Sunday 30 March 2014

Buddhism, Scholar vs. Practitioner

A whole lot of truths too terrible to tell, rolled into one short video, and censored accordingly.

On Youtube:

Saturday 29 March 2014

Chinese is not (quite) a system of symbols

"The great thing about Chinese is that nobody says it's an easy language to learn…"

On Youtube:

Thursday 27 March 2014

Atheism as an Ideology

Let's not pretend that ideology is a dirty word; I mean, some of my favorite things end with "-ism".  No, seriously…

On Youtube, this one is only 5 minutes long:

Tuesday 25 March 2014

Brand New Ancient Buddhist Philosophy, Part 3

On Youtube, click:

"How far do the implications go, of this conflict between what's ancient, and what's only apparently ancient?"

"Culture is not static.  Culture doesn't exist as a statue in a museum… culture only exists and persists when people actively reproduce it, when people are making it new, again and again."

Saturday 22 March 2014

Brand New Ancient Buddhist Philosophy, Part 2

On Youtube, click:

In the last 70 years, (1) changes in the structure of political authority entailed changes in how religious legitimacy is projected and perceived, and (2) changes in technology created new challenges to religious authority, as inaccessible canons of ancient texts became more and more accessible.

巴利文的消失:一個實用的指南 (the disappearance of the Pali Language, article)

《巴利文的消失:一個實用的指南》, 民族大學雲南.


The formal publication of this article was mentioned earlier on this blog (here), but this is the first time I've posted the Chinese translation.

Friday 21 March 2014

Brand New Ancient Buddhist Philosophy, Part 1

Ancient philosophy, post-war reality, and the question of what now remains of Buddhism for us to work with, in the 21st century, after the scramble to survive the 20th.

On Youtube, click:

Part 1 opens a broad discussion of how the last hundred years of technological and political change have made some cultural changes inevitable for Buddhism, to be continued in part 2.

Tuesday 18 March 2014

On Youtube, the Problem of "the Exotic" in Philosophy & Religion

On Youtube, this opens with an anecdote from the bad old days about monks, magic and faith-healing, then proceeds to (briefly) run through the problem of "the exotic" (as I've encountered it) in both Eastern and Western philosophy.


Friday 14 March 2014

On Youtube, Meditation is NOT a Science

"If you can convince people to line up and pay you money so they can sit in silence, that's the ultimate scam."


Tuesday 4 March 2014

Canon and Reason, Complete Chinese Translation

The complete text is now posted in both Chinese & English, in seven parts:

Problems of “Canon” and “Reason” in Theravāda Studies:

Cultural Anthropology Encounters the Pali Canon (巴利文大藏經), From Cambodia to Yunnan

Mind and The Material Elements (article)

The most important article on Buddhist Philosophy never published:

I would like to thank all of the cowardly editors who admitted that this was an important (even brilliant) contribution to the study of Buddhist Philosophy, but that they could not publish it because they live in fear of Richard Gombrich.  Perhaps "thank" was not the right verb in that sentence. ;-)

Vegetarianism and/or/as/vs. Buddhism

I re-formatted and re-posted my article dealing with vegetarianism (and the question of how we know anything at all from the most ancient texts of the Buddhist tradition) because it keeps coming up in conversation.