sean

Proposed simplification of forums

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EDIT: Revised based on suggestions. You can see latest along with revision history here:

https://gist.github.com/seanomlor/d3c6caca3263bfe3706fd54456316f66

 

I'd like to simplify the forums a bit.

 

The biggest change I'm wanting is to merge Daoist Discussion and General Discussion, along with many of the subforums.

 

Given the nonsectarian roots of this space, I've never been super stoked on the compartmentalization of e.g. Buddhist vs Hindu, etc. etc. It's also a can of worms because we're certainly excluding innumerable traditions.

 

My feeling is that merging a bunch of these separate forums into one big, weird "Discussions On The Way" simpler, flatter forums will promote more cross-pollination between us.


Anyway, here's a quick rough draft of what I'm imagining the new forum/subforum structure to be.

 

THE COURTYARD

 

- Welcome! (merges Welcome and Newcomer Corner)
- Discussions On The Way (previously Daoist Discussion)
¬†¬†¬† - ťĀďŚģ∂Ś≠¶ŤĮī
    - Textual Studies (merges Daodejing, Zhuangzi, etc.)
- Vast High Weirdness (ūüėÜ still working on this name, previously General Discussion. The word "general" just feels so boring.)
- The Rabbit Hole (merges "The Rabbit Hole", "Off Grid". Basically an off topic forum to talk about whatever, but not an "anything goes")
- Meta-Talk (merges Forum and Tech Support, Moderation Logs, Rules and Use)
 
PRIVATE GARDENS

 

- Group Studies
- Personal Practice (still has everyone's private subforums under this)
- Gender Gardens
    - Nonbinary (for nonbinary, gender questioning and intersex)
    - Women (for women and female identified)
    - Men (for men and male identified)

- Interviews
- Lending Library
- Local Meetups and Events (merges Local Meetups and Upcoming Events)

 

Please discuss, definitely want to hear your feedback, concerns, any subforums you think should still be separate for whatever reason, etc. etc.

 

Sean

 

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So,  western 'occult' , hermetics, etc will be in  The Rabbit Hole ?

 

What happens to the format now ?  meaning  , after the change and I want to look up a martial arts or hermetic subject  ?

 

Please dont suggest the search function  ;     

 

"  Didn't find what you were looking for? Try searching for: ....  "

 

Or will everything start again in a new format - blank page .

 

With a way to access the 'old forum' as it stands now .

 

(yeah, that may be hard , I know  next to nothing about setting up  a site or forum . )

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What about "Daoist Textual Studies" simply being "Textual Studies?"

I bring this up as there have been some wonderful threads in Buddhist Textual Studies, and no doubt in Hindu...

I like the idea of simplification overall and will be fine with whatever changes are made.

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20 minutes ago, Nungali said:

So,  western 'occult' , hermetics, etc will be in  The Rabbit Hole ?

 

No, my idea was that topics in¬†any subforum not retained¬†under new ‚ÄúDiscussions On The Way‚ÄĚ that are¬†now part of current Daoist or General Discussion would get folded into main¬†DOTW.

 

Quote

Please dont suggest the search function  ;     

 

Ahh does current search suck? I’ve been meaning to build a custom search engine for this site for ever.

 

Sean

 

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I like simple and I like the sound of Discussions of the Way.

 

yet historically Daoist Discussion has involved more serious subjects and experienced practitioners then General Discussion.  I'd hope merging doesn't lose that distinction.   Its hard to make rules for it, but I like how Daoist Discussion evolved into more serious, less jokey and speculative space. 

 

Losing/watering down a serious sub-forum would be sad.   Might be ways around that though.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, thelerner said:

I like simple and I like the sound of Discussions of the Way.

 

yet historically Daoist Discussion has involved more serious subjects and experienced practitioners then General Discussion.  I'd hope merging doesn't lose that distinction.   Its hard to make rules for it, but I like how Daoist Discussion evolved into more serious, less jokey and speculative space. 

