Many Western philosophers are poorly informed about the issues involved in nonduality, since this topic is usually associated with various kinds of absolute idealism in the West, or mystical traditions in the East. Increasingly, however, this topic is finding its way into Western philosophical debates. In this "scholarly but leisurely and very readable" (Spectrum Review) analysis of the philosophies of nondualism of (Hindu) Vedanta, Mahayana Buddhism, and Taoism, Loy extracts what he calls "a core doctrine" of nonduality of seer and (...) seen from these three worldviews and then applies the doctrine in various ways, including a critique of Derrida's deconstructionism. (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.".
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)
A substantial portion of the developed world's population is increasingly dependent on machines to make their way in the everyday world. For certain privileged groups, computers, cell phones, PDAs, Blackberries, and IPODs, all permitting the faster processing of information, are commonplace. In these populations, even exercise can be automated as persons try to achieve good physical fitness by riding stationary bikes, running on treadmills, and working out on cross-trainers that send information about performance and heart rate.
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.
: 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 is awareness trapped, and liberation 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)
Varieties of Ethical Reflection brings together new cultural and religious perspectives—drawn from non-Western, primarily Asian, philosophical sources—to globalize the contemporary discussion of theoretical and applied ethics.
Mechanical devices implanted in the body present implications for broad themes in religious thought and experience, including the nature and destiny of the human person, the significance of a person's embodied experience, including the experiences of pain and suffering, the person's relationship to ultimate reality, the divine or the sacred, and the vocation of medicine. Community-constituting convictions and narratives inform the method and content of reasoning about such conceptual questions as whether a moral line should be drawn between therapeutic or (...) enhancement interventions and/or between somatic and neural/cognitive interventions. By attending to these broader community-forming concepts, it is possible to identify three general orienting themes in religious perspectives on incorporated mechanical devices, which we shall designate as perspectives of “appropriation,” “ambivalence,” and “resistance.”. (shrink)
Buddhisms and Deconstructions considers the connection between Buddhism and Derridean deconstruction, focusing on the work of Robert Magliola. Fourteen distinguished contributors discuss deconstruction and various Buddhisms—Indian, Tibetan, and Chinese —followed by an afterword in which Magliola responds directly to his critics.
Hegel's relationship to the Greek ideal of his day is well known: early in his career he saw the Greeks as an alternative to modernity, but by 1805 he had retreated from the Greek ideal, although he still admired the Greeks. Despite agreement that the Greeks played a central role in Hegel's thought, only a few commentators have offered an interpretation of Hegel's account of Greek ethical life. This dissertation presents just such an interpretation. ;I begin by situating Hegel's early (...) conception of Greece in the context of 18th- and 19th-century Romantic Hellenism. What emerges is a picture of Hegel as a thinker who appropriated the Romantic fascination with Greece for his own concerns, recasting the Hellenic ideal as an intersubjective one rather than an individualistic one. In recasting it, however, Hegel had to come to terms with a tension internal to the ideal understood intersubjectively; his famous retreat from Greece consequently occurred in part because his early conception of Greece was untenable. His mature works show the result of this transition on his conception of Greek ethical life: it is still an intersubjective ideal, but it has been refrained in order to emphasize the close relationship between subject and community which Hegel calls "beautiful individuality." I thus offer an interpretation of Hegel's account of Greece in which a weak form of subjectivity plays a central role. I then identify four forms of immediacy which Hegel criticized in Greek ethical life. He contends that they made Greek political life both normatively deficient and internally unstable, because they prevented Greek life from providing a context for the exercise of subjective particularity and subjective freedom. The penultimate chapter of the dissertation shows how Hegel thought these institutions developed in the history of Europe and how he thought the institutions of the modern state provide an adequate institutional sphere for the exercise of particularity. I close the dissertation by situating Hegel's critique of Greek ethical life within contemporary debates about particularity, arguing that a Hegelian politics preserves the laudable features of liberalism while answering some criticisms leveled against it. (shrink)
This collection reflects the confluence of two contemporary developments: the Buddhist-Christian dialogue and the deconstruction theory of Jacques Derrida. The five essays both explore and demonstrate the relationship between postmodernism and Buddhist-Christian thought. The liberating and healing potential of de-essentialized concepts and images, language, bodies and symbols are revealed throughout. Included are essays by Roger Corless, David Loy, Philippa Berry, Morny Joy, and Robert Magliola.
The Tao Tê Ching is probably the world's second most translated and annotated book , yet it remains among the most enigmatic. Of its eighty-one chapters, no one denies that the most important is the first, and many scholars go further to claim that it is the key to the whole work: if it is understood fully, all the rest may be seen to be implied. Unfortunately, the first chapter also happens to be the most ambiguous. But even so, after (...) so much attention can there be anything left to say? It seems to me that an important point has been missed or at least obscured, and that the popularity of certain translations has made this obscuration more prevalent recently. To correct this, I shall offer below a line-by-line explication of this crucial passage. The following interpretation first demonstrates the parallel structure of the first eight lines as signifying two different ways of experiencing: lines one, three, five and seven refer to the experience of Tao, and lines two, four, six and eight to our more usual way of experiencing the world. I shall suggest that the difference between these ways is the difference between our familiar dualistic experience and a much less common nondualistic way of experiencing in which there is no bifurcation between subject and object. Second, we shall see that the parallel structure unfolds dialectically: each succeeding pair of lines elaborates upon the issues that naturally arise in response to the preceding pair. In the process of showing this, I shall take sides on the two main controversies over this chapter: first, whether it should be interpreted cosmologically or ontologically/epistemologically , and second, whether lines, five and six should be punctuated to translate yü as ‘desire/intention’. My main thesis is that the traditional understanding of yü as ‘desire’ or ‘intention’ is an essential part of the meaning of the chapter. This is by no means an original claim, but why it is so important does not seem to have been noticed before and provides the reason for this paper. Wing-tsit Chan's criticism of such translations, that ‘intention interrupts the thought of the chapter’, 1 is thus a serious misreading of the text. (shrink)
Hegel was attracted to the Greek ideal, but he ultimately rejected it as a model for the modern world. This article discusses four deficiencies he identified in ancient Greek ethical life: the immediate relationship between the subjective will of the individual and the ethical norms of thepolis, the absence of institutions that mediated citizens’ private goals with thepolis, the deficient conception of the human being which underlay slavery, and the granting of recognition on the basis of natural categories rather than (...) politically integrative norms. These deficiencies explain not only why Hegel thought the Greekpolishad to disintegrate under the onslaught of subjective particularity, but also why he rejected the Greek ideal as a model of social membership for modern ethical life. In addition, they illuminate his rejection of Fries and provide grounds for criticizing Rousseau. His account of the highly articulated modern state represents a response to the question of how the deficiencies of Greek ethical life can be overcome. (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)