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    • Cultural Sensitivity/Appropriation and Anger (Last post by Parnerium)
    • Quote: 2) if he had really understood what a sweat lodge is and how they work, and the risks involved in what he was doing and how to accurately evaluate the capabilities of his followers, then he could have hosted a sweat lodge without anyone being hurt This is what I'm calling appropriation. This is also why I keep coming back to "culture is not race." The problem was not that James Ray was white. That is entirely irrelevant. The problem is that he used a cultural element that a) he did not understand and b) cashed in on the cultural legacy of those that do understand it (in other words, calling it a sweat lodge added legitimacy to it because of the associations his patrons had with the Native American practice it was derived from). If he really understood how it worked, really understood the risks involved, and really understood how to accurately evaluate the capabilities of his followers, I wouldn't say he was appropriating it. Even if he wasn't in direct consultation with someone who is racially Native. Even if he was only doing it to make money. It also wouldn't matter whether or not he charged for the experience. If he was offering it for free out of a genuine desire to aid in the spiritual development of people but he still didn't understand the practice I would call that cultural appropriation. Because calling it a sweat lodge uses that cultural legacy to lend it legitimacy. Irresponsible people do irresponsible things. And, like I've said, no real action exists in a vacuum. I provided a real life example to try to demonstrate how cultural appropriation could play into real life. There's never going to be a non-hypothetical situation where the only problem is pure cultural appropriation, especially because the problem I see with it is that it effects other parts of life. Quote: other than the martial arts, i have no cultural connection to korea, japan, israel, thailand, brazil, or china Martial arts is your connection. If you had learned those martial arts from a guy who saw Enter the Dragon once then made up a bunch of nonsense moves and called them The Ancient Chinese Art of Wushu I'd say that guy was appropriating and that you've been duped. However, if that guy did all those things but called it Punchy Punchy Knockdown or some other made up name, he wouldn't be manipulating the cultural legacy of Chinese martial arts and I wouldn't call it appropriation. Importantly, if he convinced you that this was a useful fighting style and it wasn't, I would still call him a con-man. But his method of con job wouldn't involve appropriation (which is a separate issue but that overlaps). As a real example, I don't think MMA is appropriative of anything. Quote: wherever the religious rights of natives (or anyone else) are being violated, the law is being broken and whoever the violator is, they are in the wrong This seems like an oversimplication of how people work. If I say "throwing gay people off of buildings is wrong" but then only try to solve that by addressing the individual actions of the specific people doing the throwing, I'll be much less effective at preventing such a thing in the future than if I address the greater causes. It's better to address the attitudes that the entire society holds about gay people, the systems of power being used to initiate the throwing, and the reasons that the people who watch/hear about the throwing have for intervening or not intervening. Doing that isn't shifting the blame, either. I'm not blaming anybody other than the Cree that moved to stop that guy from having his sweat lodge. But those Cree didn't wake up one morning and decide to be hateful bastards, with the sweat lodge as their arbitrary means for doing so. They exist as part of an interconnected system of human thoughts and actions and are impacted by them. Quote: i fully support every persons (native american, africans, midgets, albinos, liberals, rednecks, EVERY PERSON'S) right to engage in whatever religious practice that they feel drawn towards or that they believe will enhance their life So do I. If somebody who knows nothing about sweat lodges makes one in their backyard for their own spiritual growth, more power to them. But as soon as they start telling people that they know what they're talking about, I think that's where appropriation can start. Because that's when they start using other people for their own gain.
    • Think... (Last post by Jack.Troutman)
    • Day 11 Usefulness of Nothing The thirty spokes of a carriage wheel Uniting at the nave Are made useful by the hole in the center Where nothing exists. Vessels of molded earth Are useful by reason of their hollowness. Doors and windows Are useful by being cut out. A house is useful because of its emptiness. Thus we use what is not To make use of what is. From the Tao Te Ching
    • To vote, or not to vote... (Last post by Wescli Wardest)
    • Voting is important whether people believe it or not. It’s how we make change. Drudgingly slow, painful, often backwards, but still change. And with each change it is important to learn from it and vote to improve on what we have learned so that we can hopefully build a brighter tomorrow. Even when your two choices are between two equally repugnant steaming piles of refuse. I’m just going to try and pick the one that I feel will destroy the country the least. And maybe, just maybe, we might survive this next presidency to rebuild the rampant carnage of their term in office which ever one wins. :P LOL :silly: :woohoo: :laugh: .... :whistle: ... :blink: ... :pinch: ... :sick:
    • World Trade Center Steel (Last post by Jaxz)
    • Quote: It is for that reason that I refused to go to the Holocaust museum in D.C. when I visited. That's one of those things that even thinking about it starts to affect me like that so being around something like that I don't think I could handle. It's moments like that that I really feel like I can "feel the Force" as it were. I just wish it was easier to create something that could channel positive emotions with that same intensity. Interesting that you mention the Holocaust Museum. When. I was in my senior year of High School, our Senior Class trip was to go to D.C. While there, we went to the Holocaust Museum. I don't remember all of it, but what I do remember is turning down a hallway. I was dimly lit by ambient blue lighting and the shadows were heavy and deep. There was a railing on either side so that no one could walk besides you. As you walked down the hallway, the only thing besides you were piles and piles of shoes. Just shoes. All different styles, in colors from brown to black to red. Most were adult size, but some were small, others tiny. You couldn't ignore these memories. They were everywhere and the space almost called for you to take your time and walk slowly. You could feel something there. It was a silent call, a pull, a tug. Something begging to be remembered, not forgotten and tossed away like so many piles of shoes. The Force can fill our lives with peace, joy, love, and harmony if we recognize it and let it in. However, it will also root us in our past, as the Force knows no time. It wants us to remember, to feel, and to know. In that hallway, the Force was heavy with the presence of the victims of the worst humanity, and perhaps existence, has to offer. But it was not a negative energy. It did not push you down. Certainly, there was a great grief and sadness. That was natural for anyone. But greater than that was the pull from the Force. It called to remember. It called that there was hope. It called and said "You are greater than this. Remember that." From our darkest hours, we can have hope, and light a fire. There is no Death, there is the Force.