 

Losing/watering down a serious sub-forum would be sad.   Might be ways around that though.

 

 

I‚Äôd like to keep a focus on Daoism too, though I‚Äôm happy to see ‚ÄúDaoist Textual Studies‚ÄĚ changed to a more general ‚ÄúTextual Studies‚ÄĚ.¬†

 

But the biggest change I’d like to see is to never again allow staff to become so one-sided politically. That’s something that’s proved toxic for this forum and resulted in a number of members, including myself, no longer feeling comfortable participating here. And it seems a number of good people have left permanently. 

 

 

Edited by Yueya
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Posted (edited)

I still remember the first branching of "daoist" off the "general" and the reason it happened.   It happened because taoists (it was still TTB then) and taoist sympathizers were vastly outnumbered and incessantly outshouted in the general area by members of far more densely populated denominations, chiefly buddhists and new agers.  Some of the latter, encouraged by their strength in numbers, derailed every single taoist-proper thread by pointing out that it's not real dharma, it's samsara, it's maya, it's against the Law of One, against the Law of Attraction, and not what Jesus would have done.  The embattled taoists, ganged up on and cornered and bruised, used up all their qi on hissing and meowing back in response to all these allegations, in a cloud of cat fur torn out by mala-twirling, khorlo-spinning hands of the hordes of pious sages, occasionally swinging back a paw and tearing a claw mark into a priestly robe.  Well, one or two of them may have done it, not saying all taoists fight back, but when it was proposed to give taoists a place for taoist-proper exchanges, all taoists and sympathizers rejoiced if memory serves.    

 

Considering this past experience, I propose a choice of two possible solutions:

1. still keep a daoist proper area alongside general, and maybe put daoist textual studies there as well; or

2. extend some minority protections to daoist-proper discussions.  I don't know what shape or form those might take, but I anticipate the need for them.  

 

And a far more important proposal:

reinstate mod rotation and stipulate that this rule can never be suspended again.  I believe this particular rule is needed more than all other innovations combined.  Just imagine this on the news tomorrow:  the president has decided to abolish all rotations in the oval office.  No more presidents coming and going, end of story, whoever is in the office is forever. 

 

Regardless of anyone's subjective feelings about this or that past mod, objectively,  we were stuck with a Putin-like and possibly a Kim Jong Un-like deal, though even Putin and Kim Jong Un were at least pretend elected.  The unelected mods who come and never go away are perhaps wonderful people when they start out -- then complete lack of accountability coupled with this realization at the back of their minds -- I do whatever I want so suck it up because I'm here to stay -- forever -- changes even the best (yes it can, and yes it does) into, sometimes, screwy mods, sometimes triumphant abusive bullies, and sometimes just into burned-out whateverists.  

 

Please let's not risk it happening again.  

Edited by Taomeow
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Thanks! I've edited my OP, incorporating suggestions, including retaining separate Daoist and "general".

 

Sean

 

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I think it's a good idea to keep a dedicated Daoist forum.

I remember the frustration Taomeow points out.

I feel I will miss the Buddhist forum but I get the desire for simplicity.

It will be fun to try something a little different.

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5 minutes ago, sean said:

Thanks! I've edited my OP, incorporating suggestions, including retaining separate Daoist and "general".

 

Sean

 

Good edit, imo

And hopefully you'll take that banner down soon.

We got it.

I'm not right-wing but that's like a slap at the door and nobody needs that. Especially if we come here to get away from the political crap for a while.

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1 hour ago, Yueya said:

 

I‚Äôd like to keep a focus on Daoism too, though I‚Äôm happy to see ‚ÄúDaoist Textual Studies‚ÄĚ changed to a more general ‚ÄúTextual Studies‚ÄĚ.¬†

 

But the biggest change I’d like to see is to never again allow staff to become so one-sided politically. That’s something that’s proved toxic for this forum and resulted in a number of members, including myself, no longer feeling comfortable participating here. And it seems a number of good people have left permanently. 

 

 

Warrants repeating.

