uggabugga uggabugga
* * *
Return to Dudeism.com |  recentposts2

Author Topic: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances  (Read 21343 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Dude Skippy

  • Dude
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« on: September 09, 2016, 03:30:22 AM »
I've been pondering for a while, about how practical or achievable abiding is, if one is living in some seriously disadvantaged circumstances. For example, what if someone lives in poverty in a war-torn or third-world country?

I often lose my train of thought on it. But I'd be interested to read what other people here think about the practicality of it.

Brother D

  • Dude
  • *****
  • Posts: 350
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2016, 07:11:03 AM »
Sometimes, abiding is all one can do. Having to make the best of what you have, if only a little, can at least lead to hope. Without hope, all is lost.

The have nots and those dudes from war-torn or impoverished society, have the hardest time abiding. I guess you have to play the cards you're dealt, even if those cards are in someone else's hands.

thevideoartist

  • Dude
  • ***
  • Posts: 72
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 09:34:45 AM »
I've been pondering for a while, about how practical or achievable abiding is, if one is living in some seriously disadvantaged circumstances. For example, what if someone lives in poverty in a war-torn or third-world country?

I often lose my train of thought on it. But I'd be interested to read what other people here think about the practicality of it.

In my experience... these people are sometimes the best abiders on the planet.  I've visited a few third world countries in my single days, and on christian missions trips so we were supposed to be helping the poorest, orphans, prisoners, refugees, etc. and nearly every one I've been to has taught me that I was the one who was worse off because here were these people with next to nothing and in the lowest of circumstances who were content, surrounded by compeers, kids who could find more creative uses and hours of entertainment from my chewing gum wrapper than people in the states can with an Xbox, adults who are never too busy to stop and have chai with a new friend or who take a siesta every day for several hours and spend it with their families or just napping.  Here I am in a country where we have so much excess crap we don't need and I thought of every minor inconvenience as a big screaming deal and we never EVER take a break!  Those people practice abiding every day, some of them were even taoists so they kinda remind me of dudes in retrospect.

Sure a lot of these other countries end up ravaged by war or rampant with much worse racism and xenophobia and sexism than people bitch about in first world countries, but it's just so surreal how many more ecstatically happy people I met in my travels compared to my friends and family back home.  I wonder which is truly worse, going through hell but happily or inventing a hell because you don't know how to enjoy what you have.  It's not a contest though so I guess I just take the lesson and learn that whatever problems I think I have here... there are those abiding much worse circumstances and doing a great job of it... I can deal with whatever I have going on.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2016, 09:41:49 AM by thevideoartist »

BikerDude

  • Dude
  • ******
  • Posts: 3544
  • Time wounds all heels -John Lennon
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2016, 04:03:06 PM »
Abiding is IMO a luxury available to those who live in relative freedom.
In another context it would be equivalent to submission.
In 1984 by Orwell, the state certainly demanded something like abiding.
Winston Smith claims to have "won a victory over himself"
This is to say that his natural inclination to resent his situation was overcome and he claimed to finally be "free" by accepting big brother. Doublespeak.
Freedom = submission.
War for peace. Yadda yadda.
Abiding as a strategy for overcoming intolerable circumstances certainly walks pretty close to this sort of submission.
While most people find the "the dude abides" scene the big payoff. I've always had mixed feelings. The dudes trajectory in the story starts with the uncharacteristic putting of his foot down with the statement "this will not stand".
After near castration, run in's with the cops and his car finally being killed he ends up back at square one. Content and unemployed.
The moral of the story?
I can't escape a slight whiff of Winston Smith's acceptance of big brother.
Or Big Lebowski?
I guess it should be noted that Taoism and Islam are often called similar because both hinge upon submission.

Quote
Taoism and Islam have a few general points in common. Both rely on a central holy text, and both advocate peacefulness at their cores. In addition, both Taoism and Islam hinge upon the concept of "submission" in one form or another: Taoists give themselves over to the Tao, the natural state and flow of the universe, while Muslims submit to God, who is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

Quote
The Arabic term "Islam" itself is usually translated as "submission"; submission of desires to the will of God. It comes from the term "aslama", which means "to surrender" or "resign oneself". The Arabic word salaam (????) ("Peace") has the same root as the word Islam.

