By Stephen Batchelor
On my own with Others is a uniquely modern consultant to knowing the undying message of Buddhism, and specifically its relevance in genuine human kinfolk. It used to be encouraged by means of Shantideva’s advisor to the Bodhisattava’s lifestyle, the oral directions of dwelling Buddhist masters, Martin Heidegger’s vintage Being and Time, and the writings of the Christian theologians Paul Tillich and John MacQuarrie.
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Extra info for Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism (Grove Press Eastern Philosophy and Literature)
Whatever they do, they do quite freely: they do it because they want to, because they like doing it. There is no obligation involved. They do it, even, as part of the process of their own spiritual development, their own spiritual life. To put this in a slightly different way, the Spiritual Community does not have to justify its existence to the world. It does not have to show that it brings about social and economic improvements, that it is helpful to the government or the administration. It does not have to show that it benefits the world in a worldly sense.
They have accepted responsibility for their own lives, and have decided that they want to develop as human beings, want to grow. The Spiritual Community is not, therefore, a group in the ordinary sense. It is not something collective, with a collective mind or soul. It has no collective identity in which you lose your own, or in which you become submerged. The Spiritual Community is a voluntary association of free individuals who have come together on account of a common commitment to a common ideal: a commitment to what we call the Three Jewels.
In this way a great deal of strain and tension arises, even a great deal of conflict. You are trying to do one thing, they are trying to do another. You are trying to develop skilful thoughts, they are giving way to unskilful thoughts. One day – or one night – you decide that you cannot stand the strain any longer. You just want to be free: free from that struggle, that conflict. You want to be free to stand on your own feet, free to develop in your own way, skilfully. So you just give up everything.
Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism (Grove Press Eastern Philosophy and Literature) by Stephen Batchelor