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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:24 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 409
Who, the Hongwu Emperor?

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:23 am 
Boardlord
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Him, and the Buddhist sect/gang that he belonged to. Nor was it the only example of its kind.

I think maybe you're looking at spiritual works and imagining that they reflect and determine secular politics. It's like reading Thomas à Kempis and concluding that Europe was full of nothing but ascetic, world-renouncing monks.


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:37 pm 
Smeric
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I'm sick with fever, and a recruiter was supposed to call me for a job interview over half an hour ago. I kept getting messages warning me that my interview would begin in 24 hours! Then one hour! Then 10 minutes! And then he never called. :( So I tried to send him an e-mail eight minutes ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:24 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:25 pm
Posts: 409
Vijay: How did it go?

zompist wrote:
Him, and the Buddhist sect/gang that he belonged to. Nor was it the only example of its kind.

I think maybe you're looking at spiritual works and imagining that they reflect and determine secular politics. It's like reading Thomas à Kempis and concluding that Europe was full of nothing but ascetic, world-renouncing monks.

What the practice considers its ideal to be is precisely the point in this context, so anyone who does not look at sacred texts is in the wrong. Also, it's more like whenever I give detailed answers to questions on the ZBB, people accuse me of stream-of-consciousness ranting, so I never know how much detail is appropriate. For example, I elected not to mention that Mahayana is in favor of "skillful means", i.e. manipulating people to promote enlightenment, which of course creates more anxiety than it's worth. (This is related to the bodhisattva path.)

As for Hongwu, he was obviously a national emancipator, not a universal emancipator. The man was a tyrannical Confucian autocrat who oversaw a lot of unnecessarily brutal policies. Do you know how many people he killed for no reason other than posing a possible threat to his autocratic rights, or having offered a possible insult to his autocratic dignity? He opposed the theories of the messianic Buddhist movements of the time, and outlawed some of them. He even killed people to be buried with him. I doubt even the promiscuous, despotic, genocidal Dalai Lamas would have dared do something like that in the Buddha's name.

You don't need a universal religion like Buddhism to organize a movement for national emancipation. I would not count national emancipation under the heading of universal emancipation because that would cause the number of universally emancipatory movements to skyrocket. Even some of the less psychotic national socialist movements would count. In fact, "national socialist" would not be a bad description of Hongwu, psychosis and all.*

Even if you focus on Hongwu's more "compassionate" actions, his rule is a great illustration of the limits of non-evil conservatism. As a conservative, your behavior can be as moral as you like, but unless you push for radical reforms along universalist lines, nothing much will change after you are done. I'm not arguing Buddhism is evil, only that it's conservative. Conservatism isn't always evil, but it is never universally emancipatory. Universal emancipation has never existed in the past. How can a movement be conservative if it doesn't look to the past?

*I like Ian Morris' speculations on Hongwu's personality. From Why the West Rules--For Now:

Quote:
The Eastern core, by contrast, was reordered from its ancient center in China, and commerce and diplomacy ultimately led the way, even though the rise of new empires began in bloodshed as grim as anything in the West. Zhu Yuanzhang, the founder of the Ming dynasty that reunited China, had been born into poverty in 1328 as Mongol power was falling apart. His parents—migrant laborers on the run from tax collectors—sold four of his brothers and sisters because they could not feed them, and abandoned Yuanzhang, their youngest, with a Buddhist grandfather. The old man filled the boy’s head with the messianic visions of the Red Turbans, one of many resistance movements fighting Mongol rule. The end was nigh, the old man insisted, and the Buddha would soon return from Paradise to smite the wicked. Instead, in the locust-and drought-ravaged summer of 1344, disease—quite likely the Black Death—carried off Yuanzhang’s whole family.

The teenager attached himself to a Buddhist monastery as a servant, but the monks could barely feed themselves and sent him out to beg or steal for his keep. After wandering southern China’s back roads for three or four years he returned to the monastery just in time to see it burned to the ground in the vast, roiling civil wars that accompanied the collapse of Mongol rule. With nowhere else to go, he joined the other monks in hanging around the smoking ruins, starving.

Yuanzhang was an alarming-looking youth, tall, ugly, lantern-jawed, and pockmarked. But he was also smart, tough, and (thanks to the monks) literate; the kind of man, in short, that any bandit would want in his gang. Recruited by a band of Red Turbans as they passed through the neighborhood, he impressed the other thugs and visionaries, married the chief’s daughter, and eventually took over the gang.

