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Publication . Article . 2021

Racism as Delusion: A Buddhist Perspective

David R. Loy;
Open Access
English
Published: 04 Aug 2021 Journal: Religions, volume 12, issue 602 (issn: 2077-1444, Copyright policy )
Publisher: MDPI AG
Abstract
The powerful novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko combines several uncomfortable truths from the perspective of a young Native American who has returned home after World War II: the theft of Native American land, the manipulations that set poor whites against poor Indians (among others) and the effects of these lies on the hearts of white people, who tried and still try to fill up their hollowness with money, technology and patriotic war. However, as Silko emphasizes, the lies do not work. Not only have we white folk been fooling ourselves, but we also know that we have been fooling ourselves, and the consequences of our self-deceptions continue to haunt all of us. This essay is an attempt to say more about how that collective delusion functions—in particular, to understand the emptiness that patriotism never quite fills up, the hollowness that wealth and consumerism cannot glut. In order to do this, I will offer a (not “the”) Buddhist perspective, so we begin with some basic Buddhist teachings, which are quite different from the Abrahamic (Jewish, Christian, Muslim) traditions more familiar to most of us.
Subjects by Vocabulary

Microsoft Academic Graph classification: Consumerism Patriotism media_common.quotation_subject media_common Racism History Aesthetics Ceremony Emptiness White (horse) Buddhism Four Noble Truths

Subjects

racism, delusion, Buddhism, Four Noble Truths, sense-of-self, whiteness, Religions. Mythology. Rationalism, BL1-2790, Religious studies, <i>tonglen</i>

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Article . 2021
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