A Dystopian Present

I think we are living in the 1984 of George Orwell’s Dystopian Sci-fi.

We just don’t know it. I don’t want to cause alarm, but I also want to sound the alarm.

There is so much misinformation out there, of every possible kind.

There are millions of hours, if not billions of hours, of content on YouTube. Of every possible variety. Sifting through it to find truth is no longer even possible.

Billions of hours of people’s lives not only wasted, but are causing people to be led down paths totally dangerous. It is brainwashing of a scale never before experienced in human history. It is being done unknowingly and unwittingly by content creators.

Buddhism is the only way out, and it’s being drowned out by not just the billions of hours of misguided and dangerous advice from YouTube creators, but unknowingly by genuine Buddhist content creators, good monks and nuns, who are unaware of what it’s like to have a smart phone and access to YouTube. It’s a nightmare of terrible proportions.

I don’t know where we’re headed everyone, but I am very, very, very scared.

Does anyone else feel like this? That we’re living in a Dystopian era, far removed from the times our parents grew up in? That Buddhism is the saving light, and it’s all becoming extinct precisely because of the sheer volume of content available?

That millions of hours of content from every thing to psychology, therapy techniques, abusive relationships, is unregulated, misguided and causing people to lose their minds? That there’s no quality control of any of it? Causing even Buddhist monks and nuns to lose their minds? That monasteries producing online content and uploading it is no longer a wise decision, precisely because the simplicity of the teachings must be preserved and there are only so many hours in the day to listen to Dhamma talks?

Am I way off base here?

I’m genuinely concerned for the world, and for myself, and for the Present (and future).

Would love to hear people’s thoughts about this, and I hope I haven’t crossed any lines by bringing it up.


I would recommend you to meditate more to calm your mind from seeing too dark. When our mind is beautiful, the world looks beautiful, and vice versa.

Indeed, one way I see how Buddhism can disappear despite being on the internet is that there’s too much info online and attention span is a limited resource.

Just go offline yourself should you wish to recharge.

What will happen in the world will happen because of causes and conditions. If we find some causes and conditions to help people, then all the better.

why does uploading online makes the simplicity go away?

I do agree that it’s hard for dhamma to compete for attention, but it has always been the case for beings fettered by defilements.

That dystopia is too much regulation, which you seem to be pushing for by complaining about no quality control.

Maybe you’re looking for “Brave New World” instead, where the population are fed drugs (youtube videos, instant gratification online) to keep them happy and unquestioning.

There’s always good and bad to things. Good is, people living in places without monasteries or Budhist societies can still learn the dhamma online.


Take a look at this. I agree with the gist of Jimmy Carr’s message: We’re living in objectively the best times, and subjectively the worst times.

Imagine, talking to a royalty a hundred years ago. We’re living in a greater luxury, comfort, health. Since the dawn of humanity, we don’t die to hunger but to obesity. Truly the first world problems, not just in developed countries but almost everywhere.

Our children don’t die on their first month. Pneumonia is a mild annoyance. Vast majority of population isn’t subject to back breaking work conditions. We’re tested with abundance, not lack.

This dissonance is interesting. Divorce rates are higher, mental problems are higher, people are fed up with their lives, everywhere I look.

I think it’s a good thing. Remember Buddha’s story - he gave up the riches, not his poverty. For so long humanity was tested primarily with poverty. Now, even with inflation, housing prices and all, we’re all still living in deva-like luxuries compared to a few centuries ago. Refrigerator? Air conditioner? Heating? Access to doctor? Being able to read any Buddhist text online? What more do we need?

Indeed, we don’t need more, but less.

And as history tells us, governments moving in to dictate those less is never a good thing. Always paints a tyrannical picture.

This is why I think Buddhism (and religions in general) are going to rise. People are looking for spiritual answers. People are looking to simplify their lives. People are living in such abundant luxury to question their usefulness at all. It’s hard to be enlightened when coming from a place of lack, but through disenchantment from abundance.

In the end of the day, we’re the heirs of our kamma, everyone is. For people with clear mind and intentions, the conditions are more favorable than ever. :lotus:


You’re right, I’ve got it backwards here. Thank you for pointing this out!

Wow yes. You’re right. Things are pretty bad in China where information is restricted. I am glad there’s more freedom to access information here in the West.

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Indeed. I would rather live in a society where pornography (of all sorts, in a very loose sense of the word) is allowed in abundance rather than restricted, because restrictions always make those things somehow even more desirable paradoxically.

Better to have access to it all abundantly and be fed up with it, than being told what to read and not.

