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 Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors

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Jcbaran

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PostSubject: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Wed Jan 16, 2013 3:44 pm

Today, there is a lot of buzz about Lance Armstrong, the famous athlete and his decades of using illegal doping drugs in competition. He has decided to confess his past transgressions to Oprah Winfrey and this will be broadcast over two nights this week. I am posting a short piece below from the new yorker magazine. How does this relate to our discussions here on this site about the OBC and Zen?

So, some babbling: I find that when I read some of the coverage about Lance - not just about his doping and his years of lying about it, but also how he vilified those who tried to expose him, ruining many lives, along with creating and promoting a huge myth about himself -- to me this story is a mirror reflecting some aspects of what we are dealing with on this website. The Lance story is another tale of grandiosity, self-promotion, pretending to be what he is not, myth-making, denial, self-delusion, as well as building a scene / cult around himself that promotes his divinity. He was behaving like so many religious / cult leaders as well as many politicians and celebrities.

So when we hear about the recent allegations against Joshu Sasaki, and the situations with Shimano, Genpo, Maezumi, Eko and so on -- these have much more in common with Lance Armstrong or Jimmy Saville or Jerry Sandusky than they do with Shakyamuni. In my opinion, the behavior of these guys should be looked at through the common lens of human nature. The "buddha" nature story that is trotted out is so much misdirection, myth-making, fantasy and ultimately denial and self-delusion.
I see Kennett and Eko in a similar light. When i hear all these ducks quacking, I no longer think they are eagles pretending to be ducks - for our sake. Just ducks. They were never eagles, except in some fantasy, some enchantment. Of course, one part of this dance, this theater - is that not only do these gurus and leaders want to be eagles, pretend to be eagles and have convinced themselves they are indeed eagles, their followers also want eagles. We wanted Kennett to be this great master -- and the people around Shimano and Sasaki, they base their personal identity / story on being disciples of a living Buddha in this glorious unbroken lineage. No matter the evidence, we can stay enchanted for years or decades... until we begin to wake up, until the trance shatters, when people start to speak out, say the emperor is naked, or notice that there be ducks!!!! OMG! That wasn't skillful means or great dharma teachings or an expression of the koan - that was groping!!!! She wasn't teaching me humility, she was overwhelmed by her own anger and insecurity. The quacking was indeed just quacking.

Back to Lance - I have bolded some of the key phrases below that jumped out at me. Lance was the ultimate master of his myth -- and the truth or the facts had nothing to do with it -- everything he did was to create and glorify himself... and when someone questioned his big story or tried to tell the truth, he persecuted them. This sounds like so many religious leaders, doesn't it. Don't mess with the big story!!!! Who are you to question the great man??? These gurus / celebrities see themselves as bigger than life, super human, beyond normal accountability or rules or ethics. They have gone beyond, so now everything they do is by definition expressing their special, unique state of being - whether as a sports god or a zen "master" or a BBC national celebrity or a holy anointed prince. So Lance can dope for years and years and somehow convince himself that it's fine and spiritual teachers can manipulate and seduce their students and somehow convince themselves and their followers that they are still keeping some grand formless version of the precepts.... that works fine until it all falls apart, the reality is exposed for what it is, the excuses don't fly outside the bubble, the rationalizations sound ridiculous in the light of day, under any kind of questioning....

end of my babble.

January 15, 2013
What Lance Armstrong Did
Posted by Michael Specter


A few days ago, I was waiting for a friend in one of those Brooklyn bars where all the bartenders have Ph.D.s in philology or phrenology or something. Two people were shouting at a third, who, it turned out, had a problem with Lance Armstrong.

“Everyone did it,” one of the men screamed. “Everyone. If they gave Tour de France trophies to people who were drug-free, they would have to find their winners in grade school.”

“He lied,” the anti-Lance man replied, somewhat timidly. “Why didn’t he just tell the truth?”

“Grow up, you moron,” the third shouted, loudly enough to startle the room. “Everyone lies.”

