As is the case, from time to time I will go on YouTube and look for philosophical content. Not Jordan Peterson or other faux gurus or grifters, but actual philosophy.
My criteria is that it must be useful, it must NOT damage others, it must NOT be tribal, it must NOT be political, it must NOT require religious belief, and it must withstand scrutiny.
Most of the videos I consume are relevant to the practice of Stoicism.
Today’s video is Buddhist in nature, and is about “Four Ways of Letting Go.”
The presenter is very calm, which is a delivery requirement for me. I don’t tolerate others yelling at me on their media.
The topic of LETTING GO is very important to me, as letting go is a part of my efforts to rid myself of the past. I’ve dealt with the horrors of rumination, and so now is the time to start finding ways to let go, as well as WHAT to let go.
I won’t be going through this video or the four ways in today’s entry. Rather, I want to discuss a plot hole that I found in the video.
Early on, the presenter gives us an anecdote about letting go, in the form of two people walking in the woods, and one of them is carrying a heavy log. He calls it a “stick.”
When the person carrying the stick says that it’s heavy, the other tells him to set it down, noting that the stick now weighs “nothing.” That is to say, it’s no longer his buren.
Yes, I know that logically the “stick” is still heavy. But I get what he’s saying.
Write your problems on a stick, or write “family” on the stick, and throw it as far as you can. He even mentions once about taking a rock, spray painting your worry on it, and throwing it into a lake, where it will sink and disappear without thought or concern.
Now, here’s where the plot hole presents itself, and why it bothers me.
He gives us an anecdote before the half-way mark of the video, where he talks about how the Master takes Students out for a walk. I don’t remember the precise terminology of the titles, but you can find them in the video if you believe it will make a difference.
During this walk, they are not supposed to speak at all. It’s a strict vow of silence.
But one Student is overwhelmed by the beauty of Nature, and declares, “What a beautiful sunset.”
The Master was very upset with him. The problem is that, according to them, when a person speaks words like this, they’re changing their focus to the words instead of the sunset, in this case.
As a result, he was never allowed to go on the walks, ever again.
Do you see the plot hole? I just typed in in bold and italics.
So I go through the various comments on the video. Every single comment is all about the wisdom they provide, and how much their words enrich their lives. NOT ONE PERSON called them out on the plot hole.
So I did.
Yes, the Student made a mistake in verbally acknowledging the sunset. The Master was correct in chastising him.
But to not let him go on walks, ever again?
Sounds to me like the Master needs to… let go.
I did not finish the video after I noticed that plot hole. I might watch the rest of it later.
The fact that I was the only person who noticed the plot hole and called them out on it serves as a warning. DO NOT become too enamored with your information sources. Do NOT deify them! You will become dogmatic, and eventually convince yourself that they can do no wrong.
They will become infallible in your eyes, and that’s a dangerous path to walk.
Of COURSE they can do wrong. They’re human. Humans make mistakes. I’ve made more than a person should, so I’m not superior in this regard.
I just find it to be both curious and concerning that this went right over everyone’s heads.
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