Book

A Critique of Western Buddhism: Ruins of the Buddhist Real 

 

Bloomsbury Academic

 

ABOUT:

 

What are we to make of Western Buddhism? Glenn Wallis argues that in aligning their tradition with the contemporary self-help industry, Western Buddhists evade the consequences of Buddhist thought. This book shows that with concepts such as vanishing, nihility, extinction, contingency, and no-self, Buddhism, like all potent systems of thought, articulates a notion of the “real.” Raw, unflinching acceptance of this real is held by Buddhism to be at the very core of human “awakening.” Yet these preeminent human truths are universally shored up against in contemporary Buddhist practice, which contradicts the very heart of Buddhism.

The author's critique of Western Buddhism is threefold. It is immanent, in emerging out of Buddhist thought but taking it beyond what it itself publicly concedes; negative, in employing the “democratizing” deconstructive methods of François Laruelle's non-philosophy; and re-descriptive, in applying Laruelle's concept of philofiction. Through applying resources of Continental philosophy to Western Buddhism, A Critique of Western Buddhism suggests a possible practice for our time, an "anthropotechnic", or religion transposed from its seductive, but misguiding, idealist haven.

 

 

CONTENTS

 

Preface

Acknowledgements

 

PART ONE

Introduction: Raise the Curtain on the Theater of Western Buddhism!         

Why Western Buddhism?

Theaters Comforting, Theaters Cruel

 

1. The Snares of Wisdom

Wisdom

Wellbeing

Neoliberal Subjects are Us, Wise and Well

 

2. Specters of the Real

The Rhetorical Unconscious

The Principle of Sufficient Buddhism

 

3. First Names of the Buddhist Real

First Names

Self-void (anātman)

Suffering-desire (dukkha-taṇhā)

Nihility (śūnyatā)

 

PART TWO

4. Non-Buddhism

Preface

François Laruelle and Non-Philosophy

A Science of Buddhism

Decision

 

5. Immanent Practice

The Great Feast of Knowledge

Thinking from the Real-One

Interlude: The Immanence of an Actual Suffering

Radical Immanence

Axiomatic Real

 

PART THREE

6. Buddhofiction

The Deliverance of Fiction

A Buddhism without a Past

 

7. Meditation in Ruin

 

Bibliography

 

 

 

Quick Links

Newest

Winter 2018

My new book , A Critique of Western Buddhism: Ruins of the Buddhist Real, can be pre-ordered at Bloomsbury Academic. More info here, too.

 

New seminars scheduled at Incite Seminars. First up is Akilesh Ayyar, "How to Find What isn't Lost," January 20th.

 

Fall 2017

"This is a rich disagreement!" Conversation with Tom Pepper at Speculative Non-Buddhism.

 

I moved the Incite Seminars page to inciteseminars.com. Please have a look!

 

Summer 2017

Starting enrollment for two public courses: "Alienation and Its Antidotes: A Workshop with Anthony Paul Smith on the Thought of François Laruelle."

and

"Meditation: Self and Society" Monday mornings

September 25-October 16. 

Information on Incite Seminars. 

 

Tom Pepper at Speculative Non-Buddhism: "No Thought, No Problem."

 

Spring 2017

Starting enrollment for public course "Buddhism in the Age of Trump." Begins Tuesday, June 13. Information on Incite Seminars page. Make thinking great again!

 

New post at Speculative Non-Buddhism by Jonathan Earle: "Only Don’t Know! Reflections on a Thoughtless Life"

 

"Criticism Matters: A Response to Rick Repetti," my contribution to the new book Handbook of Mindfulness: Culture, Context and Social Engagement (Basel: Springer Publishing, 2016) at Speculative Non-Buddhism.

 

Fall 2016

Ruin records He-Ho and Fiat Lux are being re-released with bonus tracks! Read about it at Earsplit. You can also pre-order directly from Southern Lord.

 

New essay by Tom Pepper, "Writing With Pencils and Eating Brownies: What Can Enlightened Brains Do?," at the SNB blog.

 

Spring 2016

I recently did two interviews with Matthew O'Connell at the Imperfect Buddha podcast.

 

A thoughtful discussion of the Speculative Non-Buddhism project at the Imperfect Buddha podcast. Link at SNB.

 

Summer 2016

* Several new posts at Lines of Flight.

* Cruel Theory | Sublime Practice is now available on Amazon US and Amazon UK. Read an informed review at the Journal of Buddhist Ethics.

 

* New interview with my Ruin band mate Cordy Swope at Seymour Magazine.

 

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