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A debate between Nietzsche and Buddha

October 19 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

So long as human nature remains viscerally resistant to enlightenment about its own slavish and self-stupefying necessities, there will ineluctably be suffering: truly, there is some suffering that is gratuitous (having no ground in our own karma or circles of obliquely willed actions upon ourselves), but in nature even the prey brings itself to the predator willingly but unwittingly. Even in the socially and economically and legally most utopian conditions, there will remain this irreducible self-obtuseness, self-evasiveness, self-irreality, in which men forever act as their own premier and unrecognized worst enemies, the obscure causes of their own self-suffering. And for the very same reasons that this suffering is uncomprehended for its true etiology, humans will also incurably continue to project blame onto others for their own self-injuries.

These self-injuries for the most part are vastly more excruciating, more penetrating and subliminal than anything that other humans can do to one. Even the most dictatorial martinets and the most meatheaded and fascistic bosses have limits to their human repertories of immiseration and humiliation. But self-misery has no limits; it has chthonic arteries and vascular paths of subtle diffusion available to it that are inconceivable just because they are the same thing as the unfathomed depths of human nature. Everything that humans want or desire or hope for, every kind of external fetish no matter how remote or minor that they may premise some key part of their happiness upon, is a nerve that can be tweaked, a fear that can be toyed with—even by oneself. Most of the “present” in human life is really subjective projections of a kind of future that one needs to believe in, in order to stave off despair or futility or disillusionment, etc. We live most of our lives in an unwitting subjunctive mood, in the unrecognized modulation from actualities into the possibilities of an always-intoxicating wish-world.



October 19
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
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