Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism by Stephen Batchelor

By Stephen Batchelor

On my own with Others is a uniquely modern consultant to realizing the undying message of Buddhism, and particularly its relevance in real human kinfolk. It was once encouraged through Shantideva’s consultant to the Bodhisattava’s lifestyle, the oral directions of residing Buddhist masters, Martin Heidegger’s vintage Being and Time, and the writings of the Christian theologians Paul Tillich and John MacQuarrie.

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Extra info for Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism (Grove Press Eastern Philosophy and Literature)

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Actually, they do not even need to use a symbolic language any more, but they value it highly and carefully preserve it. The considerably larger group of people who possess a partial knowledge are dependent on the concrete employment of the symbolic language in order, within the limits of their capacity, to siphon off something from the pool and to achieve some effects. What they lack in knowledge they can partly make up through trust and good motives. By far the greatest number of people who would like to attempt “magic rituals” (or what they believe to be such) possess virtually no deeper knowledge, and are dubiously motivated.

It stops the process of erroneous perception, and the overloading of objects, indeed of all reality, with a thick layer of concepts. It eliminates the artificial separation between “me” and “the rest of the world,” thus ending our isolation. Understandably, insight into emptiness is therefore regarded as the instrument of immediate, instant, and final liberation from suffering. Such considerations also answer the questions thrown up by a purely intellectual understanding of emptiness: “If our reality is actually devoid of self-existence, does it become barren, boring, and worthless?

Without attempting a definition in Western terms, I would like to give a few examples of the function or effect of chü as seen through Tibetan eyes. We say, for example, that an intact and powerful landscape is endowed with chü. If we surrender ourselves to its power, we can draw chü from it for ourselves. Then we feel an influx of vitality, well-being, and clarity. ) Charismatic people, or people in dramatic, existential situations, radiate plenty of chü, but tired workers packed together in the evening commuter train have very little.

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