deeper than the Mariana Trench. And yet — and yet — in the end, his suspicion that the cosmic deck was stacked against him was weirdly and tragically validated. When, in 1969, this vibrantly alive man, who over a lifetime generated more energy than a nuclear reactor, died after eight years as a drooling, stroke-afflicted paralytic able to utter only one word — “No!” — he had outlived four of his beloved nine children.

His firstborn son and namesake was taken from him by the war he had so desperately tried to avert. His most cherished daughter, Kathleen, known as Kick, went down in a private plane that had no business being aloft in dangerous weather (a recurring Kennedy tragic theme). Two more sons were gruesomely murdered in public. Then there was the daughter, also much loved, whose life was permanently destroyed by a botched, if well-intentioned, lobotomy that her father had authorized.

The invalid patriarch was told about the assassinations of his sons. Nasaw does not reveal whether he was told about his remaining son’s rendezvous with karma at Chappaquiddick. Probably not; and probably just as well. His devastation was already consummate. To whom the gods had given much, the gods had taken away much more.

The dominant animus in Joe Kennedy’s life was his Irish Catholic identity. (Identity, as distinct from his religious faith.) He was born into comfortable circumstances, went to Boston Latin and Harvard (Robert Benchley was a classmate and friend). But as a native of East Boston, he was permanently stamped as an outsider. He could never hope to aspire to the status of “proper Bostonian.” This exclusion, harnessed to a brilliant mind and steel determination, fired the dynamo of his ambition.

One of the more arresting sections of the book is the betrayal — and it was certainly that, in Joe Kennedy’s view — by the Roman Catholic Church when his son was trying to become the first Irish Catholic president. The Catholic press relentlessly criticized John, while the church higher-ups sat on their cassocks, murmuring orisons for a Quaker candidate.

Nasaw cites a 1966 oral history by Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston, an intimate Kennedy friend and beneficiary: “Some of the hierarchy . . . were not in favor of John F. Kennedy being elected president. They feared the time had not arrived when a president who was a Catholic could be elected.” This reticence may remind some of the modern-day reservations expressed in quarters of the American Jewish community that a Jewish president might exacerbate and inflame anti-Semitism. Many blacks had similar reservations about Barack Obama when he first decided to run for president.

Kennedy’s Irish Catholicism, his ­outsider-ness, both paralleled and reinforced his anti-Semitism. He identified with Jews, to a degree. They, like the Irish, were an oppressed people who had also been persecuted for their religion. But in Kennedy’s view the Irish had fled their holocaust in Ireland and found haven in the New World. Now, in the 1930s, the Jews were trying to draw the entire world into a war.

Kennedy was not indifferent to the plight of European Jewry. Indeed, he tried hard to achieve some international consensus on establishing new Jewish homelands somewhere in the British Empire. His motives were more tactical than humanitarian: if European Jews could be removed from the equation, then perhaps Hitler would have his Lebensraum and . . . chill.

Back home, Kennedy shared the extremist consensus that Franklin Roose­velt was the captive of his cabal of left-wing Jewish advisers: Felix Frankfurter, Samuel Rosenman, Bernard Baruch, Eugene Meyer, Sidney Hillman and the whole schmear. (Brainwashed, as Mitt Romney’s father might have put it.) At war’s end, even as news of the Nazi death camps was emerging, Kennedy was pounding the table and railing at the overrepresentation of Jews in the government. Nasaw writes: “The more he found himself on the outside, scorned and criticized as an appeaser, a man out of touch with reality, a traitor to the Roosevelt cause, the more he blamed the Jews.” None of this is pleasant to learn.

Kennedy’s relationship with Franklin Roosevelt is on the other hand supremely pleasant; indeed, is the book’s pièce de résistance. Roosevelt’s supple handling of his volatile — make that combustible — ambassador and potential rival for the presidency in 1940 and 1944 constitutes political spectator sport of the highest order. Long before “The Godfather,” Roose­velt well grasped the idea of keeping one’s friends close, one’s enemies closer.