In a dozen years of grinding warfare Yuanzhang turned his cutthroat crew into a disciplined army and drove the other rebels from the Yangzi Valley. Just as important, he distanced himself from the Red Turbans’ wilder prophecies and organized a bureaucracy that could run an empire. In January 1368, just shy of his fortieth birthday, he renamed himself Hongwu (“Vast Military Power”) and proclaimed the creation of a Ming (“Brilliant”) dynasty.

Hongwu’s official pronouncements make it sound as if his whole adult life was a reaction against his terrible, rootless, violent youth. He promoted an image of China as a bucolic paradise of stable, peaceful villages, where virtuous elders supervised self-sufficient farmers, traders dealt only in goods that could not be made locally, and—unlike Hongwu’s own family—no one moved around. Hongwu claimed that few people needed to travel more than eight miles from home, and that covering more than thirty-five miles without permission should earn a whipping. Fearing that commerce and coinage would corrode stable relationships, three times he passed laws restricting trade with foreigners to government-approved dealers and even prohibited foreign perfumes lest they seduce the Chinese into illicit exchanges. By 1452 his successors had renewed his laws three more times and had four times banned silver coins out of fear they would make unnecessary commerce too easy.

“For thirty-one years I labored to discharge Heaven’s mandate,” Hongwu claimed in his will, “tormented by worries and fears, without relaxing for a day.” We have to wonder, though, how much of Hongwu’s struggle was just in his mind. Hongwu was eager to appear—in contrast to his Mongol predecessors—as an ideal Confucian ruler, but never actually banned foreign trade. His son Yongle even expanded it, assiduously importing Korean virgins for sex (because, he claimed, they were good for his health). But Ming monarchs did insist on keeping trade in official hands. This, they repeatedly announced, protected the (theoretically) stable social order and allowed foreigners to show due deference. “I do not care for foreign things,” one ruler explained. “I accept them because they come from far away and show the sincerity of distant peoples.” The fact that “tribute” (as the court called trade beyond the borders) was filling the imperial coffers was not worth mentioning.

Despite all the talk, trade flourished. In 1488 a shipwrecked Korean observed that “foreign ships stand as thick as the teeth of a comb” in Hangzhou harbor. Underwater archaeologists have found that merchant ships were getting bigger, and the fact that the emperors felt compelled to renew their laws about illicit trade quite as often as they did strongly suggests that people were ignoring them.

The effects of the commercial boom were far-reaching. Peasant incomes rose once more, families grew, and farmers streamed from their villages to open new lands or work in cities. Local worthies repaired roads, bridges, and canals after the violence of the preceding centuries, merchants carried food along them, and people everywhere rushed to market, selling what they could produce cheaply and buying everything else. By 1487 an official simply took it for granted that people “convert grain into cash, then convert cash into clothing, food, and daily necessities … there aren’t any people throughout the realm of whom this is not true.”

Commerce was interlinking the enlarged Eastern core just as much as war interlinked the states of the West. Population, agriculture, and finance all expanded rapidly in fourteenth-century Japan, and despite the Ming restrictions, trade with China steadily grew. Dealings with Southeast Asia were even more important: revenues from trade funded the rise of states such as Majapahit on Java, which dominated the spice business. Many local rulers came to depend on Chinese support for their thrones.

Replace China's conservative Confucianism with the West's conservative capitalism, and what do you get?

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In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


Last edited by rotting bones on Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:08 am 
Smeric
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Can you please put the Buddhism discussion in Ephemera?

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kårroť


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:09 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

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Interview update: I sent him another e-mail yesterday. Still no response.


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:05 am 
Smeric
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So ... my fucking mental problems make me very strange and weird about contact with other people and sometimes I take too long to reply to someone and can't find a way to justify it so then I start avoiding that person until I can come up with an excuse ... which gets harder and harder because the excuse has to be bigger and bigger, like, exponentially, with each passing day ... and really, I just want to say "Sorry I didn't write back. Sorry I didn't come to your thing. I don't actually have an excuse except I'm fucking weird!" ... and I carry this guilt around with me. At any one time, I have a list of people in my mind who I feel will hate me because I've been ignoring them and their friendship and the longer that list grows, the more I withdraw because I don't want to go out and do fun things with person (A) when person (B) might find out that I'm not actually lying comatose in my room, and then it snowballs the list ... so instead, I pretty much lie comatose in my room, being mindful of how online I look. Like, I haven't been posting anything to FB lately because I don't want all these people to see that I am interacting with the world and just not them ... I feel so guilty about this kind of thing that I actually interact with the world less and it gets to the point where I have weeks like this week where I have hardly even left the house.

