using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Spring 2006
spring 2006| 26 |buddhadharma conceptual, and strongly fortified. eventually, I came to see it as a manifestation of our Western cultural malaise of the late twentieth century, a theological and cultural crisis in the validity of absolutes. as a student of religion, for me it was the world abandoned by our Western god, tinged with bitterness and despair. I was a disillusioned theist, embracing what seemed its opposite. This was the realm of the existentialists who sat in the grim confidence that God was dead and that there was “no exit.” This was the wasteland of T. S. eliot, who lamented, “The wind crosses the brown land, unheard.” or as the microbiologist Jacques Monod mourned, we are “alone in the universe’s unfeeling immensity, out of which [we] emerged only by chance. [our] destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is [our] duty.” This was nihilism, cowardly and intellectual, the flip side of theism. for many of my generation who discovered Buddhism, the eternalist absolute was replaced by a nihilistic one. and the nihilistic absolute is dif- ficult to crack open, for it is armored by cynicism and doubt. nihilism avoids religion or patron- izes it, finding it impossibly naive and irrelevant. Buddhism, uprooted from its asian cultural set- ting, became acceptable to us insofar as it sup- ported a nihilistic possibility. for many intellectual Buddhists, academia or the lab became the clois- ter, the classroom the chapel, critical analysis or research the ritual. Buddhism was appealing as long as it remained stripped of religiosity and insti- tutional trappings, and it conformed to scientific principles. It worked as long as it was a “science of mind” rather than a religion. When we approach the dharma in this way, how do we come to an authentic experience of the spiritual riches of the tradition? how can we expe- rience the genuine emptiness? This requires that we know what is meant by the Sanskrit word shun yata, usually translated as “emptiness.” Shunyata is a pedagogical term that points to the futility of concept to accurately express the true nature of reality. humans are conventionally ensnared by a conceptual approach, and these concepts blind us