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May 24th, 2008

So, the LJ advisory board election: lj_election_en. I don't know any of the names on the board except jameth and legomymalfoy; I assume everyone else is the same way, which is why those two are dominating the votes. Voting process:

(1) eliminated LJdrama psychopaths, especially jameth
(2) eliminated people who hadn't been around long or were not permanent members
(3) eliminated people who are mainly about fanfic, set off my creep alarm, or had lots of memecrap

That left imc, jette, and fuzzface00, none of whom have a chance. Since legomymalfoy is the most plausible opposition to jameth and seems to be decent other than the fanfic thing, I dropped fuzzface00 in her favor. (I'm letting different pieces of ronebofh's sound advice cancel out in this case, I suppose.)

As it stands, legomymalfoy is leading jameth in first-place votes, but looks likely to lose by a nose in the runoff. I strongly recommend a first-place vote for legomymalfoy.

One afternoon a student said "Roshi, I don't really understand what's going on. I mean, we sit in zazen and we gassho to each other and everything, and Felicia got enlightened when the bottom fell out of her water-bucket, and Todd got enlightened when you popped him one with your staff, and people work on koans and get enlightened, but I've been doing this for two years now, and the koans don't make any sense, and I don't feel enlightened at all! Can you just tell me what's going on?"

"Well you see," Roshi replied, "for most people, and especially for most educated people like you and I, what we perceive and experience is heavily mediated, through language and concepts that are deeply ingrained in our ways of thinking and feeling. Our objective here is to induce in ourselves and in each other a psychological state that involves the unmediated experience of the world, because we believe that that state has certain desirable properties. It's impossible in general to reach that state through any particular form or method, since forms and methods are themselves examples of the mediators that we are trying to avoid. So we employ a variety of ad hoc means, some linguistic like koans and some non-linguistic like zazen, in hopes that for any given student one or more of our methods will, in whatever way, engender the condition of non-mediated experience that is our goal. And since even thinking in terms of mediators and goals tends to reinforce our undesirable dependency on concepts, we actively discourage exactly this kind of analytical discourse."

And the student was enlightened.

David Chess