    • Questions for Christians of the site (Last post by Goken)
    • Just some background. When I was born my father was in a Baptist bible college to become a minister or whatever Baptists call them. My lack of knowledge as to what they're called should tell you how long that lasted. I am not super familiar with any specifics of the Bible and it doesn't interest me all that much so I haven't actually read it. I no longer really consider myself a Christian really. On to the question. As to questions 2 and 3 regarding harm coming to children and God letting bad things happen in the world. I don't remember where I read this but a character in a book said something that I think makes a lot of sense to me. I'm not saying that I agree with it 100%, but I get where it's coming from and agree about as much as I feel I can no longer being a Christian. Thinking on an individual scale it does seem that letting anyone come to harm is not something that a benevolent god worth worshiping completely would do. However, any super-powerful deity doesn't look at us as individuals. It's got a whole species of us to deal with (plus, you know, the rest of the Universe) so it looks at things from a compete species standpoint. In that perspective (one that exists outside of space and time) things that are absolutely horrible to individuals is a scraped knee to the species as a whole Think of God like a parent and the human race as one child (as opposed to 9 billion children). If God protected us from every bad thing that happened we'd never learn. Instead, God lets us fall down, scrape our knee, and pick ourselves back up. I can see where this explanation sucks on a "So God doesn't care about us as individuals?" stand point, but it's the best explanation I've heard so far.
    • Can a force senstive person train themselves (Last post by RyuJin)
    • a person can train them self to do anything, however this usually involves loads of trial and error...having the benefit of someone else's guidance saves on time but also can rob us of the experience gained by failing if the guide doesn't allow us to make mistakes and fail...
    • Interesting volunteering orientated questions (ope... (Last post by Vusuki)
    • Hi there everyone, Last night I had the pleasure of attending my first evening of volunteer training course. Part of what made it so enjoyable was the questions and discussions between the volunteers springing from those questions about vulnerability and helping people. And so I wanted to share the questions with you here (and some of the answers we came up with) :) I'll put the answers in spoilers so that if you'd like you can give the questions a shot yourselves (and I'd reccomend doing so because that'll be more enriching for you). Please share your answers here as well for other people to see, :) Questions 1) What makes someone vulnerable? 2) What is the opposite of vulnerability? 3) What makes someone the opposite of vulnerable? This following spoiler contains the answer we agreed on in case you'd like some assistance? Spoiler: Resilient? (If you've another idea or word let us know in your answer. 4) How do we help/support people / What's our role? Answers, Spoiler: These are simply the key words that we came up with but fairly wide ranging 1) What makes some vulnerable? Spoiler: Lack of knowledge Lack of family or friends Bad life choices Bad judgement Bad fortune Loss of partner or situation Negative Spiral Disability addiction Out of comfort wone (too far outside of) Loneliness Abuse/Events/Environnement Own behaviour Lack of purpose, status, self-worth Of these, I'd like to highlight the three words that sum this all up for me: Loss, Lack, and Attitude 2) What's the opposite of vulnerability? Spoiler: Resilience 3) What makes someone the opposite of vulnerable? Spoiler: Or resilient? Spoiler: Confidence Self-worth Bouncing Back Experience Perspective Strategies Pattern-changing Survival Thinking differently Thriving Learning Inner Strength Resolution Opportunities Multiple ressources Solution focus (as opposed to problem focus) Role+Status Acceptance Probelm-solving skills Being flexible / vulnerable People / Relationships Making mistakes Life + Pain Action Owning it 4) How do we help/support people / What's our role? Spoiler: We did this as a table of what to do and what not to do, so... YES NO Create Relationship /Trust Counselling (we're not professional or here truly for that) Fresh pair of eyes/ears Bringing your own issues Safe space Pity/ Sympathy Encouraging Advice Assessment AND not negative judgement Signposting Pyschotherapy Open-mindfulness Accepting Focusing on Positive Past/Future Bonundaries Meeting them as an equal So there you go! I hope you enjoyed thinking about that, and I look forward to reading what you write! :D Have a nice day folks
    • Gratitude for the Kindness of Others (Last post by Lykeios)
    • I'm probably not as grateful as I should be. I try to be grateful as much as possible, but sometimes I just don't think about all the kind things people do for me every day. I don't think intention matters so much. I feel that if an act benefits someone else it is kind. An example would be my ex doing nice things for me. I say she is being kind and she insists she is just being practical and logical. She doesn't do things for me out of kindness alone. Nevertheless I feel the things she does for me are kind and thank her for them.
