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Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors - Ryan Devine Section 103(Th 3-4pm Smoke...

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Ryan Devine Section 103 (Th, 3-4pm) Smoke and Mirrors The emphasis placed on “emptiness” by the Mahayana sutras, especially “The Kasyapa Chapter” and “The Diamond Sutra,” is intimately related to the more specific Buddhist doctrine of “no self.” This is shown in the Kasyapa Chapter when the Buddha tells his challenger Kasyapa that “[emptiness does not lead] to the annihilation of personhood; persons themselves are empty,” which is as direct a statement of no self as I have ever seen. These sutras, however, go much farther than no self. They generalize emptiness to encompass not just the lack of permanent existence of beings, but also the lack of existence of the universe, the fundamental emptiness of all things. The Buddha goes so far as to state that “emptiness itself is empty,” a paradoxical statement of the kind for which Buddhism has become notorious in this country’s popular culture, leaving the listener grasping for any kind of concrete, coherent message, left with nothing but
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Smoke and Mirrors - Ryan Devine Section 103(Th 3-4pm Smoke...

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