[Buddha-l] Being unable to imagine dying [confused]

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Sat Jun 5 13:35:38 MDT 2010

El Coyote escribió: Then he'll fit right in. No one has said anything in earnest here  
since 1993.

Luke responded: I am being sincere!
But you are Luke, not Ernest. That notwithstanding, it is perhaps worth explaining that my quippant (that's a flippant quip that's gone wrong) was addressed not at my perception of your sincerity, but rather at Joanna's speculations, which are based, I think, on a misreading of what you have written. It is not at all difficult for me to see that you are quite serious in your questions, but I must also confess that it is not always obvious to me what you are asking. But persist in asking, for in no other way will clarity emerge in anyone's mind.

Buddhist philosophy is a very odd duck indeed. To most people with training in philosophy, Buddhist philosophers hardly seem worthy of the designation. As philosophy, what the Buddhists wrote is very difficult to take seriously. To most people with a grounding in contemplative practice, on the other hand, Buddhist philosophers hardly seem to be doing anything of any importance at all. They seem just to be talking to feel a warm breeze blow between their teeth. As religion, what the Buddhists wrote is very difficult to take seriously. But all this stuff has survived, so it must make some sense on some level to someone. Part of what motivates those of us who study it for a living is (aside from becoming fabulously wealthy, famous and powerful) to try to get some small insight into what on earth it is about Buddhist writing that makes people keep passing it on from one generation to the next. In other words, we are all just as radically puzzled by it as you are. But at least we have had the opportunity to learn some interesting verbs in a variety of Asian languages.


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