Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sensing Tr-th-Resurgency in Indiana, Dalai Lama set to Visit Purdue

I'd like to personally invite all of my tr-th-seeking friends to join me in attendance this fall when the Dalai Lama comes to visit Purdue. He's only coming to three American universities this year, so we have "lucked out." Of course, sotapanna that I am, I know this has very little to do with "luck," but we'll leave that point aside for now. Tickets go on sale at Ticketmaster on August 11th and will sell out quite quickly. Twenty bucks for students... please go. I understand that Buddhism is a little '90s-ish in America, and that Hinduism or something is probably more chic these days, but at this bargain rate...

Which leads me to my point -- well, sort of. First just read this headline and rapidly skim the article.

Seriously, though -- the Dalai Lama's forthcoming visit provides the perfect subject for a blog post and a subsequently healthy comments page. The question is, if you had one question, what would you ask the D.L.? I have a few ideas:

1. Do we talk because we don't love?
2. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
3. Is focused, institutional learning superior to organic, unconscious learning toward the end of achieving Enlightenment?
4. Is the attitude of faith always superior to the attitude of doubt?
5. Does the fear of death serve a purpose; is it natural?
6. Who was your favorite Beatle?
7. Ontolo-metaphysically, what are unfertilized eggs and the sperm that lose the race?


Wishydig said...

Buffy and I were talking about his appearance and I played the part of the skeptic.

Buffy: We're definitely going to go, right?
me: Why? It's not like he's gonna say anything new.
Buffy: But he's a big deal. We don't want to miss it.
me: He's just going to tell me that humans are beautiful and I should be nice to them.
Buffy: Yeah. And I think you need to hear that more.

I'm nervous about getting caught up in some excitement about "actually seeing the Dolly Lama! Dude he's awesome. He changed my life!"

What am I going to "get" from it other than this mobmania about how he exuded a spiritual calm and showed such love for everyone and it really Inspired me.

"Inspired you to do what?"
"to tell everyone how inspirational it was!"

Cause...right? He is an impressive advocate for peace and selflessness. But couldn't I get as much from reading a transcript?

Or no? Maybe I just need to be more open to some things actually being worth my time. Honestly. Whether or not I think it's "important" to see him speak I guess I should weigh the talk against other things that take an hour or two and cost 20 bucks.

What should I do tonight? See the Dalai Lama...or get drunk and bowl a 112...hmmm?

Put it that way and I'd struggle to find an argument not to go.

Casey said...

I love the candor of this comment, Michael. Let me tell a sympathetic story:

One day I walked into Ryan Schneider's office, having read three or four more critical books in the "inspired-by-Foucault-or-Derrida" tradition as I approached the date of my prelim exam--he was kind enough to review most of the significant books with me at some point as I studied along. After reading every book, I would say something like, "Yeah, I see what this critic is saying--perhaps it was an important point, but I don't totally accept (insert concept X)."

Ryan was always patient with my explanations, and then one day, not long before the exam, he said, "Well, you've gotta believe something, don't you...?" And then he sort of waited for me to see how I had gone too far in the direction of discriminatingly wise skeptic.

I can always hear in my head the voice that says, "He's not going to say anything new, etc.," but then I'm sure there were more than a few people who stayed home the day the sermon on the mount was delivered:

"Oh, Saul, maybe we should just go give it a listen--everybody's going. They say he's really inspiring."

Anonymous said...

I'd ask, "If it turns out that nothing's an illusion, what have you wasted?"

Buffy Turner said...

I want to know what personality type the DL is. Or is personality sort of eradicated in the stream-traversing process, in one of the lives? Because how do you think he'd respond to the question of what superpower he'd choose? Do you imagine more gravity or guffaws in his response?

If he kept a straight face through that, I don't care how enlightened he is, he's not for me.

(And I am not just going because he's a big deal.)

Daniel said...

Though I wouldn't have the guts to ask him, I wonder if he would mind having a beer with me.

mcsant said...

Am I the only one who laughed out loud when the words "Dalai Lama" and "Ticketmaster" appeared in the same sentence?