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January 27, 2009

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Seems like everyone misunderstands Nietzsche. It was not a vision or prophecy, but a diagnosis, of people like Schopenhauer who saw the suffering, the dissatisfaction of life and thought the only solution was escapism through an ascetic lifestyle. He was fighting against what might now be called postmodernism, although in an unusual way. The highest values- a belief in an ultimate God, in an ultimate Truth, something absolute and knowable- lead to science and philosophy that continue to demonstrate a lack of an absolute Truth. He criticized transcendent Truth as the source of Hope in the worst sense: I hope for something better tomorrow, it'll be better tomorrow, it'll be better in the afterlife- when we should be embracing life and all its hardships in order to do something now. See what's really there, not some Ideal. Christ the transcended; he is no longer part of this world, and therefore valuing him is valuing death. Nietzsche was skeptical of anyone's ability to do this, but saw that this could be a way out, a way of creating meaning when others were abandoning all meaning. Hence, Dionysis the metaphor, who dies and is reborn over and over, always valuing life. His skepticism, interestingly, came from our apparently dependent nature; so much of life is conditional and out of our control (completely dependent, says the Buddhist), that it would take a lucky hit to find someone capable of this.

So, God is dead? By this he meant the ability to believe in a transcendent, eternal God. Zen goes beyond even that. True, there is the Absolute; but the Absolute is also wisdom, everything functioning as it is. Buddha is dried shitstick, right? Don't get caught up in oneness and and a sense of the sacred. As Boddhidharma said, the first principle is vast emptiness, nothing sacred. Buddhism's solution is the interdependence of relative and absolute.

I agree, however, that postmodernism is a form of nihilism, of losing all values, while Buddhism is effectively a way of finding value, of finding the source of our dissatisfaction and curing it. Nietzsche had a term for this in his notebooks- complete nihilism. Breaking down values to build up new ones. Incomplete nihilism is breaking down values and despairing that nothing remains. Tie this into his concept of Amor Fati, used as a thought experiment or koan, and what do you have? The Great Death and Great Rebirth. Dionysis, every second.

non-bodhi-rat comments: "Certainly, and unfortunately, hypocrisy is what these Westerners practice and bring to Buddhism"

........And of course you forget that nihilism was 'brought to buddhism' 1700 years ago by the sarvastivadins/theravadins.

thats only about 1500 years before ANY 'westerner' could find a book anywhere on/about/regarding Buddhism.

Like the Zennist author, you forget the westerners in India, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam encountered the genuine scum handing out the no-soul-ism Nihilism.

......You know,...those yellow robed wearing theravadins who gave "da' message of buddhism" to Westerners.

Capt. K'nuckle says "your blaming whitey for the errors of them thar pesky theravadins".

The Zennist author unintelligently comments to excess" "..radical profanation of its founder’s message by many Westerners"

Forgetting himself, by some self-willed amnesiac episode, that "western" buddhism came from the EAST by those 'founders' of "western" buddhism who got the notion of no-soul-ism (natthattavada) FROM the Theravada demon easterners themselves, and brought back same to proliferate in the fertile dirt of established western nihilism.

Shame upon you for blaming westerns for the "nihilism bomb" slant on 'buddhism', when those very westerners were given the 'bomb' by the Indian and SE Asian theravadins.

You have ignobly blamed the 'paper boy' for the filth and spew in the Eastern newspaper, written, printed and bundled by the EASTERN theravademons.

Flapjack says you have Err'd

This article, I must say, hits the nail home. There must be a reason why some Tibetan Lamas refused to teach 'Westerners'.

Some Westerners join Buddhism for the wrong reasons. These reasons include (but not limit to) the acquiring of 'power/authority', the desire to bed women, the valid excuse to avoid 9 to 5 jobs (at least in the monasteries, they can have 3 meals and have the people bow at them there) ....etc :)

On the more noteworthy point, some of these Westerner Buddhists often went through a stage in their lives and most will leave Buddhism after a few years.

Most of these Westerners also don't understand the meaning of Sutra and they treat it as if is a bible (to be literally taken word by word). No amount of reading can truly help one understand the Dharma if one lacks the initial awakening known to many real Buddhists as the start of the Bodhisattva path.

Certainly, and unfortunately, hypocrisy is what these Westerners practice and bring to Buddhism, eventually...LOL

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