A Blog for Buddhists Who Can Handle the Truth!

Are there any Buddhists out there who can accept the truth?  Any who don’t use Buddhism as a means of retreating from reality into comforting illusions?  I’d like to hear from you, to get some serious discussion going, and to try to devise new ways to help more people strip the comforting veil of illusion from the brute frame of reality.

Some preliminary caveats:

  1. This blog rejects idealism or dualism in any form; there is no atman of any kind.
  2. Capitalism is a humanly created social system, which can be changed by humans, and should be because it requires enormous human suffering.
  3. Our lives in the world require beliefs and practices that are socially created; I will call these ideologies.  We must have an ideology, there is no way to act in the world without one.  However, ideology does not need to be an illusion or a deception, and we can consciously choose our beliefs and practices instead of assuming they are natural or universal.

I will simply reject any comments trying to insist that capitalism is natural, a result of “human nature.”  I will also reject any comments arguing that there is such a thing as an atman/soul/transcendent consciousness, etc.  There are plenty of places to discuss and engage in these deluded beliefs.  Here, we will only discuss the truth.

It is my fundamental assertion that Buddhism is founded on a truth, not an ideology.  The truth of Buddhism, the “truth event” to which I wish to be faithful, is the essential insight that we must always have an ideology, but that it is possible to consciously choose our ideology.  This is a truth that obtains for all human beings in all times.  We can escape determinism and suffering if we can learn to be conscious of, and consciously choose, the beliefs and practices with which we engage in life in the world.  These beliefs and practices are real, they are not “mere illusions,” but have real causal powers.  They are our social formations, the structures which shape our interactions with one another and with the non-human world.  Unlike the laws of physics, we can change these structures–but only collectively, and with effort.  What I call the “Buddha event,” the truth event of the advent of Buddhism, is the recognition that there is no atman of any kind and, along with that realization, the recognition that there are “two truths,” an intransitive truth of the mind-independent reality in which we exist, and the transitive truth of our social systems, which have real inertial force, but can be understood by the human mind in collective symbolic thought and so can be transformed.

Although I will not engage with reactionary sophistry and attempts to deny these truths, I will gladly engage with any serious questions about them, including critical responses and any attempt to introduce new concepts or approaches to the truth.

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Is the blog back up? This is great news! These essays are at the pinnacle of the best writing on Buddhism, anywhere, anytime. They are also proving to be highly influential among younger, more theory-savvy, writiers. May we see new texts going forward!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: