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Labels and status

JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

Do you ever think about how people strive for status? They put themselves through an immense amount of suffering for labels like "I am a doctor" or "I am a successful businessman."

Status is like the label on a soup can. Fundamentally it doesn't change the soup at all. Yet you could spend your whole life concerned with these labels and striving for them. You might even be willing to do unethical things to gain one of these labels.

Anyway, welcome to my brain. This is the kind of crap I think about often.

SocairCarameltail

Comments

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    What occurs to me since you're bringing this up is that status is what the super rich are really trying to gain by accumulating more and more wealth. They've long surpassed the threshold for being able to spend more of it or of it adding any amount of meaning or happiness to their lives. But having a bigger number means a bigger status which carries some currency up in the clouds.

    Carameltail
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    True. They are always in competition to gain higher labels of wealth and get insanely jealous of each other. They're also terrified of losing their current labels.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 10

    @JaySon said:
    Do you ever think about how people strive for status?

    I think about everything, in an empty sort of way ...

    I am most concerned about my own status. I am more shell than big fish, increasingly irrelevant to the worldlings and their striving for suffering states of status. B)

    So how can we serve the status/dukkha seeking demons around and in us? >:) Here are my top tips:

    ah no ... I will leave that for the thoughtful ... o:)

    SocairCarameltail
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @JaySon said:
    Do you ever think about how people strive for status? They put themselves through an immense amount of suffering for labels like "I am a doctor" or "I am a successful businessman."

    Status is like the label on a soup can. Fundamentally it doesn't change the soup at all. Yet you could spend your whole life concerned with these labels and striving for them. You might even be willing to do unethical things to gain one of these labels.

    Anyway, welcome to my brain. This is the kind of crap I think about often.

    Well you and I may be possibly sharing braincells, because I think along those lines.

    I remember once, I ran a Feng Shui Workshop, and while people left the room to take a tea break, I wrote on the board, "Who are you, and what do you want?"

    Well, of course, I got all the usual responses.... "I am ~name~ and I want to be happy." and the suchlike...

    I replied that they weren't their name. That was just a convenient label to call them by, and they couldn't 'be' happy, they could only feel happiness. They were not an emotion, they were just manifesting it at that moment.....

    That got them thinking....

    SocairJaySon
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @lobster is a role model for lobsters everywhere.

    @federica Do you ever think how everything is labeled in stacks from name to career title to body to arm to leg to atoms to molecules to nucleus? Weird, huh? But I guess it's useful for convenience when saying, "There goes Tom the tollbooth worker" even though all one person might see is the label. A person might think Tom is inherently a tollbooth worker and therefore he's less valuable than the professional athlete. Really the labels have no substance, are just empty objects of perception that confuse people into believing the label is the person.

    I wonder how many people have spent every waking moment of their life motivated by the misconception that they are a certain label or want to achieve a certain label or are terrified of losing a certain label.

  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Explorer
    edited February 10

    Bleh labels no thanks. Judge me by my actions and such. Labels are only a term of convenience or practicality when necessary.

    Socair
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    The you being judged is also a label, and judging is like putting labels on that label.

  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Explorer

    @JaySon said:
    The you being judged is also a label, and judging is like putting labels on that label.

    Judgement to me is more of a subjective conceptual changing landscape than a label which a lot more fixed. So I think there is more flexiblity in it, if it is a label it is at least more animated and specific to each person/their context making the judgement. I think labels are a lot more sticky and hard to get off.

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    For some reason, this discussion reminds me of the third-grade verse I once learned and laughed at:
    Everybody's doin' it
    Doin' it,
    Doin' it --
    Picking their nose
    And chewin' it,
    Chewin' it,
    Chewin' it....

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    Labels are our tools.

    I think it's strange that we use them to feel superior to each other.

    Socair
  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @Carameltail said:

    @JaySon said:
    The you being judged is also a label, and judging is like putting labels on that label.

    Judgement to me is more of a subjective conceptual changing landscape than a label which a lot more fixed. So I think there is more flexiblity in it, if it is a label it is at least more animated and specific to each person/their context making the judgement. I think labels are a lot more sticky and hard to get off.

