Read preview Excerpt As a result of two Wars that have devastated the World men and women everywhere feel a twofold need. We need a deeper understanding and appreciation of other peoples and their civilizations, especially their moral and spiritual achievements. And we need a wider vision of the Universe, a clearer insight into the fundamentals of ethics and religion. How ought men to behave? How ought nations? Does God exist?
|Published (Last):||19 May 2006|
|PDF File Size:||3.14 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||6.89 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Start your review of Buddhist Meditation Write a review May 29, William West rated it liked it The main thing I thought about while reading this was the contrast between the supposed "goal" of eastern and western thinking. Western philosophy, since at least Aristotle and especially since Descartes, has focused on how to legitimize the prioritization of the subject.
Buddhist thought, by contrast, has centered on transcending subjectivity. Like the Judeo-Christian tradition, Buddhism denigrates the body and sexuality. Yet unlike Jews and Christians or Muslims it does not do so by negating The main thing I thought about while reading this was the contrast between the supposed "goal" of eastern and western thinking.
Yet unlike Jews and Christians or Muslims it does not do so by negating the body but rather obsessing over it in an essentially negative light. Meditation is, at heart, the mindful acknowledgment of the body as fragile and inadequate for the demands of the spirit, that which wants to be set free into ever lasting one-ness- the negation of all subjectivity. So, rather than covering up or denying the flesh, we are to acknowledge this existence as essentially bodily, but also to hate this existence.
We are to feel no desire beyond necessity, Buddhism would tell us, for food. We are to negate the beauty of the body wholeheartedly, by obsessing over its undesirability the fact that it leaks fluids and is filled with stuff that, to use contemporary parlance, is "gross".
This impulse against physical reality is what I think drove Nietzsche to describe Buddhism as the purest "nihilism". It seems to me that the Buddhist negation of the body, of sex, is necessarily patriarchal. Indeed, it may be a more extreme version of patriarchy than anything in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Traditional Buddhism treats the female body as nothing more than a diversion from "true-thought". Buddhism is often romanticized by western orientalists as the "least oppressive faith.