I am not the type of guy who jumps into the conversations of random strangers. But, at this point, I snapped, rose from my barstool, and began to screech. “Everyone may lie,” I said. “But here is what everyone doesn’t do.”

Everyone doesn’t earn thirty million dollars a year, nearly all of it from endorsements based not just on athletic prowess but on the golden aura of a man so pure, so dedicated, that he would bear any burden and endure any pain to win the world’s most gruelling athletic contest again and again and again.

Everyone doesn’t react repeatedly with outrage and vitriol when accused of violating the rules even though he knows he’s guilty, and then denounce and sue journalists who imply that he might have applied makeup to conceal needle marks on his arm. (Everyone doesn’t accept settlements from such publications, either.)

Everyone doesn’t make a commercial for Nike in which he ridicules any suggestion that he was ever “on” anything other than his bicycle, “busting my [banned term] six hours a day.”

Everyone doesn’t raise hundreds of millions of dollars for their vanity cancer foundation, a foundation that—no matter how much good it has done, though there is some debate about that—was created and sustained by the image of a survivor who defeated his nearly fatal disease with a grace and dignity that he would never relinquish.

Everyone doesn’t get paid tens of millions of dollars by the United States government while representing that government (and its people) by leading a cycling team that was sponsored in large part by (and named for) the United States Postal Service.

Lance Armstrong was not a man, he was an idea; an American myth like Honest Abe and Johnny Appleseed. He was the little engine, brutalized by illness and then savaged by opponents, who could anyway, somebody who shrugged off hate and always took the high road.

I love a good myth. (So did those guys in that bar. They ended up acknowledging the magnitude of Armstrong’s lies, but had a tough time walking away from them, though, like me, they eventually did.) And I should say, as I have here, here, and here, that I bought it all for many years, and no doubt hell also hath no fury like that of a gullible, humiliated fanboy. (You can see my original sin in the 2002 Profile of Armstrong that I wrote for the magazine.) Yet, as the world is now aware, Lance has taped a confessional interview with Oprah Winfrey in which, she made clear on CBS yesterday morning, he conceded in some way that he was a lying doper. (Who else but Oprah do you confess to if you are Lance Armstrong? In America, papal absolution wouldn’t go nearly as far.) Oprah said that, while he “did not come clean in the manner that I expected,” she was satisfied with the answers. “I don’t think ‘emotional’ begins to describe the intensity or the difficulty he experienced in talking about some of these things.”

So why would a man who has based much of his adult life on self-righteous indignation confess now? Well, if the highly reliable Juliet Macur of The New York Times is to be believed, Lance had special reasons. He has expressed no remorse for breaking the law, for using drugs, or for deceiving millions of children (and a bunch of childlike adults) into believing that he was an ideal role model. It wasn’t even because he has jeopardized the future of Livestrong—the cancer foundation he began with money he earned through lies.

Nope. Lance has realized that the United States Anti-Doping Agency now owns him. He could have avoided any racing ban if he had confessed six months ago, but then he was still under the illusion that he could brush off evidence that U.S.A.D.A. described as “as strong or stronger” than any it has ever had.

You see, Lance wants to compete in triathlons and other sporting events and U.S.A.D.A. won’t let him—unless he owns up to what he did. That’s his reason. He wants to get back on the bike. But he will only race again (and probably not for years, in any case) if he names names, implicates colleagues, coaches, friends—many of the very people he threatened to destroy if they ever revealed the truth about him.