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6 hours ago, Yueya said:

But the biggest change I’d like to see is to never again allow staff to become so one-sided politically. That’s something that’s proved toxic for this forum and resulted in a number of members, including myself, no longer feeling comfortable participating here. And it seems a number of good people have left permanently. 

 

I’m an old recluse who lives in Australia and I don’t want to get involved in American partisan politics. However, I’ll always find, racism, bigotry, misogyny, and homophobia toxic anywhere, and especially on a spiritually focused forum like this one. And it’s a sad fact that these attitudes abound within the pro-Trump camp. Hence, I’d be very happy for staff to always make it known that such attitudes are not welcome here. 

 

Personally, I’d like to see more humility and compassion on display. But that’s something that can only come from within. Otherwise it becomes inauthentic, like what’s often found within organised religion, be it Christianity, Buddhism etc. And this site does have a vitality that only a certain level of conflict can produce.  

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Posted (edited)

Is it too much to ask (or perhaps too hard to identify) all the people with New Age appropriation of Taoist practices that use Taoist terms but aren’t actually Taoist be assigned their own section? They could call it New Age Taoist (NAT) or something like that.

 

My guess is that they’ll still hang out in Taoist threads but they tend to say some very funny things showing their self-taught and self-assured views derived from being YouTube and pirated PDF masters. 

 

It is hard to have serious discussion when someone who has tons of DVDs comes in and starts refuting people who’ve actually had formal training in the systems they talk about as one example of a NAT.

Edited by Earl Grey
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2 hours ago, Earl Grey said:

Is it too much to ask (or perhaps too hard to identify) all the people with New Age appropriation of Taoist practices that use Taoist terms but aren’t actually Taoist be assigned their own section? They could call it New Age Taoist (NAT) or something like that.

 

My guess is that they’ll still hang out in Taoist threads but they tend to say some very funny things showing their self-taught and self-assured views derived from being YouTube and pirated PDF masters. 

 

It is hard to have serious discussion when someone who has tons of DVDs comes in and starts refuting people who’ve actually had formal training in the systems they talk about as one example of a NAT.

 

I wonder how many members studied Daoism with a legitimate lineage holder vs how many have studied using a variety of other means? 

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I appreciate the proposed adaptations, they seem refined, simple and direct.  Particularly appreciate losing OG, which always tasted somewhat uncomfortable and off to me. 

 

Don't care for General as a title either. 

Spitballing possible alternatives:

 

Pathways of Spirit

Reflections of Spirit

Spirit of The Garden

The Spirit's Path

The Spiritual Gardens

Ethereal Garden

Spiritual Pursuits

Wanderers and Ponderers (lol)

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, steve said:

 

I wonder how many members studied Daoism with a legitimate lineage holder vs how many have studied using a variety of other means? 

 

I think studying on your own for the philosophy is fine. I am referring to people taking a New Age approach and not actually grokking Taoism in itself but retrofitting New Age ideas into Taoism. Their participation is fine in Taoist threads, but when they take a fundamental approach to it to suit New Age or Christian or ‚ÄúBuddhist‚ÄĚ teachings (quotes to emphasize they don‚Äôt seem to grok Buddhism too strongly either), and start talking over others, it becomes harder to have a serious discussion when people don‚Äôt want to actually learn or like being pointed out that their understanding of basic foundations of the philosophy are misunderstood.

 

As for systems and lineage, I don’t mind people doing self-study from DVDs, but I’ve seen more than a few people who piece together ideas from threads and somehow think they’re masters of alchemy. The formal study i talk about (and realize I should have specified earlier) is thus not the philosophical part because the site itself can help with that, what I refer to is formal study of martial or qigong and neigong.

Edited by Earl Grey
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35 minutes ago, silent thunder said:

I appreciate the proposed adaptations, they seem refined, simple and direct.  Particularly appreciate losing OG, which always tasted somewhat uncomfortable and off to me. 

 

Don't care for General as a title either. 

