Seven Masters (part three): is Cthulhu one of the seven masters?

Continuing on in our meandering diversion from a conversation about the Shinshu Seven Masters, this episode starts right where we left off last time in a conversation about the promises and pitfalls of “one Buddhism” or a universal religion. The underlying issue here has to do with problems of difference or “otherness,” something that we somehow manage to relate both to post-colonial theory and Mahayana philosophy. (No. Really.) In post-colonial theory we find the urge to both deify and demonize the other (which has particular implications for Buddhism’s transmission to the West); and in Mahayana we find a tension in the perennial debate between the complete otherness of nirvana from samsara versus the form-is-emptiness stance of the simultaneity of nirvana and samsara. And believe it or not, all of this actually brings us back to Genshin — one of the Seven Masters of Shin Buddhism! But don’t worry, we don’t linger there too long; we’re still pretty caught up on Cthulhu and Aliens.

Speaking on Aliens, don’t forget to check out our website for more information on our upcoming live recording in April.

1 thought on “Seven Masters (part three): is Cthulhu one of the seven masters?”

  1. Hello Senseis

    You might like the SciFi book by author Iain Banks called ‘Excession’ which deals with a late space-going Culture of almost unlimited resources encountering something that is completely outside their experience and how they deal with it..not that you guys seem to like your SciFi analogies or anything

    Thanks for another good talk!

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