Quote
a·bide
??b?d/Submit
verb
1.
accept or act in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation).
"I said I would abide by their decision"
synonyms:   comply with, obey, observe, follow, keep to, hold to, conform to, adhere to, stick to, stand by, act in accordance with, uphold, heed, accept, go along with, acknowledge, respect, defer to
"he expected everybody to abide by the rules"

So we find ourselves back to the dreaded "can a dudeists be a theist" question.
Surrender to God or surrender to something more esoteric (order of the universe or some such new age crud) One being similar to Islam the other Taoism.
Have you accepted Big Brother as your personal Savior?

I'm not a huge fan of surrender. But I'll allow that I've met some nice people there. But pacifism is not something to hide behind. Just look at our situation with the camel fuckers.

Personally in times of strife I turn to the words of my favorite philosopher.
The great Al Swearengen.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dSkOyhmt_-g

And so many others in the great Deadwood.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b7uaFhs9wrY

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tleSL7uk74s
« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 05:53:11 PM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children

ScholarlyDude

  • Dude
  • **
  • Posts: 10
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2016, 09:02:05 PM »
BikerDude, that Al Swearengen video really hit me. "Stand it like a man" makes abiding sound pretty tough and noble, doesn't it? Kinda makes me respect the Dude a little bit more. You pointed out that
Abiding as a strategy for overcoming intolerable circumstances certainly walks pretty close to this sort of submission.
I agree, but  think it goes further than that. I'd say that abiding and submission brush shoulders often times. In some cases they go hand in hand. What feels like abiding to the little guy looks an awful lot like submission to the big guy.  So maybe there isn't a definable difference between the two. The only difference is what scope you're looking through. It may just be the perspective of the little guy. I think that abiding could just be the positive version of submission. If the little guy is in a positive state of mind, he would call it abiding. If the little guy feels oppressed he would call it submission. I'll take you back to the limo scene. The Dude is enjoying a White Russian and the company of the driver. They're talking about life.

The Dude: "I was feeling really shitty man. Really down in the dumps. Lost a little money..."   

The Driver "Hey you know what? Forget about it huh, forget about it."

The Dude: "Yeah, fuck it man! I can't be worried about that shit. Life goes on man!"

This is where he exhibits an abiding state of mind. His situation hasn't changed. He still has the threats of the Nihilists and the Big Lebowski hanging over his head. He is far from out of the woods. He just doesn't care. Were he a different man, he might be stressed out and the scene would play out differently. A different man might be downtrodden and sad.

So yes. Abiding might be almost the same as laying down and taking it, but the similarity doesn't matter. If someone is being oppressed but they don't care, doesn't that take power from the oppressor?

Dude Skippy

  • Dude
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 03:26:35 AM »
I guess the question that started this thread came up for me because abiding feels like a 1st world luxury to some extent. But having said that, my perspective is limited to that of someone living in relative comfort. Sure, I've had my share of ups and down, but I've always had food to eat and felt relatively safe from physical harm. But even with this degree of freedom and luxury, the slight inconveniences of such a life have gotten the better of me at times. So I was thinking, if I struggle to abide in such favourable circumstances, how much harder it would be for someone living in really tough conditions.

BikerDude

  • Dude
  • ******
  • Posts: 3544
  • Time wounds all heels -John Lennon
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 06:37:29 AM »
I guess the question that started this thread came up for me because abiding feels like a 1st world luxury to some extent. But having said that, my perspective is limited to that of someone living in relative comfort. Sure, I've had my share of ups and down, but I've always had food to eat and felt relatively safe from physical harm. But even with this degree of freedom and luxury, the slight inconveniences of such a life have gotten the better of me at times. So I was thinking, if I struggle to abide in such favourable circumstances, how much harder it would be for someone living in really tough conditions.