So, after, like a month of sitting on a picture I want to use as my profile picture on FB and finally getting up the "courage" to change it today, I get four likes and then an angry react from someone at the top of my guilt list of people I am not talking to because I can't explain why I'm not talking to them. And the stupid thing is, this only reaffirms that they are angry at me for cutting them out of my life for no reason and that I should never risk making my presence known again and that actually, all of my stupid thoughts and stuff, that people are angry at me. Like, really, what the fuck am I meant to say "Sorry I didn't talk to you for ages. I just didn't feel like replying at the time and it kind of snowballed because I suck. Don't even bother forgiving me if you're going to have the expectation that this won't happen again, because it will, and maybe it's just better that you write me off as a fucking arsehole."

I'm so sick of how my brain works and I'm sick of explaining my behaviour. Sometimes I don't know how. I know none of this is rational, but I just start to feel so uneasy around certain people so easily and I don't know how to apologise for that. Like, sorry, but I felt uneasy for no reason and then that just got worse. If I make a concrete mistake, I have no problem apologising for it, but our culture expects an explanation along with the apology and, I just feel like I've run out of "Sorry, I'm mentally ill" excuses ... but even that is better than continued no contact I suppose.

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:24 am 
Smeric
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Imralu, stop describing my life. It's creepy.

I got into contact with some people I haven't seen in a long while though, so I'm pretty happy about that. I suggest setting up regular reminders to talk to those people on a regular basis; it sort of works sometimes for me.

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ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!
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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:49 pm 
Smeric
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@Imralu: I'm like that, sometimes. And I learnt that it often simply helps to explain your own weirdness to the people you have alienated. Example: not long ago, a friend called me out on why I never congratulate him on his birthday. Truth is, I remembered around what time of the month it was, but not the exact date, but I was too embarassed to ask him because I know that guy for 40 years - how can I forget his date of birth? And so I just "forgot" to congratulate him for years in a row. When I told him the reason, he just laughed and all was fine. (And I guess there will be people who don't take it so lightly, but look at it that way - if you stay in your cocoon, you'll lose them anyway, so it's better to risk some embarassment and miffedness in order to save a friendship.)


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:23 pm 
Avisaru
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Who thought it would be clever to show 74393 when I asked for 74390? Now I've had to order the damned things all over again.

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:26 pm 
Smeric
Smeric

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Regarding not interacting with people: Since I still live with my parents, I almost never leave the house without one or both of my parents unless I have a job, in which case of course I have to leave in order to get to work. When I was growing up, there was no reason for me to leave the house since my only friends were in my family and I learned how to find endless entertainment even indoors. Now, not only is it hard for me to get over this habit of entertaining myself indoors, but also I'm not sure whether to continue doing that since it's helped me learn a lot of languages to a fairly deep level or whether to stop doing it for the sake of social interaction.


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:07 am 
Smeric
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The guy who put an angry face on my profile picture sent me a message today saying "Hi. Get well soon." (in English). It's just really damn odd. Is that meant to be passive aggressive? Is it meant to be supportive; has he figured out that it's a mental health issue? (If I were paranoid delusional rather than just socially paranoid, I'd suspect he'd seen my post but I really can't see how unless he has pretty exceptional internet stalking skills.)

Anyway, I'm going to have to explain to him. Bah!

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:08 am 
Sanno
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hwhatting wrote:
(And I guess there will be people who don't take it so lightly, but look at it that way - if you stay in your cocoon, you'll lose them anyway, so it's better to risk some embarassment and miffedness in order to save a friendship.)

Or another way: If people find your friendship worthwhile, they'll forgive your quirks. If they don't see "quirks" and instead take your actions as personal slights, then there isn't enough goodwill there to sustain a friendship.


