August 5th, 2009

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Argument with a Shadow

Don't you just love all the Anonymous people on the internet, commenting fearlessly from behind their anonymity?

I was reading my friend Ananda's blog at Half-Satori.com and one of these brave folks targeted me:

Ananda you may not actively make complaints here but you do join the complaint at GR as if one and the same with yours. Your support of Tapati's cause on the basis of you being an ex-Iskcon member is not quite honest. You have not left just Iskcon. Yet you treat the issue of "leaving" as if all one and the same thing. People who left Iskcon only did not have the opportunity to try for themselves whether there is indeed a wider tradition which would be more compatible with the ideal presented by the GV philosophy. (I refrain from referring to any of the GV sects as "cults" - the term is clearly being used in a pejorative manner by angry dissidents, especially of Iskcon only background.) Sects, religions, institutions, organizations, yes there are many of these in society. Communities. Is it avoidable? Tapati herself is hard at work trying to build a community of sorts. Yet, she herself has already incurred in a pretty damning blunder: she neglects to pursue clarity and honesty and invite innocent women to come and be "represented" by a man who lies about his identity, a man of very questionable character as a male.

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We Are Only As Strong As Our Connections

The saddest thing I have ever read.

The diary of the gym shooter, George Sodini, in .pdf format. An article about the diary can be found on CNN.

The diary paints a picture of a very lonely 48 year old man who has had few dates and no real relationships, had a distant father and bullying brother, no older mentors to give him confidence in the dating realm, and a grudge against women who rejected him that he extended to ALL women. He was filled with self doubt and trying to psych himself up for months to do what he did, which was take 4 guns into a gym and target an aerobics class full of women, turning the light off just before he opened fire, then he shot himself. A neighbor's kind words almost threatened his resolve but by then he was in what some have called the "suicide" trance although in his case, murder-suicide. It is curious to me why men like him don't think of JUST suicide but that is never explained in his journal.

Strangely he manages to use Christianity to explain why he believes he will go to Heaven anyway. "Christ paid for EVERY sin." (There's more to it, at the bottom of the .pdf.)

Sad, just sad. A good therapist could have helped him turn his life around. At one point he mentions wishing he had a life coach or someone who could mentor him in some way, but he was too embarrassed to have reached his age without knowing the dating skills he thought all others must know.

Reach out to some lonely, isolated neighbor today, you might just save some lives.