It is that season again. I see the leaves changing colors. The air is wet and cold in the early mornings. The crows have gathered into their nations– they flock together in huge numbers. We can see, in various ways, that we are entering into the next phase of the year. We are entering the rainy season here. Buuut, the rainy season here is reeeaaally long. This year, I will make the most of it. The Buddha’s disciples hunkered down for the rainy season– so do I. I spend more time indoors writing. For a while now, I have only been writing facebook posts. So, to catch all you up here, I’m going to walk through some of those posts and some GnoTruth history to give you a glimpse of what has been happening. It is time for a reorganization, a refresh– so, I’m starting that refresh with this recap. I hope you enjoy.
GnoTruth began as a radio show. I made up the word in 2009 for this radio show to convey that the content would be centered on gnosis, but I also wanted to convey that I was not dogmatically clinging to some single religious doctrine. The radio station was a small underground station run from a place called ‘Media Island” where all sorts of activists and undercover FBI agents hung out together.. I had the feeling the leaders of that there place would not have been stoked to hear I was going to be doing a radio show on the early christian teachings. Radicals… hahahhaha.
So, GnoTruth sounds like ‘no truth’ because, if we look deep enough, we will see that there is ‘no single objective truth’, but! we can certainly, “gno truth”. What does that mean? It means that we can have direct experiential understanding of these things!
I said lots of words on my radio show, I researched topics and rambled for an hour about them. Most of it, then, was just elaboration and exploration of the Nag Hammadi Library. I occasionally talked about Buddhism (because it has been close to my heart for a long time), but I was still focused on digesting my ancestral tradition’s texts so that I might liberate myself, and others thereby, from the subtle destructive tendencies embedded therein.
Quit Working / Start Working Harder
Then, a bunch of things happened. I finished college and had a precious little boy in 2012. I got a job, became obsessed with it, I went crazy, I had another precious boy and then finally, for the sake of all sentient beings (including myself), I quit using my mind unskillfully, in the pursuit of unskillful goals, in 2015. I had become very unhealthy, mentally and physically.
After quitting, I immediately began writing like crazy at GnoTruth.com. Then, a year or two after that, I began to focus more directly on social media (I had experience working in Social Media Marketing: I had an idea of what I wanted to do. Growing this community became my central mission).
Why Social Media Activity?
I feel like I have something useful to share. I realized that I won’t ever have enough money to blast my thoughts directly into the mind of the collective; I realized that I must make many friends before people will notice what I am sharing. I knew there was a lot of work to do and I became deeply committed to illuminating the collective mind with the bright dharma of the supremely illuminated conqueror.
So, I began to build a Facebook community. I shared my thoughts on things related to the Buddha’s teaching to various Buddhist groups. I pissed some people off, I made maany friends, and today we have about 16,000 followers there in Facebook land.
GnoTruth: Facebook Page
The GnoTruth Facebook page is now run by about ten people. I ask the people that I look up to help me manage things. Sometimes they are too busy, that is okay. Sometimes my friends enter and leave the crew because they want less social media in their mind. That is cool too!
We run three groups (I moderate and administer more Buddhist groups alone, tho– the biggest group consists of about 150,000 people!). Our group focused on the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh is most popular today with about 10,000 members (and it is quickly growing). We reach, with the GnoTruth page’s posts, anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000 people a week and engagement hovers around 10 to 20 percent of that. I am not trying to make money, so these numbers aren’t suuuuper important in that way, but it is kinda fun to watch.
Not Always Praised, Not Always Blamed.
I’ve seen that extremely Orthodox/Traditionalist Buddhists don’t really seem like what I share. But, I have many friends who would probably classify themselves like this. I have many Buddhist friends across southeast asia. Many traditional Buddhists *do* enjoy what I share.
I’ve also seen that extremely Secular (secular basically means “not religious”) Buddhists don’t like what I share. It is funny to see how many people have blocked me from both sides of this. I must be a horrible person. But! Just like with the more traditionally-minded Buddhists, I do have many secular-minded Buddhist friends. The holy life is beyond such discrimination– beyond views. Who cares what the people believe?
I will keep doing the things that must be done despite the criticism of haters and fools– I receive too much encouragement and support to give up now. Let us strive on together! Woohooooo.
I Am Buddhist. No Big Deal.
Personally, I *do* consider myself “Buddhist”. I have taken the five precepts with a Buddhist monk. I take refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. But, what does all that mean? It means I am committed to all-ways-liberation-by-perfect-awakening (and I have been committed in this way for maaaaany lifetimes. And, yeah, I do understand there to be ‘reincarnation’ of a conventional self through samsara. Although, yes, I see that this *conventional* self is not *ultimately* what we think it is. The truth is beyond words and thoughts about it. There is no self. No not-self. Not both. Not neither.).
I won’t cling to any specific formulation for too long, doesn’t matter if it is loaded down by Traditionalist or Secular baggage. I will explore it, investigate and analyze it, but I won’t commit to any single expression. There is no need to do that. There is no need to bind yourself to some guru, either. If you are so inclined, go ahead– but don’t come here and tell me how essential it is… I disagree. There is good reason to disagree and a lot of evidence to suggest that the Buddha did not consider guru yoga to be of central importance. We *can* do it alone.
Some people look down on this way of manifold analysis– they say we must pick on tradition and stick to it– but they don’t understand how valuable it is to see the big context. I stick to the One Vehicle of the Buddha. All the little individual things make more sense when we understand where they fit into this great beginningless mind-system. Sure, not everyone is capable of this kind of investigation now. We are all strong in different areas; not all of us are so strong with investigation and analysis. Not everyone can connect the dots like this. That is okay.
I do honor, revere, venerate, and look up to those who I consider wise, but I don’t accept things just because they are said by people that some consider important. This is an interesting balance. Reverence and self-effort.
In fact, popular teachers often scare me– the enlightened mind is said to be a rare mind. So what!? Who cares what scares meeee!!!?? LOL
The greedy, angry, delusive mind is common. Greedy, hateful, and confused people are often those people that become most popular. While this is not always the case (that popular people are greedy, hateful, fools), we find that many of the most popular teachers are abusive charlatans. Be careful. And yet, yeah, obviously we should not just accept a teaching because it is *un*popular. 🙂