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:18 am 
Sumerul
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my friend was supposed to hang out with me today but i can't get in contact - they've turned their phone off and are taking a break from facebook so i can't get in contact that way.

also it's winter and the sun is already setting which kinda sucks because i would normally try to go out before that, but i woke up at 12. i've just been in bed on the internet since then. i booked a flight to go to taiwan for a few days next month, which is cool, though.

the main problem is actually that this is a rare sunday off for me. i can't just reschedule for next week if my friend isn't feeling up to it - i'll be working then. and if my friend can't make it i'd like to do something else with my time. currently i'm reluctant to start doing anything else (watching movies, for example), if i might have to meet my friend in the evening. it's not the evening yet though so i might yet hear back.


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:09 pm 
Smeric
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I need to remember this and stick to it
EDIT: (Hiding it because it's kind of obnoxiously larger than I thought)
More: show
Attachment:
relatable brain relationship no 19206168_10155488909694359_505372278_n.jpg
relatable brain relationship no 19206168_10155488909694359_505372278_n.jpg [ 45.26 KiB | Viewed 704 times ]

After maintaining a sliver of hope of something maybe eventually happening with someone I've just been rejected in a very small way, ostensibly for a very weird reason, and I feel fucking crushed now ... like, it's not even a big final rejection, but the fact that I'm crying now means I'm too fragile to jump into this game, and at the moment, I actually don't feel like I have any close friends at all. What the fuck am I doing?
EDIT: It wasn't a rejection, just two people with very different personalities and communication styles, and I feel OK now, but still worried about how fragile I am when it comes to this topic, so I've written to my counsellor about getting a referral to see a psychotherapist, and having one appointment with him beforehand just to discuss the whole situation.

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Last edited by Imralu on Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:21 pm 
Smeric
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*hug*


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:25 am 
Smeric
Smeric

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Location: Bonn, Germany
(hug)


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:06 am 
Smeric
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~hug~

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:29 pm 
Smeric
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*thank you*
(thank you)
and ~thank you~

Thanks for reading my stuff and being nice, and to everyone for my earlier post too. I'm evidently a bit more fragile this week than I thought. I've cried twice this week because of the way I've assumed others thought about me because of some, objectively, pretty small actions, and for the last six months of so, I've hardly cried at all ... I've clearly got some way to go with my self esteem stuff, like, just feeling that I'm OK as a person and to stop looking for reasons why someone might not feel favourably towards me.

Like, at work the other day, one of my colleagues had just started cooking lunch for everyone when I arrived, which is a nice thing that happens pretty irregularly at work. When it was ready, plates were brought out, and out of the corner of my eye, I counted six plates and I was the seventh person so, I kind of assumed I hadn't been planned for and kind of pretended to be so engrossed in my work as if I hadn't noticed everyone was eating. Ten minutes later, someone turned around and was like "Aren't you going to eat with us?" and I kind of pretended to be considering the proposition for the first time. Like, in my head, I was absolutely mortified that I might come across as presumptuous or be told "Oh, sorry, I didn't know you were coming today, so I didn't really make enough." Like, even though I tell myself that I would objectively understand that kind of situation, rejection where it isn't really personal, I know it would really hurt because it's a rejection and, I just can't deal with those easily. I somehow would just have to act like a normal person after that. As far as possible, I try to avoid any kind of situation like that at all and always try to give the impression that I'm fine as I am, that I don't need anything, don't expect anything and inside I always tell myself that I don't deserve it anyway, like, I never cook for everyone at work, so I kind of feel like I shouldn't be included, or at least shouldn't simply presume I am until I'm explicitly told.

So the other day, my pretending-to-consider was seen through and I was told "We planned for you as well. Come on! We need you to help us finish this!" and then I tried not to appear too eager and race to the table while also trying not to come across as too cool and unthankful, which is a really awkward balance. Years ago, from this exact feeling, I felt so weird about saying thank you for things done for me that I felt were not necessary and weren't expected, that I generally tried to act more surprised than grateful and for some reason felt saying "thank you" would give the impression that I felt entitled to it whereas a stunned "oh!" would convey the appropriate "I-don't-deserve-this-why-are-you-so-good-to-me-ness". I have no idea how I arrived at that weird idea that "thank you" sounds entitled, but maybe it was more like I didn't know how to say it with the right intonation ... and it actually ended at one point with my mother screaming at me for always being so thankless and continuing to scream at me while I hugged her until I eventually just left the house to stay at a friend's place. I basically just don't feel worthy, expect rejection and don't really know how to handle it, so I usually avoid those risks ... and this is, I'm sure, where the absolutely crippling fear of applying for jobs comes from. I've never had a job from going out and applying for one. I've always been asked if "Can you work for me?" Anyway, more or less just analysing myself by writing ... interesting to see this as a single pattern of behaviour for once.

