I look back fondly on the many times that I have discussed the idea of a monastery founded by the Star of Azazel, with various members of the fraternity. And I return to the idea now and often, with both a positive and hopeful view of its concept and reality respectively.
In the past I lived as a traveller – on a boat, rather than on land – and my intention in doing so was to bring myself closer to a way of living that was further away from the world; simpler; slower; more spiritually aligned. I chose a very poor point within my life to do it, so circumstances led to this endeavour completely failing. I think it still has the potential to work for what my intentions were, but it was a strong lesson that no matter how ideal or ‘monastic’ your surroundings are, it is meaningless if you are materially and internally living in a way that is selfish and separates you from your actions. In this way I think monastic living has the danger of creating a false sense of idealism. It may never force us to be tested in our faith, beliefs or behaviour, which is in turn quite selfish, and could lead to the worse fate of ignorance.
Cerastes wrote: ↑
Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:20 pm
Mental stability is one of the major key factors for it. For example, I noticed that a lot of psychology students study this subject to overcome own issues. There is nothing wrong with that but the unconcious tendency to reflect unsolved issues on other persons can do a lot of harm within a therapy even if the intentions are good.
It is interesting that you mention this, within this context. I was wondering whether the idea of something like a situated ethics could be relevant here, amounting to an internal monastic way of living at least, even if not monastic in essence. I would have related it more to the ‘ways of living’ thread, but perhaps it is interesting here….
I am a postgraduate student in social work – my main research and project area is existential therapy and the ethics of mental health intervention
– and have an ongoing tension between what a lot of social work entails and living authentically in line with my religion, worldview and experience (etc). I think that the idea of ethics that are situated within both one’s life and the world at large is why it is.
As you say, there is a real danger of anyone in this line of work impacting peoples lives negatively, by serving themselves and/or imposing their own issues on someone who is already very vulnerable (but equally unique) – or worse, assuming oppression or perpetrating prejudice or unconscious bias upon them.
However, it is equally imperative that anyone involved in any kind of therapy is aware and prepared to face their own issues, and understanding this via some kind of therapy that they are then advocating can be no bad thing.
Ultimately though, it is too often the case that their motivations are to ‘appear’ to themselves and the world to be acting in a way that is ethical and selfless, when in reality there is a significant void between their behaviour as an individual and their responsibility professionally (similar to the danger with a separated monastic way of living).
This gives rise to several problems which aren’t relevant here, but where it is relevant is in the importance that the Star of Azazel (admirably) places on an ethics that underpin our every action within the world. As Simon Critchley says, “How does a self bind itself to whatever it determines as its good?”
This is one reason that I think a monastery based on 'our' principles could succeed.
What I mean to say in further trying to relate this to living monastically, is that as Obnoxion hinted....
obnoxion wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:18 am
but I came to realize that what I seaked from the monasteries of my reveries, I could and shoud rather try to achieve by rearranging my mundane life. I came idealize the legendary mahasiddhas, many of who led worldly lives with families and long hair. It is a difficult ideal, too, but one better suited for me than monastic life.
….arranging ones life in a way that aligns itself around the nucleus of what one believes, and informs our actions, is a kind of internal monastery, I think.
All abstractions said, I would fully support and revere a monastery founded by the Star of Azazel.