Despite having been spectacularly wrong about Lance in the past, I will make one more prediction: Lance will talk and talk and talk. After all, he wants something for himself, and what else matters to him? Because Lance Armstrong is not a stand-up guy. And he never has been.
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maisie field



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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:17 am

Good babbling Josh.
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Isan
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:29 pm

Many good points Josh, but I don't feel it's enough. The bad consequences of Lance's behavior are apparent, but the good consequences may not be. There are always good consequences even if they are unintended. For instance you wrote:

Everyone doesn’t raise hundreds of millions of dollars for their vanity cancer foundation, a foundation that—no matter how much good it has done, though there is some debate about that—was created and sustained by the image of a survivor who defeated his nearly fatal disease with a grace and dignity that he would never relinquish


This can be rephrased from the opposite point of view, eg even if Lance Armstrong thought cynically that the LiveStrong foundation was just a means to enhance his career the help it gave to others stands on its own. The people helped may be a lot more forgiving under the circumstances. They may even think that if Lance hadn't made all the "mistakes" that are now being focused on they might not have survived. Anyone saved through support from LiveStrong is probably having a hard time trying to figure out how they feel about Lance's doings. The Buddhist teaching of No Self applies. There is no "good" Lance or "bad" Lance - there are only the many choices he made and the intended and unintended consequences that resulted. I feel this is important because it is the way to reconcile the coexistence of help and harm, and to acknowledge them both instead of denying one or the other. It is the answer to the conundrum of how to understand teachers who do both good and harm.
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:38 am

Well said Isan! The business of attending to contradiction is always messy. It is so much easier to reduce contradiction to a definitive one side or the other.

The only problem with this is, that reality cannot be reduced to "one side or the other"!
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:29 am

Perhaps it is all more easily understood from within the Buddhas Great Teaching of Pratitya Samutpada, or Dependent Origination.
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Carol

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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:08 am

Breljo, What do you mean?
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:51 am

Good question Carol ! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:10 pm

So here is another example i bumped into this morning - from the Catholic Church. File this under the category: "there is only one true story" ... and you better believe it or you are a heretic.

This mono-narrative syndrome we have seen recently with Lance Armstrong - he crafted his hero persona and anyone who challenged it (with the truth, i might add) was vilified, sued, persecuted, ruined. This week, we saw this is in Scientology's reaction to this new book - how dare the author and former member Paul Haggis doubt or challenge the official narrative about Hubbard and his church. Scientology is an example of a very old way of thinking and behaving towards those who question or want to leave.

We saw this with Sasaki until his house of cards came tumbling down with so many revelations that continued denial was impossible. And of course with the scandals at Penn State and the BBC - all examples of a grand and deliberately crafted myth - that is the only way to see things... until the light of day brings it all down. At Penn State, after all the revelations, they had to physically remove this almost-holy statue of their head coach, Joe Paterno - he had been essentially sainted and worshiped for decades. The story came tumbling down.

And of course, until this website, OBC and Shasta were prime exemplars of this syndrome about Kennett and themselves. There was only one narrative about Kennett that was acceptable... to speak otherwise was "to break the precepts." Messing with "the one true story" is the big crime.

So back the article below. This renegade Catholic priest talks about writing "thought provoking article." With established religious hierarchy and cultic organizations whose main job is self-preservation, the last thing such groups want are articles or discussion that "provoke thought." Independent / critical thinking is the devil, is mara, is breaking your vows and killing the buddha. Critical thinking is suppressed at all costs and such people are excommunicated or cast out, or in earlier times, severely persecuted and killed. And not just in earlier times - in many conservative Muslim countries, all questioning is unacceptable and punishable by death. That's how seriously we take our stories.

I have bolded some phrases and sentences below:

January 19, 2013
Priest Is Planning to Defy the Vatican’s Orders to Stay Quiet
By DOUGLAS DALBY


DUBLIN — A well-known Irish Catholic priest plans to defy Vatican authorities on Sunday by breaking his silence about what he says is a campaign against him by the church over his advocacy of more open discussion on church teachings.

The Rev. Tony Flannery, 66, who was suspended by the Vatican last year, said he was told by the Vatican that he would be allowed to return to ministry only if he agreed to write, sign and publish a statement agreeing, among other things, that women should never be ordained as priests and that he would adhere to church orthodoxy on matters like contraception and homosexuality.

“How can I put my name to such a document when it goes against everything I believe in,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. “If I signed this, it would be a betrayal not only of myself but of my fellow priests and lay Catholics who want change. I refuse to be terrified into submission.”