Roosevelt and Kennedy were “frenemies” on a grand stage, full of sound and fury, strutting and fretting, alternately cooing and hissing at each other. As president, Roosevelt held superior cards, but Kennedy played his hand craftily — up to a point. The epic poker game ended on a sad and sour note. We hear the president telling his son-in-law that all Joe really cared about deep down was preserving his vast fortune: “Sometimes I think I am 200 years older than he is.” What a tart bit of patroon snobisme. It would have confirmed Kennedy’s worst suspicions about “proper” WASP establishmentarians. Of Roosevelt’s death, Nasaw writes with Zen terseness: “The nation grieved. Joseph P. Kennedy did not.”

“Isolationist” seems a barely adequate description for Kennedy’s worldview. He opposed: the Truman Doctrine of containing Communism in Greece and Italy, the Marshall Plan, the Korean War, the creation of NATO and Congressional appropriations for military assistance overseas. Oh, and the cold war. His foreign policy essentially boiled down to: We ought to mind our own [banned term] business. But in fairness, this debate is still going on. (See Paul, Ron.)

Perhaps most stunningly, his pessimism could not even be assuaged by . . . victory! After the war, we find him accosting Winston Churchill, someone he abhorred: “After all, what did we accomplish by this war?” Churchill was not a man at a loss for words, but even he was momentarily flummoxed. In Kennedy’s view, it was Churchill who had foxed (the Jew-­controlled) Roosevelt into the war that had killed his son. Elsewhere we see him lambasting — again, Nasaw is not making this up — Dwight Eisenhower, who favored retaining American troops in Europe. Kennedy “was aggressive, relentless, without a hint of deference to the general, who was arguably the most popular and respected American on two continents.” Kennedy did not know Yiddish, but he did not lack for chutzpah.

And rage. Nasaw cites an oral history — though he advises that we approach it with caution — in which Kennedy is described as browbeating Harry Truman: “Harry, what the hell are you doing campaigning for that crippled son of a [banned term] that killed my son?”

(A strange omission in the book: Roose­velt’s son Elliott was on the bombing mission in which Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was killed. Elliott’s plane was following behind Joe Jr.’s to photograph the operation when Joe Jr.’s bomber suddenly exploded, perhaps because of an electrical or radio signal malfunction. Surely this “Iliad”-level detail — Roosevelt’s son possibly witnessing the death of Kennedy’s son — was worth including?)

Kennedy was a man of uncanny abilities, but among them was a talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. And here we — or rather, Kennedy’s perspicacious biographer — arrive at the crux and fatal flaw:

“Joseph P. Kennedy had battled all his life to become an insider, to get inside the Boston banking establishment, inside Hollywood, inside the Roosevelt circle of trusted advisers. But he had never been able to accept the reality that being an ‘insider’ meant sacrificing something to the team. His sense of his own wisdom and unique talents was so overblown that he truly believed he could stake out an independent position for himself and still remain a trusted and vital part of the Roose­velt team.”

As his son indelibly put it some months before his father was struck down: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” One wonders what was going through the mind of the patriarch, sitting a few feet away listening to that soaring sentiment as a fourth-generation Kennedy became president of the United States. After coming to know him over the course of this brilliant, compelling book, the reader might suspect that he was thinking he had done more than enough for his country. But the gods would demand even more.

Christopher Buckley’s latest novel is “They Eat Puppies, Don’t They?”
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:24 am

There is a piece in this week's New Yorker magazine - one of those incredibly in-depth profiles that only the New Yorker publishes. It is the tale of Gina Rinehart, the Australian billionaire who dominates the mining scene. Using the lens of the Enneagram, Rinehart is a classic example of type Eight - and she strongly reminded me of Kennett. So I post the link here - for those interested in the personality dance of leaders and gurus.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/03/25/130325fa_fact_finnegan
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:32 am

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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:42 am

Fot some peculiar reason I had the reply before I open the post

Ha!
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:41 pm

oh I love that cartoon, Josh, srsly, that is too funny!
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:04 pm

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is the classic psychological diagnosis for grandiose leaders / masters / gurus gone wild, etc.  I think it fits with many of our experiences of Kennett.  Here is one short Q&A addressed to people who feel they have been victimized by someone who exhibits strong NPD traits. 

Questions that Victims of Narcissistic Personality Disorder commonly ask.

1) Are they aware of what they are doing?

Yes, every decision is made with the intention of gaining narcissistic supply.

