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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Understanding the role of pleasure in one's life

One Cosmos Under God Robert W. Godwin
While I studied a fair amount of Buddhism in my earlier years, I ultimately rejected it as fundamentally inadequate and incompatible with our own wisdom traditions in the West. Yes, the West has problems, but Buddhist nonattachment is not the answer. Rather, the answer lay in a recovery of our own spiritual roots, which easily transcend and include the insights of Buddhism. Or, perhaps we can say that there are certain insights of Buddhism that can help illuminate certain ideas that are present but underemphasized in our own tradition. But Christianity is obviously fundamentally complete and needs no other revelation to complete it. It is missing nothing...
Only in the West, because we value liberty, are we free to pursue whatever it is that pleases us. This alone vastly broadens (in ways both bad and good) and deepens our worldview in a manner that no other culture can match. For example, much of our clash with Islam is over the "content" of our culture, content that no one in the Islamic world is apparently mature enough to deal with. Therefore, there are strict controls on information, exerted from the top down.
And much of this objectionable content is psychosexual in nature, as their cultures revolve around a fear and dread of female sexuality, which must be sadistically controlled by men. And the understandable rage and frustration produced in these cultures is so destabilizing that they can only function at all by externalizing it into Israel and the West. In the absence of imaginary Jews and other infidels -- who serve as a psychological "pressure valve" -- these societies would implode from within...
Even more fundamentally, Bion identified the central problem of the human condition as follows: thoughts and what to do about them. One would think that the obvious answer would be to build an apparatus to think them, but history proves that this is something of a rarity. Rather, people will do almost anything to avoid taking responsibility for their thoughts and to actually think them. For example, they can act them out, they can project them, they can deny them, they can convert them into physical symptoms, they can try to control others as a substitute for controlling one's own thoughts. Once you understand that thinking is the exception, not the rule, then everything starts to make more sense...posted by Gagdad Bob at 5/09/2007 07:15:00 AM 88 Comments

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