Father Flannery, a regular contributor to religious publications, said he planned to make his case public at a news conference here on Sunday.

The Vatican’s doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to Father Flannery’s religious superior, the Rev. Michael Brehl, last year instructing him to remove Father Flannery from his ministry in County Galway, to ensure he did not publish any more articles in religious or other publications, and to tell him not to give interviews to the news media.

In the letter, the Vatican objected in particular to an article published in 2010 in Reality, an Irish religious magazine. In the article, Father Flannery, a Redemptorist priest, wrote that he no longer believed that “the priesthood as we currently have it in the church originated with Jesus” or that he designated “a special group of his followers as priests.”

Instead, he wrote, “It is more likely that some time after Jesus, a select and privileged group within the community who had abrogated power and authority to themselves, interpreted the occasion of the Last Supper in a manner that suited their own agenda.”

Father Flannery said the Vatican wanted him specifically to recant the statement, and affirm that Christ instituted the church with a permanent hierarchical structure and that bishops are divinely established successors to the apostles.

He believes the church’s treatment of him, which he described as a “Spanish Inquisition-style campaign,” is symptomatic of a definite conservative shift under Pope Benedict XVI.

“I have been writing thought-provoking articles and books for decades without hindrance,” he said. “This campaign is being orchestrated by a secretive body that refuses to meet me. Surely I should at least be allowed to explain my views to my accusers.”

His superior was also told to order Father Flannery to withdraw from his leadership role in the Association of Catholic Priests, a group formed in 2009 to articulate the views of rank-and-file members of the clergy.

In reply to an association statement expressing solidarity with Father Flannery, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith denied it was acting in a secretive manner, pointed out that Father Flannery’s views could be construed as “heresy” under church law, and threatened “canonical penalties,” including excommunication, if he did not change his views.

This month, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wrote to an American priest, Roy Bourgeois, notifying him of his laicization, following his excommunication in 2008 over his support for the ordination of women.
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:57 pm

Hi Carol, Stan

OMG, I need a couple of cups of coffee first to come up with with an answer that somehow makes sense (at least to me Smile. I am sure someone out there could say it with a couple of sentences, but I need a little time.......... Get back to you later

Brigitte
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:52 pm

Without getting too cheezy..

One of the purposes of dependant origination is to show how we all contribute to cause & effect.
It shows how we all blind ourselves.
The very belief that there is a fence that separates our moment to moment actions from Lance's is to mimic him.

What is a practise but transcendence of such mimicry.
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breljo

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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:27 pm

Thanks Howard, very good, to the point, and whether cheezy or not. this is what I came up with.

Josh says" Messing with the Big Story"is the one true Crime", and that rings so true, but do any of us ever know all of the "Big Story"? The way I understand this teaching of Pratitya Samutpada (Dependent Origination), is that everything in existence iss related to everything else, and nothing comes about of its own accord. all comes about because of a gazillion of other contributing factors. Take for example a child whose parents are very strict and demanding. The child because of certain genetic factors, dispositions, struggles and is unable to meet the demands of the parents and therefore grows upwith a lot of insecurities and ends up lashing out at the world in some way or other. He may become an abuser or he may finally find a niche in which he can excel and prove to himself and to the world that he too is "worthy", even superior and now needs to keep up this charade he has established. I am not saying that this is what happened to Lance, it is just an example. We are all the result of so many contributing factors that it seems impossible to pass judgment, all we can ever do is act from within our own understanding, whatever that may be at the time, and go on from there however best is seems for us at that moment.

Those of us here on OBC Connect have also only been able to "process" our various experiences with the OBC according to whatever our particular perceptions and understandings of the time may have been, we just did what we thought needed to be done and went from there. In this ever shifting mixture of existence, this total fluidity, nothing seems ever to be completely right or wrong, everything has a little bit of this and a little of that in the mix and all we can do is keep going, as best we think we know how, ask the Universe for some compassion and learn from our own mistakes and from those of others and try to do better

Gasho to all

Brigitte
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:55 pm

PS: Just wondering if anyone saw the interview, some time ago, with Barbara Walters and Bernie Maddoff from Jail? It somehow relates to all this in some way, how we all build up these enormous structures of ourselves, only to have them come down collapsing around us eventually. The interview, if you have not seen it, is most likely somewhere on the internet. I thought it was interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:09 pm

I think its valuable to have a site where spiritual myths can be freely examined in the light of print.

