“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

Thursday, January 6, 2011


You know the more I get into the details of finishing Buddhaphobia the more respect I have for Schopenhauer. I'd written him off for what I saw as his misunderstandings about Buddhism. But it's a very coherent view he has there and it's not completely dissimilar. Also, to swim against the racist, Christian white European (I'm not kidding—one word: Gobineau) orthodoxy of his day, to the point of having a Buddha statue in your front lobby to greet people who visited your office—that takes guts.


Anonymous said...

This happens more in some fields than others, doesn't it. We don't despise Newtown because it turns out his theories were wrong; we recognise them as an important step forward, albeit superseded by relativity, etc. Yet Schopenhauer's readings of Buddhism and the Upanishads are no less necessary a step towards cultural understanding. I'm reminded of a recent article in the LRB about Goethe and Edward Said: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v32/n24/marina-warner/in-the-time-of-not-yet

Gustav said...

What is your take on Nietzsche's attack on Schopenhauer and Buddhism? Was it Buddhaphobia?