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    1. #1
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      Forum encouraging Ego

      There are two aspects of this forum which seem cool and fun, but may actually be detrimental to the members' overall spiritual development. These are the "like" feature and the "achievements" feature. These two elements have the potential unfortunate side effect of bloating a person's ego. I do see a degree of usefulness to these features, but at the same time I believe this usefulness is countered by the risk of inflating the ego. I myself would initially sometimes find a feeling of pleasure arising when my posts got "liked," and although luckily I have developed the mindfulness to understand the source of this unskillful pride and am able to quickly eliminate it to the point where it no longer arises, I'm not sure everyone here is capable of this, or even sees the benefit in doing so. I'm willing to bet that some members actually feed off the likes and achievement awards. In this way, these features are not conductive to spiritual growth.

      I realize that this is not a Buddhism forum, or even a spirituality or self development forum, although there are certainly elements of these imbued in the practice of lucid dreaming and some of the related sub-forum topics. All the same, there is a good reason why many spirituality-related forums do not include such features.

      I don't expect these elements to be removed. I simply wanted to bring light to the potential detrimental perspective that members may develop towards these features so that they may be more mindful of these unskillful feelings of pride, or even hurt feelings (in the case of there being a lack of "likes" or "achievements") that may arise from time to time (or every time!).

      Take care
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    2. #2
      gab
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      I understand what you are saying, VinceField.

      Not everybody here is for personal growth and spiritual development. Or goal of their growth is different than yours. And those that are, will have to come to same conclusion as you on their own. And for those that reached same level of develoment as you, existence of features as likes and achievements won't matter.

      happy travels

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      I agree with gab. And getting likes doesn't have to make someone prideful. For example, if I made a post that got likes, that means what I said helped some people, which is great, helping people feels good by itself, there's no need to be prideful about it.

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      I use the 'likes' feature as a reminder of where I am: if I get wound up in fruitless, and very heated, debates about something, I will generally not receive any likes (because likes are normally not given in battle), and so my ratio of posts to likes goes the wrong way. If on the other hand, I help people out by giving useful and friendly responses, this ratio goes the right way.

      This actually helps me keep on track, and avoid futile exchanges of opinions.

      And, yes, receiving likes makes me happier - but in in a very clean and immediate way, like a short burst of joy.
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      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

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      Quote Originally Posted by mimihigurashi View Post
      I agree with gab. And getting likes doesn't have to make someone prideful. For example, if I made a post that got likes, that means what I said helped some people, which is great, helping people feels good by itself, there's no need to be prideful about it.
      That's right, it doesn't have to cause pride. It's a matter of belief and perspective.

      Quote Originally Posted by Voldmer View Post

      And, yes, receiving likes makes me happier - but in in a very clean and immediate way, like a short burst of joy.
      This may very well be a response of the ego, and if so, is exactly what I'm talking about. We get attached to the feeling of joy that arises when others agree with us and like us, because we are conditioned to judge ourselves based on the opinions of others, and this tends to sway our emotional tendencies in unskillful ways.
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    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by VinceField View Post
      We get attached to the feeling of joy that arises when others agree with us and like us, because we are conditioned to judge ourselves based on the opinions of others, and this tends to sway our emotional tendencies in unskillful ways.
      From a strict Buddhist view, feeling such joy may indeed be unskillful. But it sure helps move society along peacefully.
      Compare it to experiencing joy from being unliked by others ... mwa ha ha ha

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      So ... is this the real universe, or is it just a preliminary study?

    7. #7
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      In a long or ongoing thread, I sometimes use "likes" as bookmarks so I can remember how far I've gotten when I come back to the thread later. Otherwise I can end up re-reading a lot of the same posts without remembering I've already done so!

      It's also a useful way to alert someone that you've responded to their post or thread. I know there are also email alerts, but when you end up juggling dozens of active threads, that's not such a useful way to keep track anymore.

      I'll frequently "like" the posts of new people who are introducing themselves to the forum to help them feel welcome here.

      And of course, a lot of times I just like things! So it's complicated. Or very simple.

      Quote Originally Posted by gab View Post
      I understand what you are saying, VinceField.

      Not everybody here is for personal growth and spiritual development. Or goal of their growth is different than yours. And those that are, will have to come to same conclusion as you on their own. And for those that reached same level of develoment as you, existence of features as likes and achievements won't matter.

      happy travels
      I think Gab made an excellent point, so I'm going to "like" her post. Great point, Gab!
      Last edited by Verre; 03-17-2015 at 07:58 PM.
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    8. #8
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      Yes, I agree that there is a degree of usefulness to these functions, and I myself use the "like" button. Of course, I never use it to make a person feel special in some way, as that is just instigating a false sense of pride for the recipient. I use it to express agreement, as I believe this provides evidence to the person that their view is correct and beneficial.
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    9. #9
      gab
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      I think some positive reinforcement is not such a bad thing. Provided that the "good" thing we are rewarded for is truly good in universal sense, not just a narrow cultural thing. How else would a child learn what is righ and wrong?