2) Do they see what they are doing or saying is wrong?

No. Any behavior is acceptable if it gets narcissistic supply.

3) Why don’t they care about how I feel?

Caring takes empathy and insights into the human condition and requires someone to look past themselves. Narcissists can only acknowledge their own needs. They cannot look past themselves.

4) How can they do this to me?

This is not about you. This is about the narcissist. Your needs, thoughts, feelings, wants, ambitions, dreams etc do not exist for a narcissist.

5) Can’t the narcissist see that what they are doing is wrong?

No. Any behavior that brings narcissistic supply is acceptable behavior.

6) How can they tell so many lies?

To a narcissist, reality is only about sourcing narcissistic supply. Telling lies creates their own reality.

7) How can the narcissist be so intolerant but expect me to tolerate their bad behavior?

Narcissists experience a heightened sense of insult (and hurt) and will lash out with rage – thus the intolerance. They have an inflated sense of importance and superiority and expect to be treated different to others. Through devaluing, your needs are not important.

Cool How can the narcissist treat me so badly when I gave them so much?

Narcissists expect and demand to be privileged. You (the non-narcissist) deserve no such privilege.

9) How can the narcissist flare up and turn on me so easily?

Narcissists are hyper-sensitive and perceive insults even when none are intended. This wounds their ‘false’ self. As the bearer of insults, you deserve to be punished, even annihilated if the perceived insult is bad enough.

10) Does a narcissist have morals?

Only when they’re linked with narcissistic supply.

11) How can someone say ‘I love you’ in one breath, then throw me away the next?

Narcissists are the Masters of Relationship Manipulation.

12) How come a narcissist cannot see that what they say or do is wrong?

Right and wrong do not matter to a narcissist. Right, or more likely, wrong only apply to others. In their own minds Narcissists never do wrong.

13) Why can’t a narcissist apologize?

See 12 above.

14) Why does a narcissist get away with such bad behavior all the time?

Narcissists surround themselves with people who respond to (or feel good about) the narcissist’s tactics. These people gain the narcissist’s attention and thus feel special or privileged themselves. Feeling good outweighs recognition of inappropriate behavior and thus the inappropriate behavior gets ignored. By ignoring and not setting boundaries for the narcissist, people enable the narcissistic behavior.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:01 am

Answer

Stop being a `Victim` .  It takes two to Tango.....
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:17 am

"It takes two to tango" is a good analogy of one aspect of the teacher/student relationship. When you tango there is a 'leader' and a 'follower'. The leader really does lead the dance and the follower has a number of opportunities to 'push back' but they are constrained and directed by the leader. Many times/moments in the tango the follower is truly at the mercy of the leader and can be hurt physically or simply mistreated by the actions and attitudes of the leader. 

Lots of views on how it was to 'tango' with KR but unless you 'took to the floor night after night' you won't know. Just as watching a tango isn't the same as dancing one.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:55 am

gensho wrote:
"It takes two to tango" is a good analogy of one aspect of the teacher/student relationship. When you tango there is a 'leader' and a 'follower'. The leader really does lead the dance and the follower has a number of opportunities to 'push back' but they are constrained and directed by the leader. Many times/moments in the tango the follower is truly at the mercy of the leader and can be hurt physically or simply mistreated by the actions and attitudes of the leader. 

Lots of views on how it was to 'tango' with KR but unless you 'took to the floor night after night' you won't know. Just as watching a tango isn't the same as dancing one.

Gensho,
Nice to hear from you again, and are you taking tango lessons? :-)  I do partner dancing and I like your analogy.  I generally lead well and my wife is a very good follower, but when I get careless she is quick to point it out and I am quick to make corrections.  Leading is not the same as controlling and following is not the same as obeying - the dance is between equals.  When we go social dancing (staying with the analogy here) we like to dance with others, but there are some leaders my wife avoids because they are inept and she doesn't feel safe with them.  JK talked a good game, but in the final analysis I don't believe she understood the difference between leading and controlling - she couldn't really acknowledge others as equals and she wouldn't take any feedback seriously from her students.