    Jason (label) is being a dork (label).

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited February 10

    @JaySon said:
    Status is like the label on a soup can. Fundamentally it doesn't change the soup at all.

    I think it can in that it can cause the soup to go sour. =)

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    @seeker242 said:

    @JaySon said:
    Status is like the label on a soup can. Fundamentally it doesn't change the soup at all.

    I think it can in that it can cause the soup to go sour. =)

    Believing the label is the soup makes the soup taste like rotten fish butts.

    seeker242
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    We were doing just fine, until the sour and fish-butts bit.
    Then, you lost me. Being the label that I am.
    I probably came off in hot water....

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    We were doing just fine, until the sour and fish-butts bit.
    Then, you lost me. Being the label that I am.
    I probably came off in hot water....

    Think of it like this. Hehe

    "Luminous, monks, is the soup. And it is soured by incoming defilement of label seeking, causing it to taste like fish butt”

    :)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Oh I know that one, it's the Monkfish Sutta. yeah. He taught it at the Bouilla Base.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Occasionally during meditation the ol' mental labelling machine is put to work labelling thoughts and feelings...Eg, when thoughts arise they are labelled either past or future and when feelings arise these too are given a simple label itch, ache, tension, etc, etc....

    And like these fleeting labels, any status labels also come unstuck exposing the true contents...."Emptiness" (which in itself is just another "Form" of label...go figure ) :)

    Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche on "Letting go of Labels and Seeing the World Anew"

    "We cannot just do away with the conceptual, labeling mind. We have to work with it. Labels are necessary, but only to a certain degree. Without them we could not even ask for a pen or a piece of paper, or for directions to get from point A to point B; we would not have any words to communicate our thoughts and ideas. But so often we go beyond that basic level and add unnecessary complexities to the situation."

  • One of my favourite labelings is in wicca - the three stages of being:

    • Maiden - potential
    • Mother - being
    • Crone - wisdom

    The male or daka equivalent stages are young boy, boy and old boy ... Tee hee! :p

    Socairdhammachick
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited February 11

    @lobster said:
    One of my favourite labelings is in wicca - the three stages of being:

    • Maiden - potential
    • Mother - being
    • Crone - wisdom

    The male or daka equivalent stages are young boy, boy and old boy ... Tee hee! :p

    Sorry @lobster: An old and wise crone once advised me:

    "It doesn't matter what job they have, how much they earn, what car they drive whose (line of) clothes they wear or what kind of house they live in; they only ever get to 9 years old."

    image

    image

    Socairlobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    We all play the label game, some to a much higher degree than others. When someone asks you about yourself, isn't that how you respond? Is there a way to respond that doesn't involve labels? They are somewhat necessary for communication but as with most things, it is our belief in them and attachment to them that causes most of the problems. I am a mom, which is of course a label. Probably my biggest label. But if I only identify with being a mom and my world revolves around what a mom is and what defines a good mom, then my life is out of balance.

    Of related interest to me is our masks. How much work we put into maintaining different segments of who we are in order to fit into any random situation. Most of us are different at work than we are a home. Different with friends than family. Different with spouse than parents. We work really hard to maintain what we think others want to see when they look at us instead of being ourselves. Mostly because most of us only have a foggy idea of who/what we really are, and some have no idea at all.

    Socairlobster
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    @JaySon said:
    Do you ever think about how people strive for status? They put themselves through an immense amount of suffering for labels like "I am a doctor" or "I am a successful businessman."

    Status is like the label on a soup can. Fundamentally it doesn't change the soup at all. Yet you could spend your whole life concerned with these labels and striving for them. You might even be willing to do unethical things to gain one of these labels.

