2.28.2009

Meditation & Reflection

I'm gonna leave this blog alone for a while. My last ten posts have been spectacular (don't stop scrolling when you reach the bottom of the page!), and I'm feeling grudgingly underappreciated. So suck on these ten for a while.

Questions for meditation while you're perusing these gems:
  • Who is an authoritative teacher, and why?
  • Why do we prefer to read teachers that we anticipate agreeing with to teachers we anticipate disagreeing with?
  • Why do we filter our reading through the agree/disagree machine?
  • If the circumference of your trust is no bigger than the circumference of your knowledge, how can you learn anything?
  • What is Trust? Confidence? Faith? Pistis? -- what are these things to the intellectual?
  • Have you read the ancient Isha Upanishad, all 18 tiny stanzas of it? More than one translation? Have you read the Diamond Sutra of Buddha? The Sermon on the Mount?
  • Can a person claim to know what Yoga is without doing Yoga?
  • Can a person speak authoritatively about Justice without doing Justice?
  • Are the seeds inside of a pomegranate alien life forms that have travelled here from a great distance to teach us something?
  • Who are you?

6 comments:

Wishydig said...

oh i know what you mean. it can be tough to do great work and feel like it's only plinking.

Wishydig said...

...'cause of course - we are doing great work. it's among the best out there. did you read my post on how bmw drivers are assholes. that's top-notch stuff there.

Casey said...

Sometimes when I have too much caffeine I feel like a neglected prophet. Apologies.

I just had an hour's conversation with Gretchen about how I feel either like I have everything to teach and nobody to listen or nothing to teach because everybody already knows everything. And I feel like that on this blog, in public, and in the classroom.

Monica said...

Hmmm...don't feel that way (and think of me as an authoritative teacher when I say that). Most of the time, when it comes to the blogs I read, I read them, like them, think about them, but don't respond.

Sometimes we don't know how to respond to prophets ;)

But regarding who is an authoritative teacher--only those who recognize and acknowledge both their authority and ineptitude...only those who acknowledge that they are not the only authoritative voice regarding a given subject.

Casey said...

Monica said, regarding the question, "Who is an authoritative teacher?":

--only those who recognize and acknowledge both their authority and ineptitude.

That is a perfect definition. Now, what happens to a student who learns that definition? How are they able to continue trusting (that is, "investing authority in--") their teacher?

For example: when I trusted my father as an authoritative teacher, I didn't have to think critically about his words. But when he admitted that he didn't know everything, I recognized that he could no longer be my authoritative teacher... and thus I was launched on the search of my life: how to remain a student even as I know that, well, there are no authoritative teachers.

Anyway -- thanks for the encouraging comment, Monica.

Casey said...

In fact, my entire idea of G-d might consist of a teacher who A) never admits that he is inept, and B) never kills me.

Like Ben, on LOST.