[Buddha-l] American Philosophical Society

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Sun Feb 24 08:04:27 MST 2013

Erik Hoogcarspel wrote:

> Didn't it occur to you that your problems have smothing to do with your own inadequacies?
> Perhaps Buddhism is more like phenomenology than you can imagine!

I don't think of a lack of training in continental philosophy as an inadequacy. Over the years I have made numerous efforts to read Husserl, Whitehead, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger, but I just can't understand what they are saying. No doubt I am not intelligent enough to tackle such profound thinking. I am only smart enough to understand the likes of Aristotle, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Hume, Peirce and James. 

My point in saying that the age of mappō is upon us is that talking about Buddhism in a way that turns what was clear and straightforward into something turgid, jargon-laden and obscurantist does not serve the purpose for which the teachings of Buddhism were devised. Buddhism should never be difficult to understand. It is, of course, always difficult to practice, because the people who need to practice it have a lot of deeply entrenched habits that conduce to their discontent, and it is never easy to change habits.


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