That said what purpose does it serve now to continue to hold JK up to various psychological models in order to demonstrate yet again what her shortcomings were?
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:03 pm

Isan wrote:
gensho wrote:
"It takes two to tango" is a good analogy of one aspect of the teacher/student relationship. When you tango there is a 'leader' and a 'follower'. The leader really does lead the dance and the follower has a number of opportunities to 'push back' but they are constrained and directed by the leader. Many times/moments in the tango the follower is truly at the mercy of the leader and can be hurt physically or simply mistreated by the actions and attitudes of the leader. 

Lots of views on how it was to 'tango' with KR but unless you 'took to the floor night after night' you won't know. Just as watching a tango isn't the same as dancing one.

Gensho,
Nice to hear from you again, and are you taking tango lessons? :-)  I do partner dancing and I like your analogy.  I generally lead well and my wife is a very good follower, but when I get careless she is quick to point it out and I am quick to make corrections.  Leading is not the same as controlling and following is not the same as obeying - the dance is between equals.  When we go social dancing (staying with the analogy here) we like to dance with others, but there are some leaders my wife avoids because they are inept and she doesn't feel safe with them.  JK talked a good game, but in the final analysis I don't believe she understood the difference between leading and controlling - she couldn't really acknowledge others as equals and she wouldn't take any feedback seriously from her students.

That said what purpose does it serve now to continue to hold JK up to various psychological models in order to demonstrate yet again what her shortcomings were?

 
Apparently not everyone knows or cares what it would look like if at your partner dance lessons, one man always came & danced alone with an invisable partner.
I would probably assume that he had either suffered a grievous loss that he was still unable face, held up a past partner with whom no one else could compare with or had serious intimacy issues.
I bet though you'd probably still make room for him on the dance floor and that your real concerns would be for him and not his invisable partner.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:06 pm

Isan wrote:

That said what purpose does it serve now to continue to hold JK up to various psychological models in order to demonstrate yet again what her shortcomings were?

Do any of us need a purpose, really, for what we post here - I wonder.  We've talked quite a bit about people being at different stages in their processing of memories & experience. If people find it helpful, I don't see the harm.

Confession time, I had a bit of ruffled feathers back when a couple of people basically said "that's enough" when I was still posting to that most recent exchange with Sara H.  I wasn't done "expressing", but when others weigh in with the opinion that a conversation needs to end, that's kind of a bummer, and it does have its own controlling/stifling effect.  

Should any of us be insinuating to others that their comments are not new, don't need to be heard again, or heard further?
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:47 pm

I always think you are brilliant at expressing yourself and not mincing your words Lise,it is unpleasant you felt a controlling or stifling effect. I think spiritual practice and relationships with teachers has very fine lines, and we are quite passionate about them...in the early stages we are innocent and I suppose gullable. As a beginner I believed in the Zen Mission Society and Jiyu Kennett,trusted the whole thing went along with the let go of ones own opinions etc but of course these sort of things we believe and trust in are only props,   zazen is nothing to do with cults, sects and other peoples opinions of the great way, you have my permission express your self a little more I like it ..it makes me shudder
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:04 pm

Lise wrote:
Isan wrote:

That said what purpose does it serve now to continue to hold JK up to various psychological models in order to demonstrate yet again what her shortcomings were?

Do any of us need a purpose, really, for what we post here - I wonder.  We've talked quite a bit about people being at different stages in their processing of memories & experience. If people find it helpful, I don't see the harm.

Confession time, I had a bit of ruffled feathers back when a couple of people basically said "that's enough" when I was still posting to that most recent exchange with Sara H.  I wasn't done "expressing", but when others weigh in with the opinion that a conversation needs to end, that's kind of a bummer, and it does have its own controlling/stifling effect.  

Should any of us be insinuating to others that their comments are not new, don't need to be heard again, or heard further?
 
We do all kinds of things for reasons that are neither helpful to us or others. I think it's OK to ask if that is so or not.

If I took up the Gauntlet to devote my life to slamming a former teacher of mine and wrote here endlessly about him from every different angle I could think of to expose his failings, while mostly ignoring the failings of the teachers of my current but different Buddhist practise, then I would be foolish not to expect a little push back now & then.

