寡人的自我介紹——大寶法王噶瑪巴談孤獨感



作者:烏金欽列多傑




寂寞的感覺我懂的。

很多人習慣稱我為法王陛下(his holiness),但有時候我會笑言,也許你稱我為“孤家寡人”(his loneliness)會更合適。

就我自己的情況而言;雖然我並沒有在網路上與人交流,但我的身邊整天都有許多人圍繞,以不同的方式支持著我,也有很多人會前來覲見我。看上去我應該不寂寞。

然而我被視為是一個具有九百年歷史的重要人物的轉世,在佛教語境下“噶瑪巴”這個詞,代表的是與佛無異的聖者,人們便如此去看待現在的我,期待著我能夠讀心、示現大神通、方方面面都是完美的,當人們見到我時,很多人都會這麼去想像。別說是被抬上神壇了,人們甚至期待我乾脆能懸浮在空中才好。

如果真是作為這樣的一個神聖又高貴的名人,想要交到朋友可是有點困難了——誰會想要跟一個不完全是人類的人做朋友阿?而在社交媒體像是臉書上面,我是一個公眾人物,這意味著我只能擁有粉絲和點讚,但不會有朋友。我的社交媒體上的帳號是由他人管理的,如果我想要跟我的朋友聯繫的話,就需要使用化名,但我又會覺得這是不道德的——不管怎樣,裝成另外一個人去給朋友留言,這會破壞想要建立真正友誼的初衷。

我知道我自身的情況是特殊的,但退一步來說,我們每人其實都需要面對他人投射在我們身上的那些不真實的期待,那些投射會讓我們感到孤立,會讓真實的我們無法被了解。

有時候有意識地、但大多時候是無意識的,我們自己也會在社交媒體或者其他虛擬平台營造出一個虛幻的網絡自我。例如人們總是更多的在他們開心的時候發照片或者寫下自己的故事,而不是在沮喪的時候。

虛擬世界通常並不鼓勵我們分享自己脆弱的一面。因為,我們發布的一切都由點讚數和轉發數所評判著,於是我們變得很有選擇性的去展示自己。甚至當我們去談及一些自己正在面對的問題時,我們是為了讓自己看上去對那些問題毫無責任,讓自己像一個受害者一般的博得同情。我們學會了營銷自己,使得那個電子版的自己成為了失真的、被包裝過的自己。這也是想通過電子媒體與他人真誠接觸時的另一個重要的障礙。

新科技的使用,並不是我們產生孤獨感的唯一原因,還有很多其他因素,外在的、內在的因素,都會使我們產生那樣的感受。當我們過分強調要獨立,要靠自己的時候,那些拒絕依賴他人的人,最後就可能會變得非常孤獨。事實上,我們在很多方面都是要依靠他人的,為什麼要否認這一點呢?我們把個性和獨立說得那麼重要,就好像想要親近他人、與他人建立連接是一件很讓人不好意思或者很傷自尊的事情似的。

我觀察到西藏人與西方人之間有一點不同,在西方成長的人們,當他們發現自己需要別人幫助的時候,會感到不太舒服。假如一個藏族老人,想要起身的時候感到很困難,這時有人伸出手來攙扶一把,他們會很感激對方,如果這時候不去幫忙反而會顯得無禮或自私。而在西方,如果這時候你上前去幫忙,就有可能會羞辱或冒犯到那些老人了,這意味著你在暗示他們沒能力自己站起來。

當人們被迫把自己當作自主獨立的人時,就更容易感到孤獨了。照一個本來就需要相互依存而存在的人類那樣去生活,可以幫助你克服孤獨感。當你真切地意識到你與他人是相互連結的,你就會知道,你其實從不孤單。

孤獨感並不僅僅是你外在的條件或社會環境所造成的,如果在內心或情緒上你感到孤獨,哪怕有幾千個人簇擁著你也沒幫助,這種感覺我經歷過。

孤獨的感受並不來自於單一的因緣,它是很多狀況造成的結果,也因此不能通過改變單一的因緣而解決問題。但是學會接納:你是需要通過相互依存而存在的,接納這一個不可否認的事實,並開始去處理它,這會是幫你擺脫孤獨感的重要條件。