    Anyway, welcome to my brain. This is the kind of crap I think about often.

    so status and reputation may be connected.i bet the buddha would say dont think too highly of yourself to prevent possible clinging of self.maybe its ok to be aware self label but in a middle way attitude like,yeah im a landscaper.maybe be aware of self identity fact without--the hard part--puffing it up.if ego is over inflated it will pop like a balloon.been there done that.so sometimes i practice self aware plain as dust attitude and be simple.from experience--percieved and believed--life is gracious to the simple.so i try be that...pauly-so simple ...is a nice hopeful label,even though my brain is nutty.

    lobster
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @lobster said:
    One of my favourite labelings is in wicca - the three stages of being:

    • Maiden - potential
    • Mother - being
    • Crone - wisdom

    The male or daka equivalent stages are young boy, boy and old boy ... Tee hee! :p

    Sometimes I really miss being Wiccan.....

  • Mostly because most of us only have a foggy idea of who/what we really are, and some have no idea at all.

    :cry: True.

    I like to label myself a Buddhist because:

    • I meditate and express my understanding through a predominantly Buddhist mask (with extra claws and shell)
    • Non theistic modeling available
    • Reasonably acceptable

    However the point or fulfillment, Buddhist depth psychology, nibbana with nobs on etc, teaches that none of these labels are real. Ay caramba.

    This is where the readily available teachings of 'dependent origination' and cushion squashing experience come in ...

    I truly am:

    • unfoggy
    • no idea or I at all
    • Buddha Natured

    Yeah! B)

    TravellerSocair
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @dhammachick said:

    @lobster said:
    One of my favourite labelings is in wicca - the three stages of being:

    • Maiden - potential
    • Mother - being
    • Crone - wisdom

    The male or daka equivalent stages are young boy, boy and old boy ... Tee hee! :p

    Sometimes I really miss being Wiccan.....

    You can take da goil outta de Wiccan, but you can never take de Wiccan outta da goil... ;)

    dhammachickkarasti
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited February 12

    @dhammachick said:
    Sometimes I really miss being Wiccan.....

    Yeah, I had flirtations with Druidism and naturalistic Paganism. But I don't think modern Paganism is much to do with what the ancients practised. Wicca for example was made up by a retired British civil servant in the 1950s. ;)

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @DairyLama said:

    @dhammachick said:
    Sometimes I really miss being Wiccan.....

    Yeah, I had flirtations with Druidism and naturalistic Paganism. But I don't think modern Paganism is much to do with what the ancients practised. Wicca for example was made up by a retired British civil servant in the 1950s. ;)

    Yes 1954 to be exact. A mix of Golden Dawn, Enochian magic, Rosicrucianism and some remains of Anthropology.

    Given my direct lineage to Paganism via my norse ancestors, I've got a soft spot for Asatru and their Gods. They seem more human in their Sagas. I can relate to their tempers too 😎😎

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Wicca was not such a bad creation, all things considered. It had the benefits of being cleansed of a lot of old junk, a synthesis of a number of respected lines of thought, and still similar enough to the old ‘witchcraft’ that a lot of would-be female practitioners could find a home there.

    But yes, status-based thinking is still the main competitor for money based thinking in the careers field. The two are often closely allied. Sad but true, I think it distracts many people from finding their true calling. There’s been some talk about a universal basic income which would level the playing field and leave a lot of people able to pursue more artistic callings.

    dhammachick
  • @dhammachick said:
    Yes 1954 to be exact. A mix of Golden Dawn, Enochian magic, Rosicrucianism and some remains of Anthropology.

    I have the impression of Wicca as a sort of new-age mix and match. The Druids I contacted claimed to be more authentic in their sources, though I thought they had a rather romanticised view, again a bit new-age.

  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @DairyLama said:

    I have the impression of Wicca as a sort of new-age mix and match. The Druids I contacted claimed to be more authentic in their sources, though I thought they had a rather romanticised view, again a bit new-age.

    Yes everyone romanticises the past. It's human nature. But the Druids are correct that their practises are fairly close to the original - minus human sacrifices. Druidism, Asatru and a few others are more correctly called Reconstructionist paths as they follow anthropological evidence that had been found and verified as true by experts in the archaeological field.

    /end nerd mode

    Socair
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited February 14

    I could think of a few humans that would bring benefit from being sacrificed.

    ~

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    ....I said that out loud, didn't I.....?

    Socairkarastidhammachick
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