A foundation function of feather health, is ruffling. Feathers that are prevented from ruffling, soon smell musty. 
Now a full plucking is a different issue..
Anyway, if  the"Order of Buddhist Contemplatives Caterwaulings" needs a back up title,
"Ruffled feathers are us" gets my vote..
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:35 pm

Howard wrote:
We do all kinds of things for reasons that are neither helpful to us or others. I think it's OK to ask if that is so or not.

If I took up the Gauntlet to devote my life to slamming a former teacher of mine and wrote here endlessly about him from every different angle I could think of to expose his failings, while mostly ignoring the failings of the teachers of my current but different Buddhist practise, then I would be foolish not to expect a little push back now & then.

A foundation function of feather health, is ruffling. Feathers that are prevented from ruffling, soon smell musty. 
Now a full plucking is a different issue..
Anyway, if  the"Order of Buddhist Contemplatives Caterwaulings" needs a back up title,
"Ruffled feathers are us" gets my vote..
 
Nothing wrong with pushback. I wanted to be clear that it's ok for people to express their thoughts on this forum even if someone else got here first, on the same topic, and has shared a lot of material of their own. We have members who joined some time ago but have made just a few posts, and they shouldn't feel that their comments are not welcomed also. They are.

Nobody is arriving at the party too late.

I did survive the feathers-ruffling. And my feathers even look pretty good today, if I can be allowed to say so Smile
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:56 pm

I agree 100% with Lise. If someone new to the forum wants to vent about a teacher or someone who been here a long time wants to continue to process their experience, they should do so without others saying, "Oh, we've already heard that" or "Oh, we've hashed through that enough," etc. etc.

People say what they need to say. If someone wants to throw cold water on someone else's views, they can do that too. But no one on this forum should feel that they can't "rehash" or go through any issue they want.

Many of us left the OBC because dissent and doubt wasn't acceptable. We left because saying what was on our mind was often considered "speaking against others" or somehow was not "right speech."

So let's not censor or dismiss the comments of anyone on this forum.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:47 am

I am aware of how dicy the Sara H exchange was but..
I am not getting how a thread that hasn't had a "Newby" on it for a year, that only had sorry oldies on it, somehow managed to become about a concern for newbys. Any connecting dots would be welcomed.

And Lise
Next time you do get a hankering fer wearin them ruffled feathers.... photos? Please?
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:08 am

Ooooopps
OK ..Now I see it.
Ya can ignore the first part of my last post.
Sigh.
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:55 am

Carol said
Many of us left the OBC because dissent and doubt wasn't acceptable. We left because saying what was on our mind was often considered "speaking against others" or somehow was not "right speech."

I think this is so right,and really a lot of Josh's posts are about teachers putting them selves beyond disapproval,to the incredible detriment of those  'being taught'
The pressure pot situation of ' a teacher'knowing all the answers is a bit stupid, people who have had a tough time in life and had had a lot of problems are in my opinion going to actually have something to teach that is a whole lot closer to Shakyamuni than someone dressed in white who claims to be enlightened and is 'on a different level. I do not think Kennett was at all open to freedom of speech or challenge of direction,by the sounds of it many other 'teachers ' were not either, I think the unfolding of relationships takes time,by challenging what one was taught and what one thought is a good way of understanding what personally we got wrong especialy when we thought we were right
My koan is very simple, with a background of huge workload of 12 hour days, responsibility of single parent, huge calls on my time and person, is simply to practice and be moved by zazen here now where I am,and even with a background of having lived in the Sodo with a respected teacher I find it very difficult,but it is real life like many other people live,
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:07 pm

chisanmichaelhughes wrote:
 I think the unfolding of relationships takes time,by challenging what one was taught and what one thought is a good way of understanding what personally we got wrong especialy when we thought we were right

Thankyou Chisanmichaelhughes. I will try and use these thoughts in all my relationships, especially the one with my "girlfriend"
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:05 pm

adding this here.  It was also posted in the topic on Toxic Leadership in the book section.  I think this lens applies to Kennett's behavior:

Narcissistic Rage

Narcissistic Rage is something you, as the Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother, will no doubt have experienced.

Narcissists hate being challenged. Because they're such superior, perfect people, how dare you, a mere nobody, challenge them in any way?

This is why Narcissists react out of all proportion to the smallest slight, or perceived slight. Or even, to the slightest request for better treatment.

