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May 17, 1997 02:59 PM
by Thoa Tran

I generally agree with what you said, Titus, even if you are a clumsy white

I, too, have noticed the problems of getting too personal.  The problem
with getting too personal is that if problems arose, an intense feeling of
betrayal will arise.  If the group leader is personal with a member, the
leader will more likely try to control the member through the emotions
involved in friendship, that is, the leader will feel a need to get
personally involved by giving advice, help, etc.  The member will feel an
emotional bond and dependence on the leader/friend.  Leader and friend have
combined to form a warped older sibling/parental and younger sibling/child
relationship.  When the "child" have grown independent, there is usually a
feeling of betrayal from the leader ("I have done everything for you!"),
and a feeling of betrayal from the member ("You have manipulated and
controlled me all this time!").

I also notice that in a group professing siblinghood, there is often great
confusion between impersonal siblinghood and personal siblinghood.  Some
confusion resulted in affairs.  Some resulted in false closeness.

Time was not factored into friendship and closeness.  Some group members
think they can just look into your eyes, see an old soul, perhaps see a
connection in the past life, and instantly bond with you.  I've noticed a
lot of people constantly hug and profess love for each other, but would
never visit or do things with those same people outside of the group
meeting, as people would in a normal friendship.  For myself, I prefer the
normal stuff.  If someone wants to be my friend, they're going to have to
go through the same developing friendship stuff as the rest of the world.
Does that person care about you?  Does that person want to do things with
you?  Does that person remember your birthday?  As far as all those hugs
and love, I'm sorry, but I usually reserve those for people I know and
love, who were around for me.

I don't think the answer is to stay impersonal always, with the exception
of group leaders.  Group leaders should stay impersonal with the group,
stay concerned and involved with ideas, but definitely emotionally
impersonal.  The rest of the members should get real in their
relationships, that is, stay very grounded when it concerns developing a

Regarding Judas:  What Buddha said about desire being the source of
suffering is oh, so true.  Based on personal experience and observation of
others, desire can drive a normally sane person to commit irrational acts.
For example, a person wanting a certain material thing will spend more than
s/he can afford, ditto for revenge, love affairs, power, job position,
helping humanity, etc.  That is what causes conflict among people, along
with other suffering.  When I was a youth, I find my mind often obsessing
about a want and rationalizing everything toward getting that want.  As a
woman, I've learned (not perfectly) to let go of a want when the tide is
against toward getting it.  That is, I will not force it to the point that
it will cause suffering.  Others should try this.  When the wanting is too
intense, and I'm sure one knows when one want something badly, just take a
deep breath and say, "C'est la vie!"

Thoa, rambling back.

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