    • Group Assignment - The School Of Life (Last post by Atticus)
    • I'm interested in examining the seeming barriers between science and religion, so the idea that astrophysics can work toward the same purposes as religion appealed to me. Contemplation of the infinite nature of the universe provides us with perspective. The piddly stuff doesn't seem to matter so much when you consider the sheer unfathomable expanse of the cosmos. That incomprehensible scale also lends itself to contemplation of just what a miracle is any life at all, much less the numerous and varied lives with which we coexist. "[T]he galaxies are, miraculously, the conduits to helping us develop into slightly wiser, more conscious, more mindful and generous humans on our painfully isolated, fragile blue dot."
    • A World Without Ageism | Ashton Applewhite (Last post by V-Tog)
    • She packed quite a lot in there! I really thought it was interesting what she said about fictional portrayals of the elderly - only ever a passive character or the old crone. There seems to me to be another category as well - that of the wise old sage. As Adder mentioned, Yoda would be an example, as would Ben Kenobi, Dumbledore, Gandalf, Socrates of 'The Peaceful Warrior', etc etc. Either old people are zombies or they are Zen Masters who have all their sh*t together, right? When do you ever see a portrayal of an older person as a real person - that is to say, an angst-ridden, complex human being... Although, I don't yet know what it's like to be 'old', so maybe I'm wrong in assuming that they don't all have everything sussed out... :laugh: I'll come back to you on that in 39 years time when I will hit that magical 65+ catagory of ceasing to exist as a non-old person (which was another really excellent point, about the box-ticking...I can't believe how easily that particular bit of bonkerosity slips under our radar!) But, yup, in the spirit of doing as she suggested and owning up to being ageist, I am frequently ageist (although hopefully not intentionally so). I have a bad habit of mentally blaming older people's mistakes, along with aspects of their behaviour that I don't like, on the rather harsh idea 'they're going senile', which is clearly disrespectful in that it strips them (as I perceive them) of their agency and their ability to make their own choices. And even if people are losing their mental cognition, it's not something to be thought of in that way - it's not their fault, and it could happen to any of us. Unfortunately that attitude - of frustration towards those with reduced cognitive skills - is one that seems to be very prevalent in society. Returning to a personal perspective, there are countless other ways in which I'm sometimes ageist, but I wont list them! However, the idea of internalized ageism is an interesting one - I certainly sometimes quite savagely tell myself that I'm both too old or too young in differing situations and company! And it was a little scary when she suggested that perhaps, right now, we are all learning and internalizing (and perpetuating) the very messages that will make us feel worthless when we are older - a perfect example of the importance of this topic for all of us, no matter how young we might be... Thank you so much for sharing this, Alex! :)
    • ADD HEALING REQUESTS HERE!! (Last post by Rickie)
    • Quote: My mother got admitted to hospital in a rush today , i hope she pulls through :( she could need all the love and light she can get What brought her in? My best thoughts coming your way.
    • Why Not... (Last post by Kaval het)
    • Quote: I was raised catholic. Our church had a rather pessimistic priest, droning on and on about how we are all sinners, how damnation awaits and the only way out is ‘to eat humble pie’ (quotation marks because it is an idiom I’ve never heard before suggested to me by I resented the idea. I did nothing wrong to deserve anything like this and the whole thing just felt unfair to me. That was me at age 10. Nowadays I still strongly resent the idea of guilt forwarded from previous generations, also I understand the priest was a rather specific kind and quite poorly conveying the idea of salvation through Christ. Even still I feel the catholic church is not for me first and foremost since I oppose the strict set of rules. I don’t believe a god to be so limited they would bother telling me to visit a stack of bricks in their honor on a specific day – what do they care when I honor them as long as I do? Also I agree with snowy. Doing something good to avoid punishment or to earn some kind of afterlife bonus feels like hypocrisy to me because both motivations are entirely selfish. That’s what I like specifically about the force: It doesn’t care how I act, that doesn’t even affect my afterlife in any way. Being good is as much as a choice as being a d***. I chose to be nice because I like people around me to be happy and it makes me happy too. I sincerely agree with this statement. Never was one for religion or "bricks" so to speak, but I give you a paradox that the force goes completely around. If god is all powerful, can he create something he cannot lift? And if he can, isn't he not all powerful? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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