Spitballing possible alternatives:

 

Pathways of Spirit

Reflections of Spirit

Spirit of The Garden

The Spirit's Path

The Spiritual Gardens

Ethereal Garden

Spiritual Pursuits

Wanderers and Ponderers (lol)

 

 

 

How about one to commemorate Marblehead by calling it Wondering Taoists?

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Please not 'Vast High Weirdness' - or if you really have to just call it 'Weirdness' :)

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Posted (edited)

I think Discussions of the Way is excellent - !

 

Meta-Talk means nothing at all to me - it may be my extreme age - I would go there just to see what it was about.

 

Wanderers and Ponderers - not so bad - a suggestion from Silent Thunder

 

 

Regarding the dislike or cast aside view of New Agers - 

 

The term New Age was vilified by the Religious Right - in reality it was and is (to me of extreme age) simply a headline name for a great and wonderful spiritual change that took place/is taking place in which the old and fossilized religious doctrines - and assumed at birth indoctrination was refocused upon - released - tossed out altogether - torn asunder.  It was and is Women saying fuck this bullshit. It is Anti-establishment Anti-corporate Pillage Anti-pollution Pro-Earth Pro-Human Interaction Pro-Spiritual Investigation and Growth Pro-Openness and Exploration.

 

It is also people into crystals and angels and other things which we may laugh at - but we seem to forget just how laughable are the many religious teachings which nearly all followers toss out as ridiculous even if in reality it means they are not actually believers in the religion they profess to be a part of. Most Christians toss the entire Old Testament off - and something like 60% believe in Reincarnation.

 

Everytime I hear New Agers used as a word of denigration in a similar vein to Fundamentalists as brainless shallow fools here - in a site that is the exemplification of a teaching that speaks of spontaneity / non pretense - it is like slander from a falsified understanding - one fostered by the religious right and the blunt force of spiritual competition.

 

--

 

Regarding a distaste for YouTube "initiates" and students of the potpourri lineage - it is what it is - if they were entirely enmeshed in a school they would probably not be here. Centuries ago when I first began studies I had to go to Occult Book Stores - that is where this stuff was sold. Regular book stores did not carry this stuff.

 

I could not be happier that Practice is now showing up everywhere - and yes - most of the quality is not very good - but 

Wow is it ever better than the strict childish old crap I was fed as a child!

 

I embrace the naive - even as they are cringe worthy and dickheads and often in rehab of some sort - this has been a place for the sincere to find their place and shed their jagged edges and the soft edges of this padded cell allow for a great deal of transmission to take place. Very fine transmission.

 

 

(It is very exciting to see these changes take place - how they take place - what forms are offered up - the speed and clarity amid the clusterfuck - all the best and thanks to everyone!)

 

 

Edited by Spotless
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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Spotless said:

 

Everytime I hear New Agers used as a word of denigration in a similar vein to Fundamentalists as brainless shallow fools here - in a site that is the exemplification of a teaching that speaks of spontaneity / non pretense - it is like slander from a falsified understanding - one fostered by the religious right and the blunt force of spiritual competition.

 

--

 

Regarding a distaste for YouTube "initiates" and students of the potpourri lineage - it is what it is - if they were entirely enmeshed in a school they would probably not be here. Centuries ago when I first began studies I had to go to Occult Book Stores - that is where this stuff was sold. Regular book stores did not carry this stuff.

 

I could not be happier that Practice is now showing up everywhere - and yes - most of the quality is not very good - but 

Wow is it ever better than the strict childish old crap I was fed as a child!

 

I embrace the naive - even as they are cringe worthy and dickheads and often in rehab of some sort - this has been a place for the sincere to find their place and shed their jagged edges and the soft edges of this padded cell allow for a great deal of transmission to take place. Very fine transmission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking from another vantage point outside of being a practitioner--I speak as an Asian and Asian American here. When I refer to New Agers and disdain for them, I'm referring to the suburban whiteness of yoga and how there's cultural appropriation that is now commercialized and diminished into a fitness regiment. Not to say there is no sincerity, for there is--I just won't go looking for depth there, especially when someone talks about the lower dantian as needing to balance one's masculine and feminine and demonstrates a spectacular level of ignorance and zero understanding of neigong or TCM. 