The more interesting transmission for me often comes up as a question when watching spiritual quarterbacks seeking to divulge the truths of others from the comfort of an anonymous armchair.

Most of the complaints that have spawned this very site has arisen from the descepancy between the spoken word of teachers or organizations and their actions.

Posters can present this same discrepancy through always speaking of others faults without speaking of their own trials relating to this.

Much of what I see here is a them and us mentality. Many of these postings lack believable when asking others to remove their masks while those posting authors repeatedly fail to demonstrate how they do it..

That's OK if one is just looking for a place to vent or perhaps charge another windmill with the keyboard but just how are you then any different from those you are criticizing.

Just a thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:31 am

Who does a child go to with how he/she feels? Where is the love for that child?

So Lance and me have to hide ourselves away, throw away the key, and try and make ourselves into somebody that is acceptable, that does work with what the world is telling us is important.

So we took on roles that the world demanded of us.

Lance came out of a heartless childhood so he has acted heartless.

I came out of a mostly heartless childhood and I am struggling to say I am heartless.

I know I took on the role of negotiator, and reconciliatior, and failed.

That's a lot of my adult life too.

And I've just made clear contact with a child inside me, a little boy who tries to get close to people and show himself but then has to run when they don't love him, don't notice him, or attack him.

I guess I'm angry/devestated at all the "adults" who told me what was important, and it was the party line, the one true story as Josh puts it. And I had to believe them.

For me lance armstrong is easy to get over, he never set himself up as knowing about life. But he is a very nasty man who's done more good than I ever will with his charity work. And I haven't invested myself in the cycling world too much.

Jiyu Kennett is far harder to get over for me, because in looking for a truth outside my family/community (there were no answers there) I turned to obc and buddhism and put huge amounts of faith there.

I'm coming to the realisation that I've been had again, that my child inside hasnt been listened to or loved by the Buddhist world.

In fact my little boy has been ignored by all the Buddhist teachers I've been to....

Except one..... Many years ago... For 20 seconds....

Genpo.

In a room with 70 people in it he answered me and he was right there for my little boy, with awareness, understanding and love.

I don't think life is easy or straightforward
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:33 am

And Josh I think you are right about the similarities with all these stories.

The first 2 people I met like all the people you are talking about were my mother and father
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:31 pm

This was written by my friend Raphael Cushnir, who is an author and workshop leader, a brilliant independent spirit. He makes many good points. We can not only use the Lance Armstrong mirror to see how groups and authority and grandiosity operate in the world "out there" - but we can see our own reflection - where we seek security, safety, control, where we exaggerate or get defensive and so on. A useful continuous exercise. I think both viewpoints are worthwhile. It is useful to dig deeply into these situations and learn from them cutting through the stories -- and we can let these reflections become active koans in daily life. Neither viewpoint negates the other. In other words, using a situation for self-reflection does not negate the fact there really is a person out there that caused harm - and that needs to be openly addressed.

We Are All Lance Armstrong

Yesterday I gave a talk at Unity of Portland titled "We Are All Lance Armstrong." There was a simple point, and a strong response, so I decided to share the gist of it here with you.

During last week's interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admitted that he was both a liar and a bully. Oprah listed his worst transgressions and asked, "Who does that?"

Armstrong replied, "A guy who must control every outcome."

Which is something he shares with the majority of humanity. We assert maximum control over every situation in order to feel safe. But safe from what? It's not our actual survival that's at stake in everyday life; instead, it's the way we feel.