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There’s no light like that of wisdom (SN1.13)

Wisdom is people’s treasure. (SN1.51)

Wisdom is the lamp for the world. (SN1.80)

Loss of relatives, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the worst thing to loose (AN1.76)

Therefore wisdom is much better than wealth, since by wisdom you reach consummation in this life. (Mn82)

But who cares?

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We do, obviously, since we’re using our free time to post on a forum about an ancient religion.

There’s also tons of silent wise-people all around the world, who are content in their silence, that we don’t notice or even know about their presence. They’re the people who stay at home, who don’t stick out like a sore thumb in the crowd.

‘There is meaning in giving, sacrifice, and offerings. There are fruits and results of good and bad deeds. There is an afterlife. There are such things as mother and father, and beings that are reborn spontaneously. And there are ascetics and brahmins who are rightly comported and rightly practiced, and who describe the afterlife after realizing it with their own insight.

It’s easy to give in to despair. After all, people who are suffering speak louder than those who are wise and content. This is why it’s fruitful to heed to the silence, rather than letting ourselves drown in noise.


I feel the real issue is:

We are obsessed with the idea of making, producing, creating perfection. And we drive eachother mad also with this idea that all must change. We must change, you must change, the world must change.
Qua body, qua mind, qua world.

But meanwhile we are totally disconnected from our hearts wisdom that we already are pure, perfected, whole, nobles. We only infect eachother with this wrong believe in how all can and must be made, produced.

All people are so obsessed with making, creating, producing. Even Buddhist! This is not the Noble Path but still just a mundane Path.

The Noble Path is that we connect with the wholeness of life, its perfection, our hearts, our nobilty, our purity which is our birthright. The perfect state, Nibbana, the state of Grace. Never absent.
This loss of feeling for the unmade, unbecome, unproduced, Nibbana, wholeness, the noble Path, purity is the real problem. Even in Buddhism, i feel.

We are only running around in all directions hit by the arrow of a notion of imperfection and that nothing is good. That we must change, the other must change, the world must change. Run, run, i must change!! Help…I am not Good! I must change, and…you too, the world too! Help. Hit by the dart.
Unable to see Nibbana, to feel and be in touch with the wholeness, to taste purity. And by running around, aiming at making this, producing that, we only move more away from our hearts that dwell in the wholeness and perfection of Nibbana.

Oh, oh, if we might ever taste the unmade and cure all our blind ambitions, passions, desires. That would be a real breaktrough.


I may have given in to despair by making this post. I have mental illness which seems to always color my thinking. It’s very hard for me to see clearly.

For example, I was thinking recently that the entire Bhikkuni ordination was one giant planned event by many enlightened arahants on both sides. One grand joke! Like a grand zen koan just to frustrate the unenlightened into total despair and then Enlightenment. And then I thought: how unenlightened am I to not see it!

And then I thought, wait, I’m being ridiculous, there’s no way that’s possible. And so I wrote this post with despair thinking everyone was getting brainwashed by YouTube. Oh man. Samsara

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Agreed, with the understanding that there are still things to be pursued and dangers to be avoided in life, i.e. the importance of pursuing the Noble Eightfold Path and avoiding paths that deviate, like so much of the YouTube advice given out like candy these days from self-help gurus and life coaches, which is anything but the Noble Eightfold Path. A lot of which I followed, to my immense regret.

Thank you Venerable NgXinZhao. Thank you for reminding me of this. I have a hard time integrating good and bad in my mind, I tend to have all good or all bad thinking patterns which makes it difficult to see reality clearly. I would likely not have been introduced to Buddhism this life without the Internet, so Internet can’t be all bad.

This is what I’m afraid is happening to me, and even well practiced Buddhist monastics. It seems that wisdom is regressing in people’s minds. Thank you for this reminder from the Suttas.

The sutta’s teach that we can test ourselves and see if we practice Dhamma and do not deviate. It comes down to: do we really become more dispassionate or even more passionate. More modest or even more conceited. Does ego-attachment only grow of weaken? Are we more easily contented or are we becoming even more exigent, that kind of things that i believe are easy to understand.

This is due to the very dominant worldy doctrine, attitude, view that all in life must be made, produced and is result of effort. This obsession with conditioning is the real cause that wisdom disappears.
This is really a serious thing and even has infested the mind of buddhist.
It is very mundane to think that all must be produced and made. But any religion, also Buddhist, does not teach this. Buddhim is subtle. It teaches a mundane Path of making, producing, such as really developing the skills, the insights to let go, to detach, to purify, to let go of clinging, BUT Buddha does never teach that all is made or produced. This idea is very wrong and the reason why wisdom fades away. If one purifies mind one does not make nor create the natural characteristic of mind, i.e. unburdened, peaceful, empty.