 

Besides: I've held disdain for the New Agers since I started seeing blondes on campus wearing bindis and giving themselves mystical names (Sanskrit or Japanese names) while telling everyone to chant "Om" into their water and telling others to go vegan if they want to be true "yogis". And this is from me who used to think shouting at Hare Krishnas begging at airports before was mean. 

 

There's no problem getting information from bookstores or even checking out what's online--it's the self-appointed authority people give themselves I am referring to, if that wasn't clear above. One notorious practice that many seem to find themselves self-designated authorities on besides the dantian is Zhan Zhuang.

 

The naive can be naive as you embrace their sincerity, but it can also cause serious damage when people do things like one individual who tried to combine reverse breathing with Mo Pai breathing and Flying Phoenix not long ago. Now if they're receptive to feedback and help from people who actually are able to help (and in some cases willing to pay the price for it because true mastery is not free), then it's fine for me as well. 

Edited by Earl Grey
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11 minutes ago, Spotless said:

.......

 

 

Regarding the dislike or cast aside view of New Agers - 

 

The term New Age was vilified by the Religious Right - in reality it was and is (to me of extreme age) simply a headline name for a great and wonderful spiritual change that took place/is taking place in which the old and fossilized religious doctrines - and assumed at birth indoctrination was refocused upon - released - tossed out altogether - torn asunder.  It was and is Women saying fuck this bullshit. It is Anti-establishment Anti-corporate Pillage Anti-pollution Pro-Earth Pro-Human Interaction Pro-Spiritual Investigation and Growth Pro-Openness and Exploration.

 

It is also people into crystals and angels and other things which we may laugh at - but we seem to forget just how laughable are the many religious teachings which nearly all followers toss out as ridiculous even if in reality it means they are not actually believers in the religion they profess to be a part of. Most Christians toss the entire Old Testament off - and something like 60% believe in Reincarnation.

 

Everytime I hear New Agers used as a word of denigration in a similar vein to Fundamentalists as brainless shallow fools here - in a site that is the exemplification of a teaching that speaks of spontaneity / non pretense - it is like slander from a falsified understanding - one fostered by the religious right and the blunt force of spiritual competition.

 

 

Spot on, Spotless. 

Sincerely, me. Another of advanced age who was actually there.

 

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@sean

 

Thank you very much for changing the front door greeting; much better. :)

 

And I'll loan you my pearls if you ever need something to clutch. :D

 

We good? ^_^

 

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35 minutes ago, Spotless said:

Regarding the dislike or cast aside view of New Agers - 

 

The term New Age was vilified by the Religious Right - in reality it was and is (to me of extreme age) simply a headline name for a great and wonderful spiritual change that took place/is taking place in which the old and fossilized religious doctrines - and assumed at birth indoctrination was refocused upon - released - tossed out altogether - torn asunder.  It was and is Women saying fuck this bullshit. It is Anti-establishment Anti-corporate Pillage Anti-pollution Pro-Earth Pro-Human Interaction Pro-Spiritual Investigation and Growth Pro-Openness and Exploration.

On the contrary, New Age, is an umbrella term that encompasses true and tried systems and crackpot theories and novelty non-effective systems created for marketing purposes. Shouldn't we differentiate? All systems out there aren't equal and the line should be drawn somewhere if this site attempts to give out information to people during their "baby steps" in esoteric systems.

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'the suburban whiteness of yoga'

 

:)

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5 minutes ago, Zork said:

On the contrary, New Age, is an umbrella term that encompasses true and tried systems and crackpot theories and novelty non-effective systems created for marketing purposes. Shouldn't we differentiate? All systems out there aren't equal and the line should be drawn somewhere if this site attempts to give out information to people during their "baby steps" in esoteric systems.

 

Good luck with that line.

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