Exactly.
And for me the really thorny issue is when the struggle is not a personal struggle but the struggle of others.
If the world was depending on the Dude to march on Selma Alabama or get his head cracked on the front lines of the labor wars then we'd have a long wait. "I can't be worried about that shit. Life goes on." Sounds fine when it's your own suffering. But if it's applied to the big real world issues like racism and poverty and oppression etc well it it comes out sounding pretty cold.
OK probably more like lazy. He is a lazy man. And not a hero. But what is a hero?
What makes a man? Is it being ready to do the right thing no matter the cost?
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 07:43:46 AM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children

BikerDude

  • Dude
  • ******
  • Posts: 3544
  • Time wounds all heels -John Lennon
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2016, 06:49:41 AM »
BikerDude, that Al Swearengen video really hit me. "Stand it like a man" makes abiding sound pretty tough and noble, doesn't it? Kinda makes me respect the Dude a little bit more.

I'd say that "standing it like a man" is different from abiding.
Standing it like a man is refusing to cry out while the slave holder whips you.
Abiding is to submit. Literally. The dictionary meaning.
The most important part is the "and give some back"
Jackie Treenhorn sends around some goons who invade your home and stuff your head in the toilet. What should you do? Compliment him on his house?
Hmm. Call me crazy but that doesn't appeal to me. Just saying.
Yes abiding certainly can help a person to not sweat the small stuff but it really does have its limits.
It's about context.

This all goes to the central core of the entire flick.
The Dude. What does it mean to be a man.
Branded.

Quote
All but one man died,
There at Bitter Creek,
And they say he ran away ...

Branded!
Marked with a coward's shame.
What do you do when you're branded,
Will you fight for your name?

He was innocent,
Not a charge was true,
But the world will never know ...

Branded!
Scorned as the one who ran.
What do you do when you're branded,
And you know you're a man?

And wherever you go
for the rest of your life
You must prove ...
You're a man!
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 06:56:15 AM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children

BikerDude

  • Dude
  • ******
  • Posts: 3544
  • Time wounds all heels -John Lennon
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2016, 03:13:02 PM »
So yes. Abiding might be almost the same as laying down and taking it, but the similarity doesn't matter. If someone is being oppressed but they don't care, doesn't that take power from the oppressor?

No. It doesn't!
Tell it to the Jews. Or the native Americans.
These are the lies that I personally find the most infuriating.
Like the term speaking truth to power.
The powerful know the truth.
It is the powerless who need truth.
All things being equal most people will take the path of least resistance and there is a level at which they will no longer take it. The utility of the false promises of religion is to make that level even lower. That is exactly the power that the oppressor demands. Submission. Religion calls it a virtue. No wonder that fascism and the church have always been such close bedfellows. They appear for all the world to be employed by the oppressors. Power seeks power. If the powerless are content to be so all the better for the powerful. That is wonderful to them.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MBIcdDmFHbc
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iynNvY8yYdc
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8Bx96GKeWp4

« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 03:47:14 PM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children

ScholarlyDude

  • Dude
  • **
  • Posts: 10
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2016, 06:31:03 PM »
No. It doesn't!
Tell it to the Jews. Or the native Americans.
Okay that's a really good point. It seems that I overlooked those examples in my thinking. I hadn't considered situations where violence was taken against the oppressed. That definitely complicates my point, doesn't it? It's possible I was too uptight in my thinking. I still can't help but thinking that, excluding situations where physical harm is coming to the victim, there's something to be said for letting it roll off your shoulders. Your point seems to center around standing against "the man". (Correct me if I'm wrong) Almost like you don't want the powerful to have the satisfaction of keeping people down? That kind of thinking requires a certain level of ego. Like the Buddhist type of ego. A sense of self. A perfectly respectable way for one to live their life, mind you. Nothing wrong with having a sense of self. The thing is that it can cause problems. Like when people feel slighted, they also feel vindictive or bitter. It's not completely black and white. You're correct that abiding has it's limits and isn't the end all be all. Genocide for example, with the Jews and Native Americans, would be a situation where standing up and doing something is necessary. I'm saying abiding can be a helpful tool.

