Even though I’ve yet to arrive at page one (just xvi of the Introduction) already I’m greatly enjoying David Loy’s Lack And Transcendence, whose lengthy and rather ponderous subtitle — The Problem of Death and Life in Psychotherapy, Existentialism, and Buddhism — sums up nicely what his overall project is, viz. to place into conversation three fields of inquiry that often remain quite separate. This passage is from the introduction:
For Buddhism … nihilism is not the meaninglessness of life but our fear of that meaninglessness and the ways we evade it — ways which include myths about eternal recurrence. To accept meaninglessness, as part of the process of yielding to the no-thing-ness we dread, is to realize what might be called meaningfreeness. As a result, life becomes more playful. Yet, the question is not whether we play but how. Do we suffer our various games because they are sublimated life-or-death struggles, or do we dance with the light feet that Nietzsche called the first attribute of divinity? The problem is that anyone who must play — because he or she needs to get something from their play — cannot play.
And here — because I couldn’t resist at least taking a quick peek at the concluding chapters (being in the habit, as I am, of beginning at the end) — is a rather sweet passage from the one called “The Meaning of it All”:
One’s absolution is not a premonition of immortality but a temporary transformation in the way one’s groundlessness is experienced, from the gnawing sense of lack we usually feel into the receptiveness of a spring through which a life-giving fountain gushes forth, from some fathomless source.
At any rate, these 170-odd small-print pages promise to keep my conceptual mind happily occupied, for a couple weeks at least 🙂