Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Object-Oriented Buddhism 6

The Tibetan Kagyü, Nyingma and Shakya lineages (at least), along with Japanese Zen and many other forms of Buddhism, have developed an approach to studying the mind that reminds me of Ian Bogost's concept of “carpentry”—sort of hands on philosophy (it takes up a whole chapter his excellent forthcoming Alien Phenomenology, which is about 20% of the book). Learning things by making things.

As Heidegger argues it's simply not the case that praxis is untheoretical, and theorizing is impractical. Sometimes you can only really find out about something by using it.

Instead of studying the mind (inevitably as an object “over there,” present-at-hand in Heidegger's terms, laden with the baggage of “common sense” prejudices), these traditions study the mind by doing something with it, by using it to meditate.

The idea that meditation is useless navel-gazing is an absurd mistake.

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