[These exercises seem useful for an online group, so I simply reproduce them here. -- The Mgt.]
1. Each member of the study group had a particular gloss or reality-tunnel imposed in childhood. Discuss your parents' gloss and to what degree this still determines the universe you perceive.
2. Play-act that your group have all grown up in a Moslem nation. Discuss how that would influence the reception of the ideas in this chapter.
3. Try the same exercize with the group play-acting a class of engineers in a Moscow university.
I've spent so long trying to escape the gravity well of my parents' reality tunnel I have no reason to dwell on it "for fun" or for study.
Thinking like a Russian engineer, now that sounds like fun?
Dissident or Party member?
First off, in response to Anonymous, let me shout a resounding "amen!" My parents' reality tunnels have definitely been gravity wells, and my autobiography is the story of me trying to escape those gravity wells, succeeding at times and failing at others, and learning to transform some of the more poisonous aspects of those reality tunnels into medicines.
The basic gloss I received is that of the fundamentalist USAmerican Protestant Christian worldview: Jesus loves me. The Bible is pure truth. Science is suspect. Reason is suspect. All evidence to the contrary is suspect.
My Dad, an ex-Catholic and seeker of sorts, provided additional glosses: question everything the church said, especially if it disagrees with the Bible, and the world is coming to an end ASAP.
While I no longer perceive the world through fundamentalist Protestant Christian eyes, I still value Jesus' emphasis on love and social justice. I, like my Dad, am fairly apocalyptic when it comes to humanity's long-term (and, let's be honest, near-term) prospects. And my professional and personal life, dominated as it is by an interest in world religions, spiritual technologies, and the relationship between religion and science, I clearly owe to my parents' gloss and my attempts to wrestle with it.
2. Which Muslim nation? Saudi Arabia? Iran? Turkey? Indonesia? And which social stratum in that country? Poor and rural? Wealthy and urban? All of those factors would influence the reception of the ideas in this chapter (although I think few Muslims, of whatever background, would condone the disrespectful tone RAW shows toward theism). Rural, poor, and fundamentalist Muslims would probably greet the ideas with some hostility (especially in light of Western bombings of Muslim civilians). Wealthy, urban, and educated Muslims would probably be less threatened. And some Sufis would be in total agreement.
1. My parents came from the East Coast. Both born during the Great Depression, they had a concern about basic necessities. My mom and grandmother went to Wellesley and really valued education. Both my parents worked as computer programers, and they had pretty logical minds. They both loved music: my mom classical and my dad country.
We moved to the West Coast in 1967, and I felt tempted to move back east in 1982, but since coming more under the sway of Wilson, etc., I have felt very happy about living in Arizona and California. I value education and love a variety of music, from classical to country and a few stops in between. I have a reasonably logical mind and a concern about basic necessities.
2. I wonder if Wilson study groups exist in largely Muslim nations. I would like to play-act us gathered in Istanbul. Perhaps one of two of us have spent a year living with the dervishes. I find it hard to imagine what we'd make of this book. I imagine many of us would smoke tobacco and drink coffee. (Does that seem stereotyped?) We might fear government response to our study group, something I don't fear in the USA.
3. I think Moscow universities in 2012 would seem very different than ones in 1990 when this book came out. In either case we might have more insight into Bob's description of himself as "The Last Decembrist."
1. I grew up in an old railroad town in Montana with a population under five hundred. There were three bars and two churches. Although I didn't have any religion growing up (aside from my maternal Grandma's vaguely Buddhist influence), I went to the church once and found it terribly boring. There were also two bookstores. I was born in one of the bookstores and spent the first few years of my life there.
My mother and father divorced when I was a kid. I spent the school year with my mother and the summer with my father. Mom did some activism and Dad became a semi-successful art dealer. Later on my Mom would marry a union man who would instill me with a strong work ethic.
I wouldn't say I had a perfect childhood but it seemed far from terrible. I turned okay thanks to the positive influence of some very special people... especially that vaguely Buddhist Grandmother of mine.
2. I suppose if we grew up in a Moslem nation we might attribute the events discussed in this chapter to the benevolence of Allah. Some of us might suspect something else at hand but keep our mouths shut but that depends on the Moslem nation.
If we lived in a Moslem nation under Soviet control if we might keep our mouths shut regarding all that Allah nonsense and seek out a secular explanation for these case of 'faith' healing.
Post a Comment