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By Kenneth K. Inada, Nolan P. Jacobson
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As Miller emphasizes, both Buddhism and Wieman argue that disorientation from the flow of felt creativity is the fundamental source of the suffering that is too deep for tears. Nothing is more obvious, then, than the factentirely consistent with Buddhist assumptionsthat Buddhism in the matrix of American thought changes through the encounter. Neville argues that Buddhist and process thinkers can and do learn from one another. Complications sometimes interfere with the Buddhist-Whiteheadian dialogue simply because both Buddhism and Whitehead are interpreted in different ways, some of which represent intellectual commitments that are very deep-rooted in each tradition.
Motivation depends on much more concrete matters than substantial identity. The universal principle is not interest by and in oneself as always the same entity, nor is it interest in others as always others; it is interest by the self of the given moment (the total self-active experience of that moment) in other experiences or selves, some momentary or nearly so, and others more abstract and enduring. Some of these other selves will Page 5 be continuations of the career to which the present self belongs, others will not.
Buddhism in this respect is one of the world's great efforts toward a truly self-corrective community. The present dialogue, therefore, has some potential for generating among Americans the possibility for cultural renewal. The essay by Jacobson, indeed, suggests that the polarized conflicts of races, ethnic groups and social classes can be assigned to the back burner only as individuals become more capable of celebrating the creative fullness of their experience in and for itself. Nakamura makes this clearer in his discussion of a Buddhist concept of equality, based in the fact that persons, regardless of racial, ethnic and other groupings, individually "reflect the entire universe of existence," the poor no less than the rich, the politically powerful no more than the weak.
Buddhism and American thinkers by Kenneth K. Inada, Nolan P. Jacobson