Tag Archives: Buddhism

Hume Hearts Buddha, Picasso, And Einstein–But Not Nazis, Aquinas, Or Monotheism

Hume hearts Buddha. In Hume Studies (Volume 35, Number 1&2, 2009, pp. 5–28), Alison Gopnik has a fascinating essay–“Could David Hume Have Known about Buddhism?”–in which she writes the following: Hume’s argument in the Treatise, like Nagasena’s “chariot” argument, points to the … Continue reading

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Is Atheist Sam Harris Sexy? Nagarjuna’s Opinion–And Thomas Aquinas’

Sam Harris is sexy, right? Perhaps you agree. But think again. How you answer this question says a lot about your orientation. Not your sexual orientation. Or at least not just your sexual orientation. It reveals something about how you … Continue reading

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Three Things I Think Are True

At this point in my life, I think there are three things that are true–the first one being rather obvious: I am a limited being, embedded in the system I’m trying to explain. This means I cannot be wholly confident that … Continue reading

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God Shadowed By Emptiness: Thomas Aquinas vs. The Buddhist Nagarjuna

Emptiness shadows theism. With regard to Thomas Aquinas’ method for grounding existence in being as opposed to change or emptiness (as the Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna did), what I find interesting is how, despite himself, emptiness nevertheless shadows Aquinas’ theism. What … Continue reading

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The Terrible Toos (Too Fat, Too Poor, Too Old…)

Too this, too that. Theatrical, but moving. Might bring tears. __________ Watching Jade Beall’s TED talk on body hatred recalled for me the general problem of human suffering described by John Koller in Asian Philosophies (2007, p. 9, fifth edition): … Continue reading

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Practicing Angry

Hmm.

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A New Golden Age? The Empty Soul Revs Up, Getting Ever Better at Gobbling Things Into Its Seemingly Bottomless And Insatiable Abyss, And We Call It Prosperity

Some good news. We are basically living in the most peaceful and prosperous moment in human history. Ever. Here’s Fraser Nelson, editor of The Spectator: A study in the current issue of The Lancet shows […] Global life expectancy now … Continue reading

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The Religion Tree: A Poem

THE RELIGION TREE I. The leaf doesn’t fall far from the tree, and we are all leaves on the same tree, and will take our leave from there. II. The yellow leaf signals fall, the green leaf, pride before the fall. … Continue reading

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What Apologetics Really Is

In psychology, you can change your attitude or you can change your behavior, and it’s always easier to change an attitude than it is to change a behavior. That’s apologetics; what it is really. Apologetics gives the doubting believer heavily … Continue reading

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Theorizing Desire

If you think about it, we respond to whatever arises into consciousness with desire, aversion, or neutrality. And the things that appear to consciousness are always in flux: they arise, they ripen, they decline from attention and disappear. Then others … Continue reading

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Free Will and the Origin of Consciousness

Am I missing something here? If contra-causal free will does not exist–and most non-dualist philosophers and scientists insist that it doesn’t, then how did consciousness ever evolve? It’s logically possible that we could all be zombies–though we’re not–without the least … Continue reading

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Love Your Hippocampus, Don’t Eat It

This should motivate you to manage your stress better. In The New York Times this past weekend was the following on hippocampus research: Peter Gianaros, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh, […] found that, among a group of 48 … Continue reading

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Life Perspective from Three Vantages

First vantage. Astronaut Suni Williams on what it’s like to look down on Earth from space: When you’re flying in space some of the things down on Earth seem trivial. Things like politics leave your mind. […] For me, [most] news … Continue reading

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I Am the Sun (and You are Too)

This morning while riding my bike, I stopped to admire the morning sun breaking through clouds and thought, “How spontaneous the sun is in the streaming of its own life! I wish I could do that.” Then it occurred to … Continue reading

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A Good Reason For Meditators To Exercise A Lot (And Not Just Sit On Their Asses)

Want to be a calm Buddha with a highly attentive and awake “diamond mind?” New research suggests that maybe you should get out from under that Bodhi tree you’re sitting under and put on some running shoes instead, for exercise, … Continue reading

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What Goes Around Comes Around

Everything’s interconnected. The following is from G. Legman’s Rationale of the Dirty Joke Vol 2 (1973) p. 371: In a nice example of psychological displacement, Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have hit his son at the dinner table, whereupon his son in turn … Continue reading

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“You Know Him Not, Sir”: Shakespeare And Limitations On Self-Shaping

How much can you change your life and those of others, really? That’s a question I’ve been gnawing on a bit after seeing this past weekend an outdoor staging of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Shakespeare, famously, was obsessed … Continue reading

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Lee Smolin’s Time Reborn: Physics, Evolution, Atheism, and Buddhism

Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin’s new book, Time Reborn (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2013), is mind-blowing–I assume it will still be talked about fifty years from now–and I’ll do my best in this post, having read the book through with great pleasure … Continue reading

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What It Feels Like To Be Beautiful Without A Mirror

Kjerstin Gruys explains: I remember the time I felt most beautiful. […] I was camping with my husband. We were on a long hike through a forest in California, and I couldn’t help but admire all the redwood trees surrounding … Continue reading

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The Tao of Emily, the Calm of Lao Tzu, and Trouble from Blake

Below are two couplets of flower power yin-yang from Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,” written in 1850 when she was aged nineteen. Insofar as anybody knows, it’s the first poem she’d ever written … Continue reading

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