Saturday, August 11, 2007

Vote, vote, vote...

Well, I asked for it, I know.

Someone has already voted in my slightly daring poll, designed to give me feedback from readers on the direction they would like this blog to take (including the direction marked EXIT), or its content, or its style.

When I saw the first vote had been cast, I was pleased to know that someone actually reads the blog, and was sufficiently interested to vote. I wonder if that person will continue to visit, if only to see whether their vote will influence it? I also realised that the question I posed didn't quite match the responses I framed. It would have made more sense to ask "What CHANGES would you like to see on this blog?", because that's the purpose of the question, to canvass a few ideas about change. But I can't edit the poll in any way now someone has voted. That's democracy. And karma.

Of course, some response-options I offered are a bit provocative, because - at the time of writing - I've no firm intention to invite teachers of lineage to use the blog as a platform - although some readers might want that. And some of the the pictures and short captions are derived from Ken McLeod's Seven-Point Mind Training site that I find helpful and inspiring, without the pictures/captions being overtly Buddhist or suggesting a particular tradition.

A reflection on the first vote:

As I write, and since I first embarked on the blog, I realise how much of my ego contents spill out on to the page. More realistically, I'm PARTLY aware that SOME of my ego contents spill out on to the page, and partly aware that much of what I disclose is written unawarely. Often, when I read it back some days or weeks afterwards, a previously unconscious element leaps at me from the page: Buddha! Ray Wills used to counsel people in his circle to write stuff down, so that they might encounter themselves, not just in their narcissism, but also in their luminosity and grace.

Is the purpose of this blog self-gratification for its own narcissistic sake, or does it serve some other worthwhile purpose, personal or altruistic? I don't know, but I trust that it inclines more to the latter than the former purpose, while thinking that it may well do both. Does the blog in any way illuminate, through self-examination, some of the core issues at the heart of hospice, of suffering, its causes, and its remedy? That's not for me to say. But those of you who read it, if there any such beside the solitary voter, can comment if you want to. It will help me.

The image top left is titled "The Narcissist" and is by Jon Goebel (no relation)

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