Saturday, July 4, 2009

Proselytizing

Dogmatic views and opinions on any thing in life signify mental laziness and insecurity. This is true about how you're "suppose" to do things in, or related to, the mountains, whether climbing, skiing, training, equipment, etc. When I come across a person who is insists that he or she knows the "right way" how to ski, climb, train, or is set in their ways with rope technique, mountain safety, etc., I just escape the situation as quickly as possible.

I am not trying to convert people into doing things the way I do them. I just explain that this is what I do, or would do, in this specific situation at this time.

I like this comment on Brad Warner's Blog relating to Zen and religion:

"There's no proselytizing in Zen because there's no sense in trying to get anyone to convert to it. There's also no sense in trying to change the minds of the ignorant. You can put the correct information out there and hope for the best. But there's no sense in getting up in anyone's face. It just makes them harden their own position against yours. Ignorant here is the significant word because folks like that minister deliberately ignore what doesn't fit their worldview.

There's a mountain of wrong information out there about Zen, a lot of it from supposedly "respected authorities." You can't really change that. Just enjoy."

The "respected authorities" in the realms of climbing take many forms: mountain guides, old timers, young hot-shot boulders and sport climbers, industry types, mountain club directors, etc., etc. I find that more and more I have absolutely no tolerance for someone who sees themselves as one of these "authorities" and starts spouting off about the "only", or "right", way to do something.

Proselytizing just shows insecurity, egotism and questionable motives. It is mental laziness. Openness, a questioning (including self questioning) mind, flexibility, and realizing that only change is constant is the proper mind set for the mountains as well as for life.

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