The mundane idea, or lets say obsession, that all must be made, that is exactly not the Path of wisdom. And it is excalty this wrong view that is the worldy stream, the worldly way of living, the worldly way of thinking, valueing…in short… samsara’s driving force. The mundane stream of ambition, constant effort, passion, goal-oriented, restless…loosing all touch and feeling for Nibbana.

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can you quote sutta for this?

First of all, the Buddha does not teach that he created the mind. Please be aware! He is not a Creator God. When we purify mind, and the result is mind without clinging, that absence of clinging is produced… but… ofcourse not the mind. We are not creators of mind.

If you purify water, only the true characteristic of water become apparant. It is not that you create them. The same with mind. Dhamma is not about making, creating but revealing. Dhamma reveals the true characteristics of mind. It does not create them.

Buddha also teaches asankhata. How can asankhata be made? It is per definition unbecome!
In many sutta’s the unmade, unbecome, unconditioned is mentioned. And it is mentioned in a way, too, that adresses the idea that there is ONLY the made. Sutta’s clearly negate this, such as in Iti and Udana. They clearly teach…IF there would be not asankhata there is no escape.

The Buddha-Dhamma is in SN43 also taught as a Path to the stable, constant, not-desintegrating, the Truth. What more needs to be said?

I am not gonna do these discussion all over again. In the end mere cessation is, for me, a choice. The idea that it is the only possible choice, which all mere cessationalist want to radiate in the world, or that mere cessation relies on experiences…ach…i reject all this. I think it is insecurity . There is never a A mere cessationalist that even is able to share some doubts. But are there really no doubts,…ja, ja…

Anyway, I make other chooses. But we have discussed this enough, i feel. I also know that mere cessationalist frame all my choices as result of strong attachment to life, to a self, lack of real wisdom, lack of real depth and experience…etc etc…So, what is uberhaupt the use of discussing things while there is always this judgement in their minds?

For me it is very clear that wisdom fades away due to the wrong understanding, the wrong view, the wrong attitude that all in life must be made. This belief in make-ability (is that a English word) is a worldly obsession and it has infected Buddhism too. Dhamma will fade away because of this.

Can you quote a sutta on this? As far as I am aware your definition of mind falls outside of the dependent origination, which is what most Buddhists would point to that is how mind is created. So you have to show why all the things listed in the dependent origination is not the mind and what suttas support this.

PS. Just to be fair, here’s the sutta to refute your claim of this:


At Sāvatthī.

“Mendicants, I will teach you the all. Listen …

And what is the all? It’s just the eye and sights, the ear and sounds, the nose and smells, the tongue and tastes, the body and touches, and the mind and ideas. This is called the all.

Mendicants, suppose someone was to say: ‘I’ll reject this all and describe another all.’ They’d have no grounds for that, they’d be stumped by questions, and, in addition, they’d get frustrated. Why is that? Because they’re out of their element.”


At Sāvatthī.

“Mendicants, all is liable to be reborn. And what is the all that is liable to be reborn? The eye, sights, eye consciousness, and eye contact are liable to be reborn. And the pleasant, painful, or neutral feeling that arises conditioned by eye contact is also liable to be reborn.

The ear … nose … tongue … body … The mind, ideas, mind consciousness, and mind contact are liable to be reborn. And the pleasant, painful, or neutral feeling that arises conditioned by mind contact is also liable to be reborn.

Seeing this a learned noble disciple grows disillusioned … They understand: ‘… there is no return to any state of existence.’”

“Mendicants, all is liable to grow old. …”

“Mendicants, all is liable to fall sick. …”

“Mendicants, all is liable to die. …”

“Mendicants, all is liable to sorrow. …”

“Mendicants, all is liable to be corrupted. …”

“Mendicants, all is liable to end. …”

“Mendicants, all is liable to vanish. …”

“Mendicants, all is liable to originate. …”

“Mendicants, all is liable to cease. …”

The sutta’s teach that the Buddha did not see a discoverable beginning of rebirth A first moment that the mind was created and started to wander around in the different realms of samsara shrouded by ignorance and fettered by craving. While other religion assume a first creation-moment, and a Creator, the Buddha does not postulate such first moment and such an Creator.

No first point is found of sentient beings roaming and transmigrating, shrouded by ignorance and fettered by craving. (SN15.1)

Again, purifying water does not create the true characteristics of water but reveals them. The same with mind. We never ever create dispassion, stilling, cessation, Nibbana. Never ever. And people who think so must discuss this with their teachers because this is serious mistake.
One cannot think about Nibbana as a sankhata, as a building, as made.

I did not use the word ALL in this context of the All. I only siad: the Buddha teaches sankhata and asankhata. The All, all we sense, how the world arises for us via the senses etc…that is part of sankhata, of conditionally arising. It does not fall under asankhata, ofcourse.