“Although the hyperreal operates as its own type of reality, this does not mean that its provenance is divorced from the material conditions in which we live. The fact that the images that the media project can be readily identified as “representations,” rather than the truth of the matter, works to further mask the political, social, and cultural interests involved. At the same time, these images have the force of reality and serve as a conduit of meaning. No doubt, viewers can recognize the Arab terrorists in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film True Lies (1994) as fictional characters (“It’s just a movie!”), but these images undoubtedly reinforce, if not substantively inform, American viewers’ notions of Islam and the U.S.-Middle East conflict.”
“Any scholarly attempt to describe groups should at least consider how members describe themselves. Our descriptions must be nuanced to account for exceptions, parallels, blends, and developmental processes. They also must pay attention to the history and ongoing effects of racism in the United States. As a white scholar, I have tried to use my own privilege to draw attention those effects, in support of efforts to dismantle them. If we cannot do this, then as Jan Nattier cautioned, ‘there will always be “two Buddhisms” in America: Us and Them, however we define each other.'”
“In German study, eighty per cent of those surveyed described themselves as confident in their answers on a questionnaire, yet only forty-two per cent got even half the questions rights. This is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect: people who don’t know much tend not to recognize their ignorance, and so fail to seek better information.”
“Our habit of treating institutions as second-order elements that “mean” less than such first-order categories as doctrine and belief is not purely a Eurocentric imposition, but has been encouraged in part by the discursive frameworks that East Asian Buddhists have formulated to inspire religious effort. An example is the Buddhist notion of the Two Truths. This conception pits the ultimate truth of buddha nature, which is what the Buddhist must grasp to attain salvation, against the conventional truth that institutions represents (Faure 1991, 18). The Chan religious imagination chose to distinguish the phenomenal realm, where the senses give rise to the illusion of permanence, from the realm of the impermanent and absolute, bracketing the one with the other. Being of the former, institutions are vulnerable to the charge of contributing to the illusion of permanence rather than working to dispel it. Institutions are left to “mean” less than they “are.” And yet, institutions the customs, usages, practices, and organizations that shape the lives of Buddhists are what provide and perpetuate the very possibility of the Buddhist life, furnishing the rituals, gestures, stories, and training through which people have access to an understanding of the Buddha.”
Things will go where they’re supposed to go if you just let them take their natural course. Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt. Life is like that. I know I sound like I’m preaching from a podium, but it’s about time for you to learn to live like this. You try too hard to make life fit your way of doing things. If you don’t want to spend time in an insane asylum, you have to open up a little more and let yourself go with life’s natural flow.
“As for the dust and powder of individuality: it resembles nothing so much as Hobbes’s war of all against all, in which life for many people has once again become solitary, poor and more than a little nasty.”
“But I think it is very useful, and indeed more accurate, to call it ‘the mind’ instead of ‘my mind.'”