~文章出自大寶法王的新書《Interconncted》,中文翻譯為扎西拉姆多多



Introducing His Loneliness

His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, Reflects on the Feeling of Loneliness

By Ogyen Trinley Dorje


 I know what loneliness feels like. Many people use the title His Holiness to refer to me, but I sometimes joke that His Loneliness would be more accurate. In my own case, although I do not connect to people online, I do have lots of people surrounding me all day long, supporting me in different ways, as well as other people coming to see me. It would seem I should never be lonely. However, I am seen as the reincarnation of a 900-year-old historical figure. In traditional Buddhist terms, the Karmapa is a lofty figure, on a par with the Buddha. People who view me in this way expect me to be a mind reader, a miracle worker, and perfect in every way. When they look at me, this is quite often what many people believe they are seeing. Forget about being on a pedestal, I am practically expected to float in the sky!

For so holy and exalted a personage, it is a little complicated to go about finding friends. Who wants to be friends with someone who is considered to be not entirely human? In terms of social media like Facebook, I am a public figure. This means I can have only a following and likes, but I cannot have friends. In any case, someone else maintains my presence on social media. If I wanted to connect with my friends on social media, I would need to use a pseudonym, which would be unethical for me. In any case, posing as someone else defeats the whole purpose of a real friendship.

I know that my life situation is unusual, to say the least, but we all have to deal with unrealistic expectations that others project onto us. Such projections can leave us feeling isolated and prevent us from being seen for who we really are.

Sometimes consciously but often not, we ourselves actively project an illusory online self onto social media and other virtual platforms. It is more typical for people to post pictures or stories of themselves when they are happy than when they are feeling distressed. The virtual world does not generally encourage us to share our vulnerable side. Since everything we post is judged by the number of likes and retweets or shares, we are selective in what we expose of ourselves. Even when we post about our problems, we might do so in a way that leaves us free of apparent responsibility for those problems, so we can appear as victims and elicit sympathy. We learn to market ourselves. As a result, the electronic version of ourselves is a distorted and packaged self. This is another significant obstacle to authentically connecting with others through electronic media.

Loneliness is not solely a product of our use of technology. There are many other conditions, inner and outer, that contribute to our feeling that way. With such heavy emphasis on being self-reliant and standing on our own two feet, people resist leaning on others and can end up feeling very lonely. The fact is, we all rely on others in different ways. Why should we deny it? We place so much value on individuality and independence, it seems as if wanting to be close and feel connected to others is embarrassing or an insult to one’s dignity.

One difference I have observed between Tibetan and Western contexts is that people raised in Western cultures tend to be less comfortable acknowledging that they need help. If an elderly Tibetan is having a hard time standing up, he or she warmly appreciates being lent a hand to get up. In fact, not to do so might be considered impolite or selfish. In the West, if you reach out to help, you run the risk of embarrassing or insulting the elderly person, as if you were implying that they are incapable of getting up on their own.

When people are urged to see themselves as autonomous and independent, loneliness is more common. Learning to live as an interdependent human being can help overcome your sense of loneliness. When you are emotionally aware of your interconnectedness, you will know you are never truly alone.

Loneliness is not just a result of your outer physical or social situation. If mentally or emotionally you feel alone, it does not matter how many thousands of others flock to you, as I know from personal experience. Nor is the experience of loneliness the result of a single cause or a single condition but of numerous ones. Therefore it cannot be completely resolved by one single cause or condition. But accepting the undeniable fact of your own interdependence, and learning to work with it, is a powerful condition that can help bring about a shift.


His Holiness the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, is the head of a 900-year-old lineage and one of Tibetan Buddhism’s most important spiritual leaders. He is the seventeenth incarnation in the Karmapa lineage, which dates back to the twelfth century. He is the author of Interconnected: Embracing Life in Our Global Society, from which this excerpt is taken with permission from Wisdom Publications. 





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