Friday, December 09, 2011

David Loy quote

"We are punished not for our our "sins" but by them. We become the kind of person who does that sorts of thing." David Loy in Money Sex War Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution, in the Chapter "How To Drive Your Karma".

This quote captures the subtle and more sophisticated approach to spirituality that I really appreciate. I wasn't wild about the first few essays in this book, but I really enjoyed the chapter on Nagarjuna, and this one on Karma. He does a good job of putting these ideas into a modern context, with a sense of the past.

Buddhism needs to be critically reinvented in the west. On the one hand, we need to understand not the just the literal sayings, but really go deep into the context of why things were said and extract the principles. We need to update these things into our modern existence and cultures, with a critical eye to our own present contexts, without being too trapped in that either. The further along we are on both these very deep areas, the better we can understand what the Buddha was getting at, and what that means for our present circumstances. Sangharakshita is really excellent at that, but there's no final draft and we have our own responsibility to advance our understandings. It is no small task, but in my opinion the "best game in town". Our personality determines whether we're going to be more academic or more of a faith follower, and how those two are mixed.

Literalism and lack of depth, superficiality and vagueness is a plague, a virus, a malaise in me.

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