While the intensity of our personal drives and the nature of our goals may differ, we all want to feel good. Even more important, we'll do everything in our power to avoid feeling bad. That's because the "primitive" part of our brain can't tell the difference between an external threat, like footsteps in a dark alley, and an internal threat, like shame or rejection.

This oft-overlooked point bears emphasis: The primitive brain perceives difficult and challenging emotions as life-threatening. Not only does it block them from our awareness once they've arisen, but it also leads to habitual strategies of avoidance.

When we won't feel an emotion, our lives become run by our resistance to that emotion. We make choices which are about not experiencing that feeling, rather than ones in our highest good.

What's usually behind a great desire of any kind - for winning, fame, wealth, approval - is a corresponding need to escape the emotional cost of its opposite. And almost always that emotional cost is connected to our most painful previous wounding.

Therefore, one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is: What one or more emotions am I most unwilling or unable to feel? Learning how to feel those emotions, which is actually simple (though not always easy) is the fastest and surest way to healing, transformation and peace. It also, amazingly, rewires the glitch in our brains that brings about our emotional resistance in the first place.

If you're not already on this path toward greater emotional connection, there's detailed instruction on my website, cushnir.com, as well as in my book and audio program, The One Thing Holding You Back.

Here's hoping that Lance Armstrong, and the Lance Armstong in us all, embraces the unsurpassed power of vulnerability. While all the worldly goals we strive for create temporary satisfaction at best, attunement to our emotions creates what's referred to as "the pearl beyond price" -- a state of lasting serenity that is independent of life's ever-changing conditions.

To your own pearl beyond price,

Raphael
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PostSubject: Re: Lance Armstrong, Sasaki, Shimano - the many mirrors   Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:43 pm

another way to use the Lance situation as a mirror:

lanced
January 20th, 2013 · Karen Maezen Miller
http://www.karenmaezenmiller.com/lanced/


I will confess to having an unhealthy fascination for the Lance Armstrong saga. I watched his interview on Oprah last week.

I am not a fan. I do not follow cycling. I have no stake in his guilt or innocence, punishment or redemption. But I have a stake in the human story and what we can learn about ourselves by opening our eyes to one another. I don’t share the views of those who say, “Cheating doesn’t matter” or “Everyone does it” or “He is a demon” or “He was persecuted” or “He should rot in hell.” I have an interest in pain and suffering. That’s all his story is about. His story is about how we suffer and cause others to suffer. Pain should interest us all.

What I saw on TV last week was not what some saw. I did not see dispassion or denial, not the face of evil or greed. I saw a man stupefied by his own deep terror, his unmet fear. A man who has broken his own heart. And by seeing it, my heart breaks too. Our hearts are lanced—how can they not be?—when we finally face the savagery of our self-deceptions.

He talked about all of the events, all of the doping and dodging, as part of his life strategy to “control the outcome.” And not just in competition. Not just after cancer. He is a small man, actually, and you can see in his slightness the shadow of a small boy. A boy without a father, without a family, without the birthright or build that gives men swagger in Texas. Even then he was mortally afraid. And so he fought, he stole, and he bullied. Audacity can take you far, it just can’t take you to the finish before the cracks open up and the road crumbles beneath you.

His delusion is our own delusion. We all live as if we can control the outcome.

Some were unsatisfied with his stiffness, terseness, and the apparent stinginess of empathy and emotion. But I saw a feeling so big it swallowed him whole. I saw it in the way he turned his head or covered his mouth. In his choking, wordless paralysis. He cannot run. He cannot ride. He cannot even move.

A friend who knows all about the side effects of cancer observed that Armstrong rarely called cancer by name but rather as “the disease.” It’s not really his cancer that goes nameless, because that is not the disease that has killed Lance Armstrong. The disease that felled him—that destroys us in the prime of our lives no matter what the prognosis—is fear.

I am sorry for Lance Armstrong and collaterally, for everyone hurt, down, sad and overcome, like me, by the poison pierce of rampant fear. Let each of us, in our own way, face our fear before we cause more harm. Before our time is up. Then maybe we can live strong.
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