      I know the goal in buddhism is to get rid of the ego. Ego being the emotions and feelings that define us. It is not our true self, it's not our core. Ego is formed by environment. It consists of many thing, like yearning for material riches, jelousy, unhappines if we don't get our way, but also good things, like love. At least this is my simplistic understanding of the ego, and I very well may be wrong. But I try to look at things and events not as good or bad, but as simple existing. And it's up to us to decide if it's good or bad. For example when we are recieving criticism from a boss or a friend. We can get hurt, upset, offended, embarrased. Or we can be grateful and take it as a learning experience. Something positive that will help us grow.

      Sorry for my rant. I guess this is something I'm struggling with every day.

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by gab View Post
      But I try to look at things and events not as good or bad, but as simple existing. And it's up to us to decide if it's good or bad. For example when we are recieving criticism from a boss or a friend. We can get hurt, upset, offended, embarrased. Or we can be grateful and take it as a learning experience. Something positive that will help us grow.
      I don't view things as "good" or "bad" either, but rather as "skillful" and "unskillful." That which is skillful leads to the further development of wholesome and pure states of mind, whereas that which is unskillful leads to a further defiling of the mind, or in other words, encouraging the development of attachment, aversion, and/or delusion and thus increasing the mind's harmful egoic tendencies. The concepts of good and bad are irrelevant from this perspective.
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    11. #11
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      I forgot to mention the "LD Count" category under the member's profile pictures can also foster unskillful attachments. One could easily develop identification issues surrounding this, becoming attached to a fabricated sense of a self who has had x amount of lucid dreams and the rest of the labels that go along with it, or developing a desire to increase the number of lucid dreams they have simply to give the impression of being a skilled lucid dreamer.

      Of course, my reason for not including this information in my profile was not because I didn't want to deal with this temptation, but because to me this information is insignificant. My goal in exploring consciousness is not about numbers and figures, it is about personal growth. A person's value on this forum is not in the amount of LDs they've managed to add up, but rather it comes from the quality and helpfulness of their contributions here. A person who claims to have had hundreds or thousands of lucid dreams is still only as valuable to this community as their words are of benefit to others. It's really nothing more than a number for other people to see with the objective of influencing their perceptions. Silly.
      Last edited by VinceField; 03-18-2015 at 03:46 PM.
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    12. #12
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      ^^ I don't know. I've found some value in the "LD Count" field that does not include an ego boost. For instance, it is a real time-saver when responding to a posted question, as I will tend to answer a member with a very low count differently than a person with a very high count, because I have a feel for their experience. It also lends a note of credibility to a post (i.e., if someone asks, say, a difficult WILD question, and a member with little to no experience responds, there is a good chance that that response might be lacking -- and it often is). Yes, all this depends on those counts being honestly posted, but to date I've encountered very few members who inflate their numbers just to impress (their inexperience is invariably betrayed in their posts, BTW), and no, I've never gotten the impression that the majority of members are doing this for an ego boost, though I am sure that happens.

      Of course, this is all said by someone with "3k+" listed in that field, you might note. Keep in mind though, that that number represents well under 100 LD's per year, which is not impressive. When I joined I did spend some time ruminating about whether to fill in the field at all, mostly because i was concerned that people would think I was lying, or trying to impress (nothing about ego entered my thoughts, BTW). Eventually I decided to fill it in (with "2k+," which was a careful understatement), because I felt that the credibility attached to an honestly listed high number would save some time in explaining my experience, and I feel it did. Oh, and I never felt my ego being inflated, either by others or by looking at the number myself.

      As long as I'm here, I agree with most of the reasons for "liking" posts, especially yours, Vince:
      I use it to express agreement, as I believe this provides evidence to the person that their view is correct and beneficial.
      I also use it to acknowledge to a person who has thoughtfully responded to a post of mine, just to let them know I read it.

      I think you might be reading too much into this stuff, Vince; the people who use DV seem much more interested in improving their LD'ing than they are in inflating their egos... they have Facebook for that.
      Last edited by Sageous; 03-18-2015 at 07:21 PM.
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      Yes, I agree that there is some usefulness in all of these features. All the same, the risks I speak of are real and can go undetected if one is not mindful.

      The ego's influence is generally a consistent imposition if left unchecked and untamed, and even when one puts forth effort to lessen one's ego and is successful, it still has the tendency to arise when the right triggers are present. One can come here to improve their lucid dreaming and easily find these features bringing out some unskillful emotions and states of mind. My message is simply to be mindful of these triggers.
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      OP is jelly cause other people have more lieks. Pls don be salty OP, i like you, just post more. =)
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mzzkc View Post
      OP is jelly cause other people have more lieks. Pls don be salty OP, i like you, just post more. =)
      Hahahahaha. I was gonna say "you da man," but it seems you have a gender mixup and I don't want to offend! I think my posts to likes ratio is more than satisfactory for any thirsty ego! Thanks for the laugh.
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      I think it's probably a moot point on this forum. I'll also say I've joined a couple of forums dedicated to meditation when I first became more serious, and it doesn't take Likes, Achievement Icons or any other such thing to bring out ego. Even in some very hard-core and well-versed practitioners.

