Monday, September 02, 2013

There are Many Copies Around, But This, My Man, is the Original

For we are all insulted by
The mere suggestion that we die
Each moment and that each great I
Is but a process in a process
Within a field that never closes...

— W.H. Auden

Owen Flanagan:

The wisdom part consists of the recognition that everything is impermanent (annica), that I am among the impermanent things (anatman or no-self; annata, Pali), that everything that happens is caused to happen by prior events and processes and will yield other events and processes (dependent origination), and that if you try to find where things bottom out, you will be led, Zen-like, to find that they don't bottom out, analytic deconstruction never comes to an end (sunyata, emptiness). Buddhist wisdom says that everything is becoming. What there is, and all there is, are events and processes. Things and substances insofar as they exist at all are simply slow-moving events and processes. Compare: many scientists think that glass is a slow-moving liquid.

As you've no doubt noticed, the telling reference to liquid betrays the panta rheist origins of this so-called Buddhist wisdom. You see this a lot in other derivative philosophies as well.