Why I haven't posted here in a while

I've pretty much stopped promoting this site altogether for a bunch of reasons. One is that I'm not really sure I'm qualified anymore. I still believe I can offer better advice than lots of people, but I'm not convinced that's a really good standard to measure against. The more I learn about life and myself, the more I realize how nonsensical it can be, and how I'm still unclear about fundamental things like meaning and purpose. They might make sense intellectually, but that's not a very deep level of making sense. So that means I've got to adjust the role I play. I can't be the advisor anymore. I can only share my perspective and hope that it inspires some type of insight or intelligent action.

A second reason is that by promoting my site, I'm promoting myself, and I'm not really comfortable with that. It feel like I'm making myself into an idol. That's not the kind of atmosphere I want.

There's an interesting story in the Taoist book called the Lieh-Tzu (not Lao Tzu) on topic. Lieh-Tsu is a humble guy and student of the Tao. He becomes a kind of celebrity and students start gathering in his hut every day to hear him talk. His own teacher sees this and admonishes him, telling him that so many people are now there, but they're only there to worship him, not to practice and merge with the Tao, and consequently, no one is getting enlightened. Lieh-Tzu accepts the criticism, goes back home to his wife and lives a simple life tending to his home and to his small business (and lives happily ever after).

That story, among others, has stuck out in my mind. When I look at what happened with the Eckhart Tolle (Power of Now) and other spiritual celebrities, I can't help but think they've fallen prey to the same misfortune: their teachings have been clouded by their own momentum and glory. They've mostly succeeded in creating fads and social identities. People name-drop Eckhart Tolle just like an actor name-drops a famous director. Spiritual nourishment needs to be rationed properly, not commercialized and mass-distributed. Otherwise it just becomes another product on the shelf.