      Considering the purpose of this venue is lucid dreaming I see no problem, even if what you say is perfectly valid and true. After all, it's an imperfect world.
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      Quote Originally Posted by JustASimpleGuy View Post
      I think it's probably a moot point on this forum. I'll also say I've joined a couple of forums dedicated to meditation when I first became more serious, and it doesn't take Likes, Achievement Icons or any other such thing to bring out ego. Even in some very hard-core and well-versed practitioners.
      So if people who diligently train to eliminate their ego are still so easily swayed by it, imagine the potential influence of an ego with no imposed restrictions or monitoring.

      Considering the purpose of this venue is lucid dreaming I see no problem, even if what you say is perfectly valid and true. After all, it's an imperfect world.
      If what I say is valid and true, then by the very definition of what I've said, the problem has nothing to do with what the purpose of this venue is, but rather is entirely dependent upon whether the members value mindfulness and desire spiritual development and freedom from unskillful egoic tendencies and behaviors. Being that lucid dreaming in it's purest form is a spiritual practice that enables personal growth, and being that there are members here who use this practice towards that end, I'd say that there is at least a small population here whose goals are in alignment with the ideas that I've presented. I'd like to think that not everyone here simply lucid dreams for entertainment purposes only.

    18. #18
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      My understanding of ego (self)

      Some say the sense of self is a delusion. They say senses are real (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and thinking). But liking or disliking what is sensed creates the sense of self (ego). They say that the self don't exist and while we are a self, (an I or me) we are trapped in a delusion.

      Liking and disliking what we see, hear, taste etc forms the delusional self. When the delusion disappears (by hearing without judging what is heard and so on) we become one and a whole lot more, that cannot be imagined ... only experienced.

      Iiking and disliking leads to "greedily wanting more of what is "liked" and angrily moving away from what is disliked.

      So we are constantly greedy and angry but can't recognize the painful hell we are in.

      ....

      Often I "like" a reply to my post to let the replier know I read their post, without me having to waste a post to say I read it and might get back to them later.

      I also "like" a post so that I can find it later for research. Ive been here 5 years are finding a fascinating post, posted 5 years ago, is easy if I "liked" it by searching through my "likes" given.

      Oh

      and I can keep the file of "likes given" down by "unliking", months later so the person doesn't know I "unliked" their post.
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    19. #19
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      Quote Originally Posted by ebbtide000 View Post
      oh

      and i can keep the file of "likes given" down by "unliking", months later so the person doesn't know i "unliked" their post.
      *gasp*

      YOU MONSTER

    20. #20
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mzzkc View Post
      *gasp*

      YOU MONSTER
      When your +like count gets lower by one few month from now, DONT'T BE SURPRISED.

      That's a great explanation of ego, EbbTide. +1

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      Very interesting! I'm glad people are taking the time to think about this stuff. It's healthy to know why we do things and why we respond in certain ways.

      I feel there are many ways I can approach the use of forums unskilfully, but for me I don't believe the like feature is one of them. In real life conversations I consider it an act of kindness to express appreciation for something someone has said, and I approach the use of the like button in forums with a similar attitude. And just like real life, receiving appreciation or a compliment does have the potential to inflate the ego, but the responsibility for that is with the receiver. That said, I can see how the more impersonal medium of internet posting which cuts off direct human contact makes it much easier to be sucked into status seeking.

      However! Having just written all that, I remembered that the number of likes are displayed under each person's avatar. I feel if anything is contributing to ego inflation it is that, not so much the basic ability to like each other's posts. But then again, having that on display with the number of posts does encourage me to want to make sure I'm not writing pointless posts...

      I'll stop now
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    22. #22
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      Quote Originally Posted by EbbTide000 View Post
      Iiking and disliking leads to "greedily wanting more of what is "liked" and angrily moving away from what is disliked.
      It can but doesn't have to. There are lots of shades of gray between total attachment & aversion and total lack of attachment and aversion. I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with likes and dislikes, so long as they aren't controlling and acting against our best interests.
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    23. #23
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      There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the "likes" system, or the achievements, or the LD Count. It is our relationship to them which determines their benefit or detriment. If we allow this information to get to our heads and construct a sense of self around them so that we begin to identify with the amount of LDs we've had or our Posts to Likes ratio, then this information is obviously not serving us.

    24. #24
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      Here's a fun twist:

      I think that the people who allow their egos to be inflated (or take charge, as it were) will be the same people who lack the self-awareness necessary to become lucid in the first place. So these people will have very low LD counts and because their LD-related posts will not have any of the wisdom of experience behind them, they also will not get a substantial number of likes.

      By the same token, accomplished LD'ers who allow their egos to get out of hand because of lots of likes or a high LD count might find their sense of self bruised, and lucidity more difficult to come by.

      Just a thought...
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      ^^ It's true. My ego is bloated as a whale and I only get like 5 full-awareness LDs a month these days.

      MY SENSE OF SELF WORTH HAS NEVER BEEN SO LOW.

      D'X

      j/k I'm still awesome.
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