Wednesday, August 28, 2013

George Saunders' commencement speech

I know this video came out a while ago.

But I was reading a follow up interview.

Saunders commencement speech is a plea for kindness. In the interview, he shucks off Jesus-nature and Buddha-nature and suggests it's human nature.

Like the movie Groundhog Day, and other things, we can appropriate other's stuff to reinforce our ideas. I think that is a good thing. Syncretism is human nature as well. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis. We live in dialectical times. There is no foundation. No one true perspective. We need to wear many hats as they say on Monty Python.

I was reading a review of a book, a book was being praised because it didn't just conform Buddhism to the current times and cultures, but really dug deep into the origins as they really were. That is important too.

I remember a bit in Vishvapani's book, Gautama Buddha: The Life and Times of the Awakened One. Vishvapani Blomfield, about how it's better to put your penis into the mouth of a snake than to put it into a woman. That's not amongst the most popular quotes you read about Buddhism.

There has been more violence, and discussion of violence, in Buddhism.

Finally I will note an excellent book review by Bodhipaksa. I was sent a review copy and really hoped to like Warner's book, but I stopped reading it and therefore could not review it. I feel a responsibility to say positive things. So I will end with a quote from Bodhipaksa's review:

"Brad Warner is a funny and interesting teacher. He’s endearingly self-deprecating. There are some great discussions about the nature of faith, about the need to be ready for awakening, about the nature of time, and about the problems of translation."

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