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a book with many answers

edited May 2008 in Arts & Writings
David Loy has just come out with a new book called Money, Sex, War, Karma: A Guide to Buddhist Revolution. I am waiting for my copy in the mail. Meantime I thought I would recommend one of his other books. It has many answers to many questions.

It is called Lack and Transcendence: The Problem of Life and Death in Psychotherapy, Existentialism, and Buddhism.

He reviews common "ailments" that we encounter and goes through the different perspective on them. From the idea of repression to that of fear of death. And what are fundamental anxieties.

The end result is a very clear outline of how Buddhism goes the farthest in answering the real questions. That it is fear of the not self that really underlies all the other anxieties, even death. And that is what keeps us perpetuating action forward, as if somehow to cover up that that self does not exist. A fascinating read.


  • edited May 2008
    "The ego self, which has been preoccupied with making itself real, collapses and becomes no-thing. In terms of life-versus-death, the ego self forecloses on its greatest anxiety by letting go and dying right now. Die before you die, so that when you come to die you will not have to die, as the Sufi syaing puts it. Of course, if the sense of self is a construct--composed of automatized, mutually reinforcing ways of thinking, feeling, and acting--it cannot really die, it can only evaporate in the sense that those cease to recur. Insofar as these constitute our basic psychological defenses against the world, however, this letting go will not be easy. It means giving up my most cherished thoughts and feelings abou tmyself, which are what I think I am, to stand naked and exposed. Hence Buddhism calls it the Great Death. If there is no greater psychology suffering, perhaps there is also none more therapeutic, for this burns away the dross of life, all the symbolized money and power and prestige games that usually obsess us because they seem to offer us the hope of finally securing ourselves in the world."
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