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About Coaster

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  1. More confusion is coming

    Not a ranking:
  2. Work life interfering with practice?

    You are just describing exoteric Abrahamic religion and esoteric Eastern religion, and ignoring the other two. Just to give a few examples, in Esoteric Abrahamic religion, we have: and In Exoteric Eastern religion, we have: and
  3. Work life interfering with practice?

    I just wanted to comment about one minor point in your post. I think that our impressions of "spirituality" in English speaking countries are associated with Eastern religions, simply because our "default" religion is Christianity, and so someone who wants to do something different, then avoid Judaeo-Christian religions, which only leaves the Eastern religions. And, in addition, there is a historical reason, as follows: Both the Western religions and the Eastern religions have an "exoteric" aspect, which is designed for the average person, i.e. give money and go every week to church/temple. Then they have an "esoteric" aspect which is contemplation, meditation, and so forth, which was only done by monks (prior to World War 2). When people actively stopped doing their local default religion, it was often because the exoteric participation was not enough for them. They were looking for esoteric practice - but - religions do not promote esoteric practices outside of a full-time (monk) situation. So, they did not see the esoteric practices of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and looked to other religions. Then in the 20th Century, some Eastern religious teachers came to the West. The people who had the time and the education to understand the Eastern practices were upper class people (or upper middle class). So, the Eastern religion teachers saw these Westerners who spend all day every day at the Ashram, and saw that this was like monks - they were interested, and they were available full-time. So they gave these people esoteric teachings normally reserved for monks. And when those Western disciples setup centers to teach other Westerners, they taught those esoteric teachings, because that is what they knew. So, while the Western missionaries had always setup exoteric churches in the East - because their subjects were working class people - the Eastern religious teachers who came to the West ended up giving esoteric teachings to Westerners - just due to "historical" reasons, meaning the conditions of the time and place, rather than any intention to do so. Thus, people in the West associate esoteric teachings like meditation with Eastern religions, purely due to the circumstances that led to only Eastern esoteric teachings being publicly taught in the West.
  4. Work life interfering with practice?

    But that is what it is about for all the people we call "materialistic". No one goes out to make $100 million so that they can buy $100 million of specific things like cars. What they are doing is competing for status (aka "playing the game"). This is why no one ever stops when they make enough money to buy everything they might want, instead after the first $100 million, they keep working 12 hours every day to make the next $100 million. The "game" is "my net worth is bigger than your net worth". It's instinctive. Money is the scorecard of the game. The fact that the same money that is the scorecard is ALSO the means for survival for poor people is intentional. That's what is meant by "let's play for real money". It's real because for some people, losing their money means death for them and their family. The game IS samsara (aka maya). Spirituality is not caring that everyone wins and you lose. "Give them the other cheek".
  5. More confusion is coming

    I said that in the original post.
  6. Work life interfering with practice?

    It's worth noting that for thousands of years, up until the end of World War 2, spirituality was only practiced by full-time monks, or sometimes by independently wealthy people who had plenty of time (e.g. upper class). Upper class leisure activities then were trickled down to the masses, largely for the reason of providing income to entrepreneurs. Spiritual practice got swept along by that phenomenon. A lot of them are not really suited to part-time practice. For example, I spent 10 years doing Tibetan Buddhism, and eventually came to the conclusion that it was entirely constructed for monks, and was unsuited for householders (YMMV). +++ Ironically, the advancement of technology means that we each have less time than before - just the opposite of the marketing promotion of "time and labor saving gadgets". Compare making a phone call in 1990 to making a phone call today. In 1990, press the seven digits (perhaps look it up in a pocket address book), and the person either answers or it goes to an answering machine. At the end of the month, a paper bill arrives and you write a check and put on a stamp. In 2015, you first have to decide between iPhone and Android. If you are rigorous, that could take dozens of hours of reading threads and reviews. Then you have to choose between Verizon, AT&T, Tmobile, Sprint, etc. - more hours of threads. Then you have to choose whether you want a feature phone or a full-on smartphone, and then many more hours of threads of which model. Then you have to decide which plan, whether your minutes are rolling or not, whether pay-as-you-go or monthly. Okay, so you can make a call - oh wait, there was a new iOS (or Android) version and now your phone does not work properly. More hours with customer service and thread reading and finally you have it working. Finally, you turn the phone on... and no bars ! That's just one way in which entrepreneurship is based on making other people use more of their time.
  7. More confusion is coming

