“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Object-Oriented Buddhism 5

Buddhism has developed thousands of techniques to enable a very important tool—your mind—to look at itself. This looking can be done in all kinds of ways, from studying and analyzing through direct experience.

What happens when your mind looks directly at your mind?

Clue: not infinite self-reference, thinking about thinking about thinking ... This sort of hall-of-mirrors thing would be mere presence-at-hand multiplied, i.e. just stereotyped pictures of your mind in your mind, NOT your mind as such. (“Presence-at-hand” is Heidegger's phrase.)

What happens? Your mind disappears! Yet it keeps functioning perfectly!
(Trust me, I know.)

There is a perfectly good OOO explanation for this. Which as far as I'm concerned puts OOO way up there—many philosophers have tried and failed to wrap their heads around Buddhism, Heidegger included...

Want to know more? Well get hold of Levi Bryant's and Ian Bogost's Object-Oriented Philosophy Anthology.

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