Letter writer: How deep is Asheville’s compassion in Waking Life scandal?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I have always been proud of the progressive, compassionate nature of my native city. Yet, after the recent events at Waking Life [Espresso], I am left wondering just how deep that nature actually goes.

By the actions displayed by the mob and other organizations, it seems that much, but not all, New Age philosophy and rapid feminism are just as exclusive as fundamental “Christianity.” Their message appears to be equal rights and acceptance for everyone except the person that makes a grievous mistake in judgment. Who among us has not made a mistake in judgment?

Every day as a Ro-Hun therapist, I see clients break the patterns of self-abuse, which were projected onto others as abuse. Everyone, men and women in equal numbers, is guilty of abusing others. Every time you feel entitled and justified to withhold love from another, you have abused.

Judgment, humiliation and ridicule are shadow forces and are never supported by the Loving Creator. As a progressive community, we should work toward holding people accountable for their unconscious actions without condemnation.

When you journey deep within your soul and find understanding and forgiveness for yourself, it becomes much easier to extend those divine qualities to other people. The New Day of fairness and equality for everyone is not going to fall from the sky; it occurs one soul at a time as each of us goes within and heals the wounds of our own illusions of separation.

Asheville can become a model for enlightened community for the entire globe or we can flounder in hypocrisy. Which would you prefer?

— David Robertson


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

24 thoughts on “Letter writer: How deep is Asheville’s compassion in Waking Life scandal?

  1. OneWhoKnows

    yes, we should demonstrate enlightenment by putting ARMED GUARDs at all the ‘gun free’ government screwls to set a new NATIONAL example of enlightenment while showing the value of armed screwls!

    • Big Al

      To call their fate “stoning” is useless hyperbole. And mob action is a form of Democracy.

    • Joel Bond Gunch

      Were those two blokes bruised?

      I have a hard time feeling sorry for them for s***-shaming their conquests behind their back. Locker room talk is bad enough. We all heard that juvenile gossip in high school. Boys in business to sell coffee to the public should know better.

  2. ron ogle

    “New Age philosophy and rapid feminism are just as exclusive as fundamental “Christianity.” “?? I am sure. While vigorous new perspectives are pervading explanation of how they work nothing like during the rapid feminism, semiotics and literary criticism! Vapidly!

  3. Jason

    It was pathetic! Ya protest a day or 2. People where protesting outside this MONDAY!! The protestors fell in love with the news crews and all the media attention.. This sadly turned out to what appeared to be an irrational support rally for those sexually taken advantage of…. I can completely understand that everyone involved is scared by their past experience, but did you have to crucify this business owned by 2 young dumb and full of C?$ 20 somethings! Find your centers and move on!

    • mynameis

      Crucify? Crucify?!

      Find _your_ center, please.

      These guys lose their business after being outed as sexual predators. Yet you somehow think it makes perfect sense to martyr them by using the term “crucify”.

      Jesus Christ these guys are _not_.

    • Big Al

      I am OK with them losing their business. You cannot expect the public to support your business when you prey on women in a PUBLIC forum. Reputation is a key part of free-market Capitalism.

      • Jason

        Big Al, losing their biz is not the point… My point is the obvious “OVERKILL” of protests.

        • stivee

          What was the overkill? Are you saying people shouldn’t protest, or that they have to spend their money at Waking Life? It seems to me that people are just making choices that are well within their rights.

  4. The Real World

    Sigh…..the letter writer appears to be yet another person who decided not learn the complete story about what those guys were involved in. Letter only (sort-of) makes sense if you’re operating with 30 or 40% of the info.

  5. bsummers

    Yeah, sure. Jacob and Jared and their business are the real victims here.

  6. David Robertson

    As a child I experienced sexual abuse for years. I know first hand the devastating effects of the trauma and fragmentation that it causes. In no way do I condone the actions of Jacob and Jared. I feel equal compassion and understanding for them and their sexual partners. Recovering from sexual abuse is not easy, it took me many years to begin to lead a life of wholeness and freedom. In order to break the cycle of abuse, the abused must be willing to stop living in the negative reactive energies of rage, shame, guilt, and unworthiness. Living in reactive energies means the abuser is still controlling your life. No one escapes the Natural Law of Cause and Effect, sooner or later we all experience the results of the choices we’ve made.
    I have worked with many sexually abused clients. I have never had a client that once fully realizing the negative effect that living in reactive energies had on them, did not choose to begin responding with understanding and compassion for themselves and their abuser. This is not easy work, the layers of fragmentation lie deep with the unconscious, and it takes time and dedication to self to recover.
    Only abused people abuse others. Understanding and forgiving your abuser does not mean you excuse their actions it means you realize that their actions were not truly about you. The abuser is still living in the negative reactive energies of their own abuse. Abused people feel no true power and they set out to regain that feeling of power by being whiny and manipulative, draining energy from other people or out right sexual assault. Abused people do not feel lovable and as a result they’ve become disconnected from their only true power which is Love. By Love I do not mean some candy coated, unicorns and roses version of Love but rather the qualities of Universal Love; kindness, caring, connection, acceptance and unity. Without Love one lives in fear, anxiety, isolation and coldness. Healing the cycle of abuse does spring from mobs, opinions or therapist. Healing begins when the abused individual chooses to realign with and respond with Love. Society will evolve as each individual embraces their inherent qualities of harmony, wisdom, love, beauty and understanding.

      • The Real World

        D. Dial – Plenty of people do believe real progress was made. Intense chemotherapy was applied to a cancer and it seems to have done the job in that the two perps lost their business, as they should.

        Notice that nobody is lynching or assaulting those guys. But they are paying the price of what they brought on to themselves. Those that quickly want to promote the forgiveness route are a scary lot and don’t seem to understand the very important distinction between forgiveness and enabling.

        They will be forgiven in due time. Relax, and let the universe calibrate all of this.

    • AstroBio

      Mr. Robinson,
      I respect that you have survived and thrived in your journey, but please, save that crap for your clients. Society advances when people express righteous indignation and demand change. It is in no way hypocritical to point out egregious behavior.

  7. Big Al

    I tend to lean to the Right, but c’mon, this was NOT about “New Age philosophy and RABID (learn to spell!) feminism…”.

    It was about RIGHT and WRONG, not Right vs Left.

    A business that promotes or partakes in sexual predation in a public forum deserves to lose customers and suffer public humiliation.

  8. Peter Robbins

    Our first concern at this point should be for the emotional well-being of these Waking Life boys. I imagine the allure of their past discourse stemmed, in no small part, from the thrill of getting away with it anonymously online. If you mitigate the pain of exposure now, you’ll spoil the memories. Don’t be vindictive.

  9. stivee

    Rape and mysogyny are not a “lapse in judgment,” and women do not sexually abuse men in equal numbers. This article is not factual, but rather the reaction of a scared man who thinks that men should not be as accountable as women and should have special treatment when they commit crimes and engage in the type of risk-taking behavior that killed Waking Life.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.