    Ultimately no. But in the future, when you say practice Qi Cultivation, the reply will be " You have a special way of charging your phone? That's cool. "
  8. More confusion is coming

    But not "A corporation making billions of dollars off a flaw in smartphones".
  9. I hate when people adopt spiritual terms for crass material purposes ("guru", "avatar", etc.). Now it's our turn: (Note that cellphone charging is probably the biggest "first world problem" currently, so I expect this use of our term to eclipse its original meaning very soon.
  10. People who don't accept mainstream culture ?

    First off, I'm not worrying about being thought crazy, I just find that it is better to start off at the beginning with people who are "on the same wavelength". Second, I'm not in college or a big corporation, so I am not constantly in social contact with a lot of people. So the idea "just be who you are and see what happens" doesn't work, because I have to seek out people to begin with. Lastly, I am interested in this in a general sense - without reference to me personally - as to whether there are any "counter-culture" groups beside New Age and Eastern Spirituality.
  11. People who don't accept mainstream culture ?

    I'm not trying to start another thread on New Age, there are plenty of those already. My original question is simply: Are there people (in the West) who don't accept mainstream culture, and are not New Age people nor followers of Eastern Religion? Someone mentioned Conspiracy Theorists, which is one plausible answer. (I gave my personal take on that, but its still a plausible answer, thanks.)
  12. People who don't accept mainstream culture ?

    To my way of thinking, the conspiracy theorists all accept mainstream culture. We all grow up in mainstream culture as children, starting with the critical premise that adults are competent and know what they are doing. For example, when the parent tells us "Don't play in the street" and "Don't talk to strangers", it is a survival trait to believe them - otherwise we are soon run over by a car, or shipped off to another country as a child labor slave. Thus it is probably an instinct coded into our DNA. As we get older, more and more we experience that people are actually not very competent at all. In fact, there are many systems that have been created to deal with people's incompetence (eg QA departments or slogans like "measure twice and cut once"), and even then you still hear about people who had the wrong leg amputated in surgery. So, I find conspiracy theories silly because all of it requires super-competent people who don't exist. A lot of the New Age stuff is similar. Somehow everyone who hears voices is channeling super-competent Ascended Masters who are super-kind. Why do none of the New Age people end up contacting disembodied gangsters who just want to take advantage of you? (And could they tell the difference? Probably not.)
  13. People who don't accept mainstream culture ?

    Thanks, but I clarified in the OP that the question is specifically what/who is there, outside of Eastern Spirituality groups and New Age ?
  14. A TheTaoBums member wrote: I find that when I associate with people who entirely accept mainstream culture - or what this poster calls "orthodox homogeneous worldview" - I have to carefully examine what I say. This is because the functional definition of "crazy" is "holds viewpoints different than everyone else". For example, if someone was walking down the street, and a person came up to them and said: "The sky is green and urine is falling from it", their reaction would be "this guy is crazy". In a similar way, if I am at a party and someone asks "What exercise do you do?" and I reply "I stand perfectly still with my hands a foot apart from each other" (Zhan Zhuang), most people would think I was crazy. So, my question is: How do you find other people who do not accept mainstream culture, for in-person social life ? Obviously, there are classes and meetings of the groups represented in this Forum - Taoists, Buddhists, Vedantists, etc. And there are New Age people - but I have just as many problems with their assumptions as with mainstream people - see relevant threads on this site for details. So I don't want to socialize with people whom I find to have an equal number of false casual beliefs as mainstream people. I'm wondering if there are any others beyond those two groups ?