: This essay takes seriously the many Buddhist admonitions about ‘‘not settling down in things’’ and the importance of wandering freely ‘‘without a place to rest.’’ The basic thesis is that delusion (samsāra, ignorance) is awareness trapped (stuck), and liberation (nirvāna, enlightenment) is awareness freed from grasping. The familiar words ‘‘attention’’ and ‘‘awareness’’ are used to emphasize that the distinction being drawn refers not to some abstract metaphysical entity but simply to how our everyday awareness functions. This way of distinguishing (...) between delusion and enlightenment is not only consistent with basic Buddhist teachings but gives us insight into some of the more difficult ones, such as the way karma works and the Mahāyāna claim that ‘‘form is not other than emptiness, emptiness not other than form.’’ Moreover, this perspective illuminates some aspects of our contemporary life-world, including the particular challenges of modern technology and economics. It is important to see the implications for some of the social issues that concern us today. The constriction or liberation of awareness is not only a personal matter. What do societies do to encourage or discourage its emancipation? (shrink)
The new information technologies hold out the promise of instantaneous, 24/7 connection and co-presence. But to be everywhere at once is to be effectively nowhere; to be connected to everyone and everything is to be effectively disconnected. Why then do we long for faster connections and fuller connectivity? The answer this paper proposes is that we are trying to fill our existential lack, our radical sense of inadequacy and incompleteness as human beings. From such a perspective, our pursuit of speed (...) and connectivity is doomed to failure insofar as it only exacerbates the condition we are fleeing. Rather than rushing faster, the Buddhist-inspired solution would have us slow down and directly investigate our sense of lack. (shrink)
Nāgārjuna and Dōgen point to many of the same Buddhist insights because they deconstruct the same type of dualities, mostly versions of our commonsense but delusive distinction between substance and attribute, subject and predicate. This is demonstrated by examining chapter 2 of the "Mūlamadhyamakakārikā" and Dōgen's transgression of traditional Buddhist teachings in his "Shōbōgenzō." Nonetheless, they reach quite different conclusions about the possibility of language expressing a "true" understanding of the world.
Abstract In what ways was Nietzsche right, from a Buddhist perspective, and where did he go wrong? Nietzsche understood how the distinction we make between this world and a higher spiritual realm serves our need for security, and he saw the bad faith in religious values motivated by this need. He did not perceive how his alternative, more aristocratic values, also reflects the same anxiety. Nietzsche realised how the search for truth is motivated by a sublimated desire for symbolic security; (...) philosophy's attempt to create the world reflects the tyrannical will?to?power, becoming the most ?spiritualised? version of the need to impose our will. Insofar as truth is our intellectual effort to grasp being symbolically, however, Nietzsche overlooks a different reversal of perspective which could convert the ?bad infinite? of heroic will into the good infinite of disseminating play. What he considered the crown of his system?eternal recurrence?is actually its denouement. Having seen through the delusion of Being, Nietzsche still sought a Being within Becoming. Nietzsche is able to affirm the value of this moment only by making it recur eternally. Rather than the way to vanquish nihilism, will?to?power turns out to be pure nihilism, for nihilism is not the debacle of all meaning but our dread of that debacle and what we do to avoid it. (shrink)
Buddhism, By denying the subject, And advaita, By denying the object, Both resolve the problematic subject-Object relationship. That they are mirror-Images suggests that "nirvana" and "moksha" might amount to the same thing-Nonduality. "there is no self" equals "everything is the self." buddhism emphasizes "sunyata" because it is a phenomenological description of enlightenment. Advaita speaks of monistic "brahman" because it is a philosophical attempt to describe reality from the fictional "outside.".