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[Xmca-l] Re: What is a Pedagogy of the Oppressors?
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- Thread-topic: [Xmca-l] Re: What is a Pedagogy of the Oppressors?
Hi Francine under the cape of LarryS! :)
I enjoy your explanation and I am even inspired by these quotes!
Not being educated in matters stoic, I looked it up here. See the second definition:
1. a systematic philosophy, dating from around 300 b.c., that held the principles of logical thought to reflect a cosmic reason instantiated in nature.
2. (lowercase) conduct conforming to the precepts of the Stoics, as repression of emotion and indifference to pleasure or pain.
Sorry to fall into the pothole of definitions, but I just wanted to show that that's why I'd said what I'd said.
My utmost favorite quote is:
"Kindness is unconquerable."
My second favorite is:
"We are the other of the other."
But I would like to change it a little to say:
"I am the other of the other."
Or for those who are afraid to start sentences with "I" how about:
"The other of the other is me."
I'm not sure how this all lines up with the ideology of individualism, as the poll is still out on that, however I would like to offer to the list the concept of Karmayoga, as that seems to be relevant to what you have posted, Francine.
Karma -of course everyone has some idea what that word means- is Sanskrit for "action." It is the idea that for every action there is an equal reaction.
There are many different kinds of actions and they manifest in causes and effects.
Without meaning to conjure the memory of Donald Rumsfeld, there are unknown causes and unknown effects. Then there are known causes and known effects. There are unknown causes and known effects, and last there are known causes with unknown effects. So that just about covers the universe, I think.
The concept of karma in Vedic thought is a belief, because there can be no way to verify many of these connections. This is widely understood and accepted. BUT! given what we can perceive known causes and known effects we have been able to determine that there is a relationship. The rest has to do with inference and belief because there is nothing more to do to verify beyond those causes and effects that are known.
Newton did determine this relationship in his third law of motion, by the way. :)
Karma is the basis for right action, "right" meaning "ethical," "proper" etc. as a guide to live properly. Given the third law of motion, "what goes around comes around" is a common way to discuss karma in a pop-psychology sort of way.
So given that I have control over my actions (if I do), then what I do will come back to me in some way or another. If the effect does not return to me in some fashion, then it means that there is an obstruction to its reaction or my perception if the reaction is obstructed, or that it will manifest at some point in my future.
There is no IF it comes around, but WHEN. (Remember Newton's third law!)
Given that there is no way to know for sure WHEN a reaction will happen, then I must cultivate some detachment concerning when the reaction will happen.
Karmayoga is this attitude one has toward one's own actions, which is different than the doing of the action. It is the acceptance that I have control over my actions, but I have NO control over the results of my actions.
This is very hard for people to accept, particularly those who adhere to the belief one is the master of one's destiny (ideology of individualism? I don't know).
When I first learned about Karmayoga it was hard as an American to get my head around it. But as I sat with it, I realized there is a lot of freedom in this attitude. It is psychologically clean.
For those who doubt, consider the bow and arrow. I have control over pointing the arrow and letting go the bow string. But once the arrow leaves the bow, I have no control over the arrow. Even if I have good aim, the arrow may not hit the mark, so when I have let go the bow, I also let go my control. Part of that control is emotional as well. Letting go means letting go. I can hope the arrow will hit the mark, but I must accept the possibility it may not.
This detachment is not always easy to practice, because there is always a desire for things to turn out the way I want them to turn out. If it doesn't, the only thing I can do is try again. and again. and again. With each time, I try different or I try better.
After all, one can do something, not do it, or do it differently.
As Einstein has said, insanity is doing the same thing and hoping for different results.
Essentially, Karmayoga is the practice of attachment to the act but no attachment to the outcome. Not that I don't care, or that I don't want an outcome that favors me, but that I understand where my sphere of influence ends and where the rest is out of my hands.
So if one always practices good action, then one's mind is fairly free of worry, much baggage is unloaded. I can tell you from personal experience this is so!
If one practices Karmayoga one focuses upon choosing the best possible actions, to set up the bow and the arrow optimally and once performing the act, to let go the bow and the arrow and wait for the result, hoping for the best, but not being disappointed or too excited about the outcome.
Francine, it sounds a little stoic, no?