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The Buddhist echo chamber

JeroenJeroen Do it with a smileNetherlands Veteran

I’m afraid Buddhism is becoming a habit. I’m a member of a couple of Buddhist forums which I visit daily, and I seem to be becoming used to Buddhist ways and means… there is a tendency to return to Buddhist topics when I talk.

I noticed it when I tried out a Freethinker forum the other day. A whole group of people who have freed themselves from religion, who spend their days thinking and talking… so much thinking… so little appreciation for silence. I’m finding it difficult to connect to them, although I do agree with some of their views on the church.

Is it possible that by spending enough time among Buddhists we become unused to normal socialisation?

Comments

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    yes.

    Jeroen
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I think it’s possible to become anything if we surround ourselves with like minded people.

    Which is why it’s important to be careful about who and what we associate with.

    person
  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran
    edited January 5

    The mind does seem to be very flexible… people can believe a very wide range of things, from being a Seventh Day Adventist to being a Hare Krishna devotee.

    Which is one reason I was trying out the Freethinker forum, but I’ve found it to be rather full of argument, rather than agreement. And while a certain amount of argument is wholesome — it sharpens the mind — on the whole it leads to difficult feelings.

    One should have a personal stake in finding out the truth.

    Bunks
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    edited January 5

    Its very easy these days to only expose yourself to ideas and people that already agree with you. While there is much to be gained from that feeling of belonging and sympathy in feeling comfortable to express yourself. There is also a downside that is being expressed in numerous ways in the world today.

    We become fractured, we can't understand or speak one another's cultural language. I liken it to a sort of cultural tower of Babel. We also run the risk of group think, where "when everyone thinks alike, no one thinks at all". With no one around to point out flawed thinking or ideas, small misperceptions or bad ideas can build on one another and snowball until they become disconnected from common sense and reality.

    I make a point of seeking out ideas and information that disconfirm what feels right to me, what I'd like to believe.

    @Jeroen said:
    And while a certain amount of argument is wholesome — it sharpens the mind — on the whole it leads to difficult feelings.

    I take your point and find the internet full of angry arguments and disagreeable people with pernicious arguments. I follow places like Intelligence Squared and Braver Angels who make a point out of "disagreeing without being disagreeable", having constructive conversations across dividing lines and generally exploring ideas in a way that creates much more light than heat.

    Bunks
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited January 14

    @Jeroen said:

    Is it possible that by spending enough time among Buddhists we become unused to normal socialisation?`

    If you spend enough time among Buddhists who wear their Buddhism on their sleeve, you might.

  • JeroenJeroen Do it with a smile Netherlands Veteran

    @Dakini said:

    @Jeroen said:

    Is it possible that by spending enough time among Buddhists we become unused to normal socialisation?`

    If you spend enough time among Buddhists who wear their Buddhism on their sleeve, you might.

    Certainly Buddhists have different patterns of speech… people speak gently, there aren’t many arguments. You can certainly get used to that, so that ‘normal’ argumentation seems excessive.

  • DavidDavid A human residing in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Ancestral territory of the Erie, Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Mississauga and Neutral First Nations Veteran

    This happens to me often where someone is explaining a problem our situation they or someone they know is going through and I picture a Buddhist teaching or Sutta. Sometimes I try and break it down so it doesn't sound so Buddhisty.

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