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You give me first, and I'll give you later: The oldest trick in the world ...

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 7:58 pm
by Tara
that we fall for again and again and again. Couple that with the authoritarian/corporate conditioning that everyone must keep their commitments, and pay their debts, and you have the neverending spectacle of people expressing loyalty toward situations that have clearly become bad, and where they have not gotten the benefit of their bargain.

Never give something first based on a promise to get later.

How many presidential candidates promise to deliver if you vote for them, and never do? Again and again we vote for people who have no record of delivering on the kind of promises they make. On the other hand, if people had voted for Ralph Nader any of the number of times he ran for President, we all could have been sure he would deliver, because he had a record of delivering a mile long.

But when you get to the realm of mystery and magic in Tibet or any other cult, what could they possibly deliver, even if they wanted to? Some mirage composed of some fancy words that have no substance or reality at all? Meanwhile, you made yourself a slave to this system, forever.

Never trust anybody. Didn't even Trungpa say that? There is a tradition among professional tricksters to tell you first what they are going to do to you. But people always think they're talking about someone else, not themselves.

Re: You give me first, and I'll give you later: The oldest trick in the world ...

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 8:33 pm
by Admin
Tara wrote:There is a tradition among professional tricksters to tell you first what they are going to do to you. But people always think they're talking about someone else, not themselves.
People generally proceed on the assumption of goodwill, even when they've been warned not to. For example, the police offer tells them, "Anything you say can and will be used against you." So when they sit down with their lawyer and read through the transcript of the police interview, or listen to the recording, and their lawyer begins to draw out the negative inferences implicit in their admissions, they should be expecting it. After all, their lawyer is just explaining how their words are going to be used against them. But they insist that their words, when properly understood, actually don't support the guilty inference. It's then that I often found it appropriate to remind them, "Can and will be used against you" means that the police will draw the negative inference. Thus, experienced criminals remain silent, knowing that cops and prosecutors will throw everything in a dark light, while innocent people speak freely, thinking that the truth will set them free.

As long as we proceed on the assumption of goodwill, we are vulnerable to being abused. Further, in our predatory social environment, people believe it is clever to trick and steal from others. Some people will argue that this is the true meaning of "survival of the fittest," as if evolution were geared to insuring the success of the grifters among us. But that is just the trend of social depravity, not the nature of life.

But returning to the original topic at hand, what Tara has referred to as "you give me first, and I'll give you later," is what we call a bilateral contract, where we exchange a promise for a promise. So when the political candidate promises, like Barack Obama did in October 2008, to reinstate the right to declare bankruptcy on the family home, and people said, "I'll vote for that guy," Obama and the voters exchanged a bilateral promise. When the voters voted for Obama, they performed their side of the promise, and Obama's promise remained "executory," i.e., he was now supposed to perform. But he didn't. He didn't make the slightest effort to back the bill, so it failed, as noted in this LA Times article: Mortgage Reduction Bill Fails in Senate.

So Obama breached the promise he had given in exchange for the votes of many people, and what happened to him? He paid no consequence. He was elected for a second term. And around the world, day in, day out, we see these types of failed promises. Why is that? Because we have no enforcement mechanisms. Because the person who has delivered performance in exchange for a promise, i.e., who has voted in exchange for a promise from a politician, is shit out of luck when the other party breaches their promise.

Enforcement mechanisms are used by those who are planning on improving their situation in the world. Goodwill is a substitute for enforcement mechanisms, and thus goodwill has little currency at the gas station, the bank, or the drug dealer's. These solid institutions will require performance for performance. Give them what they want, they'll give you what you want. Now.

Do people think about the value they are delivering when they promise eternal loyalty to a spiritual teacher? No, because they've never pledged eternal loyalty to anyone. They see it in movies, and they think "Wow, that would be cool -- united with my liege in war and peace! Onward, together, forever!" So when somebody shows up and asks if they'll pledge eternal loyalty to this or that ideal, they're ready to jump at the opportunity, however vague the promise of benefit they are offered in return. In truth, they've given no thought to what this type of obligation might mean, and will spend the rest of their life unpacking it.

Re: You give me first, and I'll give you later: The oldest trick in the world ...

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 9:27 pm
by Tara
In Tibetan Buddhism, you give your loyalty, money, time and belief, and the lama is supposed to give you enlightenment and eternal caring. What a selfish motivation you are operating from. You want to achieve something grandiose and divine, FIRST, for yourself, and of course, LATER, for others.

So you practice a lot -- you don't even sleep -- hoping for some natural expression of enlightenment to arise, which never comes, at which point you are forced to take desperate action, and hallucinate some "enlightened" experience. But since you have no idea what "enlightenment" is, and you certainly don't believe that theosophical bullshit about achieving "oneness" with the universe, you'll have to settle for any strange phenomena or "signs." In your desperation, the sky achieves a formidable expression. It seems to be saying something to you, all those menacing clouds, but you don't know what. But you're not so sure -- maybe you're just going mad! You rightly suspect you had a hand in producing this phenomenon, so that makes it probably not real. You find yourself wandering in a bronze colored realm, but where are you? You have no idea. But you're pretty sure you don't want to go back there. These "enlightenment" experiences are certainly not transformative the way you expected, except maybe they are making you crazy. You hit a dead end, and not like Milarepa. And you're bored.

Looking into the source of your boredom, you realize Tibetan Buddhism is all a story constructed out of parts, and what's happened is that you've explored the story to its boundaries, and there's nothing left. What's more, the story lacks real complexity, depth, dimension, cool breezes blowing through, multicolored sunsets, or birds chirping sleepily at 4 a.m., because it was constructed out of people's minds. It's one thing to creatively imagine other realms where everything is just and good for the purpose of therapy, and perhaps social change, and it's quite another to reify these realms as truly existing, and build a religion around them.

Didn't they tell you: "It's not like a picture on the wall; it's the reality that the picture captured"?