Saturday, January 07, 2012

(Not Quite) Back In the Saddle

Anybody can ride the tame ones.
"Begin each day by telling yourself: 'Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will and selfishness. All of them due to the offenders' ignorance of what is good and evil.'" --Marcus Aurelius, 165 AD
Has anybody ever figured out why we use the verb "yakking" to describe idle speech? Think it has anything to do with our friend Bos grunniens? Since the gyag (yak) is of the family Bovidae, perhaps this is a way to politely evoke what some people might call "bullshit."

I doubt this can be defended. In the host culture, bovine excrement is highly regarded for numerous beneficial properties, and put in wide industry. In our culture, bullshit does not enjoy the same value, hence our use of the term is derogatory.

I was thinking about the Ajanta caves the other day: recalling a painting of a monkey riding on a buffalo's back -- it might as well be a yak -- sporting with the buffalo by covering his eyes. You know, we do this in jocular, peekaboo fashion; coming up behind a friend, covering their eyes with our hands, to see if they can guess who it is.

In Ajanta, the naughty monkey is depicted taunting a buffalo who is actually Buddha -- in one of his former lifetimes -- so the Buddha-buffalo bodhisattva indulges monkeyshines with good nature. As we are all seen to be relaxing long enough to become one of Maitreya's protons, the Buddha-buffalo exercises infinite patience with the monkey's business.

Of course, the monkey was to an extent enabled by this. He kept coming up with even more devilish annoyances.

A nearby tree spirit disliked the monkey's antics, and advised Buddha-buffalo bodhisattva to do for the monkey right and proper. The Buddha-buffalo bodhisattva declined, saying:
"Inflicting grief on others to overcome one's own discomfort is no virtue, as the result of such acts shall not bear the fruits of true happiness."
Some days passed by, and the Buddha-buffalo bodhisattva wandered away, to be replaced by a buffalo of savage temperament. Thinking, "a buffalo is a buffalo: they're all alike," the monkey started up as usual, only to be gored and trampled to death. The story puts it straight:
"The monkey was thus killed in no time."

Indeed, he was. Thinking of the Jataka tale thus illustrated on the wall at Ajanta, it came to me that there has been way too much yakking on Internet about a seeming controversy between a Nameless Person and myself.

Heretofore, only one version of the story has been heard, much of it penned -- with considerable vitriol -- by one of Nameless Person's henchmen: a deeply deluded "ordained Buddhist monk" from Nameless Person's Temple of Cognitive Dissonance. Many things that seem intended to bedevil were written and widely promulgated by this busy fellow -- one of Nameless Person's top lieutenants, and trusted ghostwriter -- who was of course trying to keep monkey paws over your eyes.

Thubten Rinchen Palzang of KPC
(John Buhmeyer)

So here lies the moral dilemma: friends and family (and many of our readers) are dismayed that I rarely respond with what could be called, "my side of the story." Pointedly, they ask if I could please, from time to time, explain why I do certain things in a certain way that might appear unusual.

Thubten Rinchen Palzang of KPC
(John Buhmeyer as he appears in booking photograph)

I think responding with "my side of the story" is unnecessary. However, after considering the matter quite deeply -- whether deep enough I leave to you -- I have come to believe that explaining "why" is not altogether out of bounds, even when that explanation might seem inappropriate.

The issue of what is or is not "appropriate" is of course being defined and delimited anew with every tick of the clock. In this context, we see the case U.S.A. vs Cassidy, which asks the question, "Is it permissible to instruct a naughty monkey by holding up mirrors that reflect the monkey's own behavior toward others?" The answer, of course, being supplied by the now famous decision by Judge Titus, that yes, indeed, it is not only permissible, it is protected. In addition to protecting free speech on the Internet -- whether yakking or not -- the decision also clarifies aspects of the sometimes antinomian character of Buddhist instruction.

In that celebrated case, words appearing on the Internet -- some mine, some attributed to me -- caused "emotional distress" to the author of the following words:
"The Buddha taught each person the nature of their own mind by showing them their poison, by ripening in their mind their potential for enlightenment, by shoving down their throat their own garbage, by giving them teaching that touched them in their language."
One questions how the author of that questionable interpretation explains the hypocrisy of squealing when she is touched in her own language. We might note she is also the author of this statement, of which I have been openly critical (albeit, and to be fair, more than likely ghostwritten):
"It is typical of the activity of the dakini to hit where it hurts, to get you where you live, to create for you a method by which you can try to run, but the road in front of you is turned around so that you can only run in a circle right back and it is as tricky and convoluted and sneaky as your own mind.  It will rub your face in your shit.  It will make you eat your own poison. But eventually, with faith and devotion, you will come out of it enlightened."
So, yes... it is permissible, but is it wise?

Enough yakking. At her invitation, I once had occasion to investigate certain aspects of Nameless Person's life and "tweaching" ("teaching" on Twitter), together with the conduct of her organization and partisans. My investigation unearthed some deeply troubling elements of information, which I brought to her attention.

Rather than respond well to criticism, Nameless Person and her crew set to work "dirtying up the witness." They had things they wished to keep hidden, and when I failed to respond to their gibes, I imagine that I empowered them to bury their secrets all the more.

But, buffalos are not alike.

This is the other horn of the moral dilemma. If I had handled this differently, might I have prevented a minor from being molested by Nameless Person's henchman? Might I have prevented the henchman from being gored and trampled? On November 3, 2011, he began serving a 20 year minimum mandatory sentence. He will be 86 years old before he is eligible for parole.

Nameless Person knew about her henchman's problems, but she failed to do anything about it. I personally warned her, but she failed to respond. I did everything I could to warn others, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Nameless Person and her apologists did everything in their power to spin control a cover-up. They even went so far as to trick a young and relatively inexperienced FBI special agent, who specializes in investigation of crimes against children, to support squid tactics aimed to protect this man. That is not ironic. That is pitiable.

On the Court Docket in July 2011, 
but he knew he was guilty back in October 2010

Human tragedies like this are dismantling Catholic institutions at an alarming rate. Are Buddhists next in line? I wonder what the Palyul lineage will do when they find their entire institution hauled into a federal courtroom, and -- because they knew the danger and failed to act -- handed a multi-million dollar judgment for damages? Not only in this case, but in a related case, where -- with Nameless Person's explicit advice and consent (see below) -- an otherwise innocuous man on the Internet was attacked and vilified by the henchman, and victimized by a cynical frame-up. That frame-up culminated in a dubious FBI raid on the poor fellow's premises, and irreparable injury. Here again, punitives are likely to run into the millions, and high-powered personal injury firms are standing in line for a piece of the action.

While people were busy "protecting Nyingma," who was protecting the rest of us? Please think carefully, and knock off the bullshit.

DTBA, August 2009

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1 reader comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this information about John Buhmeyer. I was having difficulty finding his case information through public records. You are doing a public service and I wish you well on your journey.