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:02 pm 
Smeric
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Imralu wrote:
I've never had a job from going out and applying for one. I've always been asked if "Can you work for me?"

This was true of me until about last year. In all honesty, I was surprised by how much easier it turned out to be for me than I was expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:40 am 
Avisaru
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Location: The darkest corner of your mind...
I'm incredibly alone and I'm drowning in it.

I don't know how much of this people here are aware of, but I was emotionally abused, neglected, and profoundly isolated as a child. I was "homeschooled," which in my case meant that I was locked in a house my entire childhood and never provided a basic education or any social outlets. I've worked so, so hard to try to pick up the pieces and make an actual life for myself, but it's such an incredibly uphill battle right now. I have absolutely zero social support and I so desperately need it. I'm pretty certain that the people I talk to the most are convenience store clerks. No friends, incredibly toxic family. I don't think people who actually have functional families can even understand this level of sheer isolation.

I just don't see any ways forward. I just fundamentally don't seem to understand other human beings and how they connect with each other. I wish someone would give me a chance but it's just clear that there is nobody willing to put up with the stupid social blunders of a 27-year-old loser who never even had a chance to learn how to interact with other people. So I continue. I am untouchable, impossible to care about, unlovable. I am so sick of trying.

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:09 am 
Smeric
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Risla wrote:
I am untouchable, impossible to care about, unlovable.

I don't think you are. It's clear that your past makes you think so, but it isn't necessarily true. I assume you're not living with your toxic family anymore? Have you tried therapy? (And sorry if you just wanted to vent and don't want a complete stranger bothering you with questions and advice.)


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:31 am 
Avisaru
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Location: The darkest corner of your mind...
hwhatting wrote:
Risla wrote:
I am untouchable, impossible to care about, unlovable.

I don't think you are. It's clear that your past makes you think so, but it isn't necessarily true. I assume you're not living with your toxic family anymore? Have you tried therapy? (And sorry if you just wanted to vent and don't want a complete stranger bothering you with questions and advice.)

It's not my past, it's just my entire life. I don't think it's inherent, but it's hard not to feel like I am way, way beyond the point of hopelessness.

I've tried online therapy and it just didn't work for me. Plus, I'm broke (I have spent so much money on medical expenses since spring...) and can't afford much of anything.

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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:42 am 
Smeric
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Risla wrote:
I've tried online therapy and it just didn't work for me.

I know some people with problems, and they often have tried several therapists before they found the right one. So don't give up!
Risla wrote:
Plus, I'm broke (I have spent so much money on medical expenses since spring...) and can't afford much of anything.

That's bad. Do you work or study? Maybe you can get access to therapy through your employer / health insurance or school?


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 Post subject: Re: Venting thread
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:13 pm 
Smeric
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Risla wrote:
I'm incredibly alone and I'm drowning in it.

I don't know how much of this people here are aware of, but I was emotionally abused, neglected, and profoundly isolated as a child. I was "homeschooled," which in my case meant that I was locked in a house my entire childhood and never provided a basic education or any social outlets. I've worked so, so hard to try to pick up the pieces and make an actual life for myself, but it's such an incredibly uphill battle right now. I have absolutely zero social support and I so desperately need it. I'm pretty certain that the people I talk to the most are convenience store clerks. No friends, incredibly toxic family. I don't think people who actually have functional families can even understand this level of sheer isolation.

I just don't see any ways forward. I just fundamentally don't seem to understand other human beings and how they connect with each other. I wish someone would give me a chance but it's just clear that there is nobody willing to put up with the stupid social blunders of a 27-year-old loser who never even had a chance to learn how to interact with other people. So I continue. I am untouchable, impossible to care about, unlovable. I am so sick of trying.

I'm very sorry to hear all of this, but for whatever it's worth, I care and don't find you unlovable at all. If it helps you feel any better, almost all my social interaction these days is online with people such as you. I don't regret it.


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