Their persona is so fragile that it cannot withstand any challenge whatsoever. This is why they go on the attack so viciously. They really are fighting for their life, or it feels like it to them.

There are no limits to what they'll do or say in the throes of this rage. They'll eviserate your personality, your very Self. It's like soul- annihilation. It's so destructive and vicious. It's a self-esteem destroyer.
 
Sometimes this Narcissistic Rage can turn physical, but even if it remains at being verbal, it's terrifying.

It's not surprising that many Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers have huge issues with people being angry with us. We are so sensitised to it that even normal healthy anger, or even mild annoyance, can seem like a psychic attack.

There's an irony to this too - Narcissistic Mothers use invalidation on us, and one of their tricks is to call us over-sensitive even when we're not. But having being subjected to Narcissistic Rage makes us over-sensitive too. So it can become a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Many Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers report that they are terrified of their mothers. It's not surprising - they know our weaknesses, and they've no hesitation in fighting dirty. It gives them a lot of power.

I know that I, even though normally an articulate assertive woman, would go to jelly whenever my mother would snap at me. "Danu! That's enough!" she'd say, and I'd cower immediately. I'm not proud of it. But I'm sharing it so that you'll see, if this applies to you, that it's a standard reaction.

That is the power of her Narcissistic Rage.

Having said that, the power of EFT is like kryptonite to it! You can reprogram that terrified feeling using it, to get to a place where you see her rages as what they truly are: the trantrums of an overgrown toddler.  This video is also available as part of the Narcissistic Parent Survival Kit.

Read more: http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/narcissistic-rage.html#ixzz2nzLNIpg4
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:27 pm

I have to admit I did not know what Narcisstic meant just as well I looked it up, I thought we were talking about Vicious women!!
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:16 am

It also applies to daughters raised by narcissistic fathers. And I don't know about any family but mine, but my mother's goal in life seemed to be to stand up for my father's narcissism, validate how great he was and support his narcissistic tendencies in any way she could.  Her purpose certainly wasn't to protect her children from his narcissistic rages. I'm guessing mine wasn't the only family with a narcissistic parent and a narcissist validating spouse.  That's really horrifying for the children. 

I would love to see a strand here on narcissism and how to deal with narcissistic behavior. There is no protection at a monastery from narcissistic behavior by seniors as long a he or she directs it only at those junior to him or her.

Sophia
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PostSubject: Re: On Personalities and Shadows: Kennett's and Shasta's   Sun Dec 22, 2013 11:51 am

H Sophia wrote:
It also applies to daughters raised by narcissistic fathers. And I don't know about any family but mine, but my mother's goal in life seemed to be to stand up for my father's narcissism, validate how great he was and support his narcissistic tendencies in any way she could.  Her purpose certainly wasn't to protect her children from his narcissistic rages. I'm guessing mine wasn't the only family with a narcissistic parent and a narcissist validating spouse.  That's really horrifying for the children. 

There is no protection at a monastery from narcissistic behavior by seniors as long a he or she directs it only at those junior to him or her.

Sophia
.
There were similar dynamics in my family.  It seems necessary for the partner of a narcissist to engage in "toxic accommodation" in order to sustain denial of what is wrong about the behavior.  My parents' generation generally seemed to subscribe to the notion that children forfeited the right to be critical of their parents' behavior by virtue of the fact that they were being supported, as if parents were doing children a favor by raising them.  The monastic hierarchy at SA is similar to that old family hierarchy and is vulnerable to the same exploitation.  Typically in families (just as in the monastery) there is collusion across the generations making it very hard to change.  I believe I lasted as long as I did at SA because my upbringing acclimated me to the dysfunctional environment.

Henry (a former SA monk and now a family therapist) has posted here about how the person designated by the family as needing therapy is often the scape-goat for the family's unconscious issues.  You might like reading this thread:

http://obcconnect.forumotion.net/t398-fti-vs-psychological-perspective
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PostSubject: Videos on Enneagram 8   Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:15 pm

Videos on Enneagram Eight / Kennett's personality style - 

http://youtu.be/dKEoKoZWAg0

http://youtu.be/-MrGKqlh7ro

http://youtu.be/Wzyijw2No64

http://youtu.be/hS6EOCYXDxI
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