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Re: SD's Intellectual Odyssey

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  • stevandavies
    ... some ... Well, Mike, Rebbe Doctor Zalman Schachter Shalomi wrote me a recommendation at the end of Grad school that began, Young Doctor Davies is a very
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 19, 2009
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      --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
      > Hey Steve -
      > Since I suspect you won't be with us beyond the metaphorical
      > forty days, I'd really like to take this opportunity to find out
      > something about your intellectual journeys over the years.
      > I read in Skinner's interview that you're currently working on
      > Buddhist thought, and I seem to recall that you did some work
      > quite a while back on the Mayan culture, so what I'd like to ask
      > you is this: since you must have learned from the setup of the
      > Mayan calendar that the world would end in 2012, do you think
      > you have enough time left to complete your Buddhist studies?
      > No, no, that's not it. Forget that. What I'd really like to do is get
      > general feel for what you've been up to over the years, and how you
      > see your various interests as being somehow connected (or not).
      > Mike

      Well, Mike, Rebbe Doctor Zalman Schachter Shalomi wrote me a
      recommendation at the end of Grad school that began, "Young Doctor
      Davies is a very curious person." And that is why I get involved in
      Mayan studies and in the study of Vajrayana Buddist art. That, coupled
      with various completely ancillary happenstances like finding NEH funding
      for travel to Maya sites and discovering that you can buy authentic old
      Mongolian art for very little money via EBay. So one goes from one
      interest to another for no coherent reason and one tends to pity ones
      peers who find one interest when they are in their early twenties and
      then they stay with that for all of the decades to come until their
      world ends.

      The end of the world in 2012 is something I'm looking foward to because
      I expect Jesus to show up and I have a list of names to give him, people
      for him to take care of, that I've been compiling for a long time now.
      Me and Jesus are on the same wavelength vis a vis religious
      self-righteous hypocrites (I take as my text Matthew 23). First, though,
      the rapture, where the Faithful who live and their Zombie friends are
      caught up into the air to meet the Lord and then, from that great
      height, dropped screaming down to splatter on the surface of the earth.
      One hopes.

      I have been having problems with the Word for a long time, but it
      doesn't seem to me that anything interesting is happening. Am I missing
      something? There are a host of Scholars who are discovering that Jesus
      and the NT and the OT and so forth are all pretty much what they learned
      in Sunday School, which of course is just idiotic, and there are some
      people applying high level deconstructionist fad theory to things in
      ways that don't seem to explain anything at all. We desperately need new
      evidence and I'm sure some will emerge from some tomb eventually, but
      nothing much has emerged in the past 60 years. The fragmentary Gnostic
      stuff that the headlines love is interesting, but not relevant to HJ or
      Xian origins questions, IMO.

      I don't think that the Gospel of Thomas is understood any better now
      than twenty five years ago; even basic questions like dependence or not,
      date, purpose, aren't answered to general satisfaction. The connection
      between the guy from Galilee and the Christ of Faith that has puzzled me
      since earliest Crosstalk days has received no solution or even serious
      investigation and may even not be investigateable, which to me raises
      the question, why not? But everybody seems to have an answer that
      satisfies them, answers which to me usually seem tautological... it
      happened because it happened, and so forth. Actually my progress,
      inversely enough, is to have increasingly realized what a complete and
      astonishing problem it is.

      So, I dunno. Your question, Mike, is pretty vague but I think being a
      curious person is largely what I'm up to.

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