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quote: "what would it mean to live without the comforting myth of self as ultimate truth?

for a start, it would mean saying yes to the inevitable fictional nature of identity and the otherness of self. strip away all the masks of social performance, and what will you find? nothing unique, nothing natural..."

james donald, Imagining the Modern City.

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(Anonymous)
Feb. 28th, 2002 11:12 pm (UTC)
Donny strikes again
Look Donny,

Just walk into any place that is an even remotely serious place of Buddhist thinking and someone will be able to point you in the right direction.

This is another example of lazy thinking. I mean, does Donny think he's the only person ever to utter an intelligible word in the history of ideas? Oh, that's right he doesn't know anything about ideas having a history.

The deconstruction of any notion of self has been a cornerstone of Buddhist thought for CENTURIES.

And in the opening shot of his attempt to describe the alternative to the myth of self I detect, once again, the implication of some form of value judgement. The buddhists don't go around wailing about the self being fictional as though it is something untrue, with less value than some other proposed understanding that one ignores because of one's desire for "comfort". For them the self is impermanence, just the rising & falling of various sensations, emotions, thoughts etc. Notice that this description accepts our faulty understanding of the self as common to all, itself being simply part of the impermanence. By describing the self as a myth, as a source of comfort Donny demeans it for whatever reasons he has.

And in contrast to the nihilistic conclusions that Donny draws the buddhists affirm that what is left after the impermanent self is left behind is the most natural and the most unique thing, it is the ultimate truth. In my rarely humble opinion it doesn't take genius to deconstruct something. Nihilism & Cynicism can be arrived at by any shmo smart enough to read enough history and/or philosophy and bored enough to pay attention to the whirling carnival that is today's media. It takes real courage, insight & intelligence to push beyond that & reconstruct value in the world for oneself. I certainly hope Donny gets around to this later in the book but I shan't hold my breath.

(Anonymous)
Feb. 28th, 2002 11:13 pm (UTC)
Donny strikes again
Look Donny,

Just walk into any place that is an even remotely serious place of Buddhist thinking and someone will be able to point you in the right direction.

This is another example of lazy thinking. I mean, does Donny think he's the only person ever to utter an intelligible word in the history of ideas? Oh, that's right he doesn't know anything about ideas having a history.

The deconstruction of any notion of self has been a cornerstone of Buddhist thought for CENTURIES.

And in the opening shot of his attempt to describe the alternative to the myth of self I detect, once again, the implication of some form of value judgement. The buddhists don't go around wailing about the self being fictional as though it is something untrue, with less value than some other proposed understanding that one ignores because of one's desire for "comfort". For them the self is impermanence, just the rising & falling of various sensations, emotions, thoughts etc. Notice that this description accepts our faulty understanding of the self as common to all, itself being simply part of the impermanence. By describing the self as a myth, as a source of comfort Donny demeans it for whatever reasons he has.

And in contrast to the nihilistic conclusions that Donny draws the buddhists affirm that what is left after the impermanent self is left behind is the most natural and the most unique thing, it is the ultimate truth. In my rarely humble opinion it doesn't take genius to deconstruct something. Nihilism & Cynicism can be arrived at by any shmo smart enough to read enough history and/or philosophy and bored enough to pay attention to the whirling carnival that is today's media. It takes real courage, insight & intelligence to push beyond that & reconstruct value in the world for oneself. I certainly hope Donny gets around to this later in the book but I shan't hold my breath.

continues....
(Anonymous)
Feb. 28th, 2002 11:13 pm (UTC)
Part 2
His style, the very words he uses, the metaphors are all so emotive that they belie what is really going on here. These are ideas Donny had whilst in the bath & he hasn't really thought them through. The lack of content is made up for by an abundance of emotive words & visual metaphors. The "masks of performance" are "stripped away", the result is "nothing unique, nothing natural", a statement that sounds more like the tolling of a bell than a sensible argument. One has to ask oneself why we are being treated to such rich prose, and the answer must be that it is because prose is all it is, not the communication of competently conceived ideas.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 28th, 2002 11:13 pm (UTC)
Part 2
His style, the very words he uses, the metaphors are all so emotive that they belie what is really going on here. These are ideas Donny had whilst in the bath & he hasn't really thought them through. The lack of content is made up for by an abundance of emotive words & visual metaphors. The "masks of performance" are "stripped away", the result is "nothing unique, nothing natural", a statement that sounds more like the tolling of a bell than a sensible argument. One has to ask oneself why we are being treated to such rich prose, and the answer must be that it is because prose is all it is, not the communication of competently conceived ideas.

Jase
benpeek
Mar. 1st, 2002 01:51 am (UTC)
Re: Part 2
well, i will put you down on the no side.

in fairness to the donald book, i am just pulling out quotes and pasting them up here. so, in that fashion, it might seem a touch more nihilistic than it is. also, the focus of the book is representation of images in media, such as movies, books, and that. anyhow.

that said, buddhism. i wonder if there is a bhuddist book on the city.

ben.
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