I might be completely out of my element here. Am I wrong? Or am I just an asshole?

SagebrushSage

  • Dude
  • *****
  • Posts: 381
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2016, 09:33:15 PM »

Personally in times of strife I turn to the words of my favorite philosopher.
The great Al Swearengen.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dSkOyhmt_-g


Relevant advice.

SagebrushSage

  • Dude
  • *****
  • Posts: 381
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2016, 09:54:42 PM »

Abiding is to submit. Literally. The dictionary meaning.


Nah. Webster's dictionary gives several definitions, such as definition 2a, "to endure without yielding." I prefer this definition for my own Dudeist practice. From the context, I think the movie is using definition 2b, "to bear patiently." This does not include the resolute sense provided in definition 2a.  2a or 2b are what are meant when discussing "abiding" on this forum.

The other usual definition of the word is definition 3, "to accept without objection" (abide by a law, etc.). This is the sense being used in this discussion, but it does not match with the sense indicated by the context in the movie. The Dude did not accept his circumstances without objection.

As for definition 2a, can one endure oppression without yielding to it? Of course. That is the preferred course of action.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abide

Dudeist Monk

  • Dude
  • ***
  • Posts: 65
  • Easy does it.
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2016, 06:25:19 AM »

As for definition 2a, can one endure oppression without yielding to it? Of course. That is the preferred course of action.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abide

Ghandi endured without yielding and helped (by "helped" I mean that he wasn't utterly alone. I don't want to diminish his huge contribution in the slightest) to non-violently liberate an entire country despite the despicable brutalities being visited upon India by the British.

I take great comfort in that and can only hope that if I was in a similar situation that I could endure as peacefully as he did.
If at first you don't succeed ... Um ... Yeah. Whatever and stuff.

Dudeist Monk - Militant Inactivist.

Brother D

  • Dude
  • *****
  • Posts: 350
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 07:29:55 AM »
I don't think that abiding is or should be a privilege or a luxury. I think it is a very practical, natural state of mind available to all. It is a way of dealing with strikes and gutters with patience and reason. (Not that you guys don't know that).

Also, it's not about submission (in an oppressive sense) either. Going with the grain is easier than going against it.

Sure, some folks don't get to take it easy and relax, but it doesn't mean they don't abide. Even occupants of nazi concentration camps had to make the best of things, even during their horrific experience.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 07:32:35 AM by Brother D »

Dude Skippy

  • Dude
  • ***
  • Posts: 52
Re: Abiding in disadvantaged circumstances
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2016, 07:51:02 AM »
I don't think that abiding is or should be a privilege or a luxury. I think it is a very practical, natural state of mind available to all. ...

I agree, in that I don't think that abiding should be a luxury. But I'm still unsure of how people in really tough times can do it. With my limited personal experience, I struggle to imagine what it would be like to try and abide outside of a relatively comfortable existence.

As it is, I sometimes lose my cool when I'm hungry; how much harder would it be for someone that hasn't eaten for days?

I find it hard to be patient when I'm sick; how much harder would it be for someone that has long-term untreated illness?

I sometimes feel under siege when someone nearby loses their temper; it must be hard to abide in the face of a bunch of reactionaries waving their guns around.

But yeah, I really hope that those pour unfortunate souls who have the worst of it, can still abide through it all.

As for definitions - I quite like the concept of enduring without necessarily yielding. I definitely don't see abiding as meekly letting oppressive folks dictate what someone else's state of mind should be.

 

Recent Posts

Store

Dude Vinci
Get Dudeism tee shirts, ordination certificates and more. Help feed our monkey.
Click Here

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
August 06, 2020, 11:36:26 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Recently Posted

Members
Stats
  • Total Posts: 53501
  • Total Topics: 6183
  • Online Today: 121
  • Online Ever: 7905
  • (January 16, 2020, 02:55:01 AM)
Users Online
Users: 0
Guests: 87
Total: 87