Re: virus: Reflections on Susan's Sheddings, and Silences

Robin Faichney (
Mon, 29 Mar 1999 21:03:17 +0100

In message <v02140b2cb32560b73f74@[]>, Reed Konsler <> writes
>>Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 14:01:45 +0100
>>From: Robin Faichney <>
>>Subject: Re: virus: Silence
>>In message <v02140b25b32460d85ef0@[]>, Reed Konsler
>><> writes
>>>I can meditate myself into a state of nothingness
>>>but the moment I move <I> move.
>>If you move, you're not meditating. But if <you> realise there
>>is no you, then you are not moving.
>That's what I said, isn't it?

I don't think so, but it might be more productive to take another approach: you seem to be saying that your ego is reborn every time you stop meditating. That's actually OK, temporarily, but from a Buddhist point of view, if your meditative technique is OK, you should start getting insights into the nature of the ego (and other stuff) that cause it to be weaker every time it's resurrected. Are you forcing nothingness, or just letting it happen? Because I believe that the former might suppress insight, as the latter encourages it.

>>>I've spent a lot of time
>>>contemplating <stillness> and it isn't so attractive to <me>.
>>That's fine, but it is only a means to an end, remember. If
>><stillness> doesn't do it for you, maybe something else does?
>What I meant was that even the absence of thought, an empty
>space without signifier can, itself, be a kind of meme.

Of course! But what's the problem?

>>Words are not the lotus, but they can help prepare
>>the ground for it. The best words are memetic weed killers.
>But what differentiates weeds from the garden? If I
>want to raise wildflowers, or recreate the steppe, who
>can argue with my aesthetic on objective grounds?

Let's not get distracted by *mere* word games! All I'm saying is the words aren't necessarily distracting -- they can have just the opposite effect.

>If I offer you a rose in friendship, will you focus on
>the scent or the thorns?

Depends whether I get pricked!

>>>But, as Emerson tells us,
>>>silence is death.
>>To face death is to appreciate life.
>Facing and accepting aren't the same. Accepting is the more

Maybe. But I thought you meant "silence is death" as a put-down. Which, if you accepted death, I don't think it would be.

>But, there is something a little disingenious about writing
>an entire book about achieving silence.

I don't think she was talking about literal silence, except to the extent that can facilitate a certain state of mind, which is what really matters. However:

>My only conclusions
>can be either
>1) She is a work in progress, and the book represents a
>shedding of sorts. If so, it is a pointer but not an end

I think there's quite a lot of truth in that.

>In this case, there would still be a <Susan> to
>speak to, and hold responsible.

Who you hold responsible has more to do with what *you* believe. The degree of SB's progress towards Enlightenment is her business, not yours. But it seems you do believe in souls, despite what you said in the previous message against "the Cartesian <I>"...

>2) Her memes are working on a particularly virulent
>way of propogating, now that they have dissolved her
>soul. In this case, she is a be dealt with as
>all other mechanical things: valued while useful.

So, do you believe in something over and above the mechanical material, or don't you?