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Buddhism Beyond Buddhism: Reimagining Tibetan Buddhism as Virtual Praxis for the Networked Age - The Pure View

Sherab Namgyal / December 13, 2012

Buddhism Beyond Buddhism: Reimagining Tibetan Buddhism as Virtual Praxis for the Networked Age

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In my last post, I described how various ideas from the Buddhist tradition, such as emptiness, have often been understood in a very limited sense by western Buddhists, hampering the possible impact of Buddhist teachings. In this post, I want to explain some of the radical potentials of Tibetan Buddhism, hinted at in the last post, and historicized in the post to come after this. Most of what follows is a paraphrase of the worldpicture put forth in the text Shakyamuni Buddha Through Tibetan Eyes, by Tse Chokling Yongdzin Yeshe Gyaltsen 1713-1973 , translated by Robert Thurman in his anthology Essential Tibetan Buddhism, pp. 62-93. The translation of the worldview that follows attempts to remove what is particular to the Tibetan context, and replace it with its analogues in the Euro-American context. In doing so, it doesn’t take reincarnation as that of lives beyond the human. But as will be seen, there’s no need for this, nor any otherworldly belief. What is described is simply another way of looking at what is right in front of us. A radically liberating view. There are many strong similarities between what will be presented here, and the networkological view I articulate in my own texts. And I have no doubt that what follows is a networkologically tinged rereading. But for reasons that will become clear, the fact that I’m translating this into my own terms, and in a way that I hope can speak to others that may view things similarly, is also a good thing. What’s fascinating to me about all this is how immanent this all is. Buddhism is a practice of freedom, of learning how to dream better dreams to make a better reality. But rather than require belief in an afterlife or gods or magic, Buddhism is agnostic to these things. One can believe in them, but one doesn’t have to. In fact, much of Buddhism doesn’t require belief or lack thereof. But simply imagining, trying. Meditation is simply practice on this. But to see why this is, let’s move on to this very imaginative translation, one which ends, we’ll see, in the language of networks. In the process, we’ll slowly move from Buddhism to something like, but also unlike, historical Buddhism. An emanation of the principle behind the Buddha, perhaps, fit for the needs of our networked age.

via Buddhism Beyond Buddhism: Reimagining Tibetan Buddhism as Virtual Praxis for the Networked Age « Networkologies.


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