[Buddha-l] WAS: Hindu Fundamentalism IS: mountains as centers

John Whalen-Bridge ellwbj at nus.edu.sg
Tue Aug 9 22:41:14 MDT 2005

Dear Buddha-L,

In response to RH's claim--

	"What is more clear is that a modern Buddhist 
	has no real alternative to thinking 
	of Mount Meru in purely mythic terms 
	rather than as a geographical 

--I would meet him 3/4 of the way but say that there are ways in which
modern people can MAKE themselves understand/experience a particular
mountain as "the center of the world." They can center their world
around that mountain, just as the cavalier fellow in the Stevens poem
"Anecdote of the Jar" makes the jar central (and thus at least a wee bit
sacred). One could say "practice makes mythic," insofar as it restores
aura. And if it didn't, why would anyone do it.

I'm thinking in particular of Rbt Thurman as he appears in CIRCLING THE

Here is the Stevens poem:

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

Mountain-climbing metta to all,   JWB

More information about the buddha-l mailing list