... For www.TheDailyEnlightenment.com ... Deconstructionism in Buddhism Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing inMessage 1 of 1 , Aug 17, 2006View Source
Deconstructionism in Buddhism
Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves. - Nagarjuna
In the second century AD, Nagarjuna took further the Buddha's notion of dependent origination. He systematized the Buddha's rejection of theories and concepts; he asserted that all known realities are constructed realities used to order the world and make it intellectually comprehensible. He asserted that nothing can be known except in terms of something else. In itself, each entity is empty of essence.
We move in our quest for knowledge from concept to concept, but no concept exists on its own: it depends for its existence on other concepts. Analytic and rational thinking produces ideas and opinions, but these are only conventionally true, trapped as they are in the dualistic distinctions imposed by language. Reason throws up its own concepts and dualisms, and tangles us in an undergrowth of notions and views, whereas true insight lay in dismantling intellectual structures and in seeing through to their essential emptiness (shunyata).
For Nagarjuna, the only right view is no view at all. His suspicion of metaphysics and his view of language as embodying cultural presuppositions make him appear an early precursor of the structuralists and deconstructionists of today. Claude Levi-Strauss may have been thinking of Nagarjuna's attempt to deconceptualize the mind when he spoke of the 'decisive wisdom' of the Buddha, 'to which my civilization could contribute only by confirming it":
"Every effort to understand destroys the object studied in favour of another object of a different nature; this second object requires from us a new effort which destroys it in favour of a third, and so on and so fourth until we reach the one lasting presence, the point at which a distinction between meaning and the absence of meaning disappears: the same point from which we began."
TDEditor : Emptiness does not mean that nothing exist, but that everything exists in a way "empty" of any fixed or unchanging self-nature. The realisation of emptiness of mind and matter results in spiritual freedom from self-fixations.
- The End of Suffering: The Buddha in the World (Pankaj Mishra)