Gender Imbalance and Unbracketed Assumptions in MCTB2


I too have had this experience with MCTB [of understanding passages only after matching experience]—for example with Equanimity (formations) and fractals. Now I know what they are. However, the Six Doors section as originally written is elliptical, terse, ambiguous, and without full quotations and analysis of those quotations. It never brackets Daniel’s assumptions, including assumptions about the level of practitioner he is addressing, which he has had me know is the rare “elite” practitioner. He believes that seeing the Doors clearly thousands of times was crucial in his awakening. Analysis and bracketing work are the author’s job, not the reader’s, no matter what level of practice the reader is on (whether novice or adept).

Part of the difficulty here [in my Dharma Underground journal] is that I presented only my side of the exchanges; you cant see the text and Daniel’s comments that I was responding to.

As for my current personal practice frustration, it doesn’t stem from my identifying as a “woman.” It stems, I think, from the stage of insight, and possibly path, I’m in. This said, my understanding of nondual awakening is that it does nothing to negate relative reality, and in that reality I’m not a man or androgynous or merely blank as to gender. Gender is empty of inherent existence, ultimately, like everything, but that in no way will ever mean I’m not reacted to as a “woman.” The ultimate reality does nothing, therefore, to relieve Daniel of responsibility for the extreme lack of women posters on the DhO. MCTB is what in my field we term a “male text.” It privileges modes, genres, and mythic structures that reinforce patriarchy and structurally and systematically exclude women. I’ve had no occasion to say this about any text since the late 1990s.

I do not believe Daniel is intimidating certain groups on purpose; nonetheless, rectifying the gender imbalance and bracketing his assumptions are his responsibility. I’m trying to raise his consciousness so that the DhO and MCTB2 can be more egalitarian and broadly accessible. This work needs to be done whether I’m eventually enlightened or not.

Daniel advised me to resolve strongly to see each part of Fruitions as clearly as possible as many times as possible. I have no certainty that these little twist-blip-bliss things I get are fruitions. They seem trivial to me, sometimes even annoying. They don’t in the least resemble the spectacular stream entry Fruition from August.

You mention the rarity of the reset [of reality after a cessation-fruition]. Have you seen the reset?

Thank you for writing. Daniel and I are grappling with the most difficult part of MCTB2 right now, but I’m confident that it will turn out well. His emails to me included responses that we can pull right into the text to improve matters.


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