Buddhism and philosophical speculation

My personal view has always been that, if religion has value at all, it is as an open and personal quest for meaning, not a set of dogmas. This is where I believe the Buddhist approach has something to contribute, as in this extract from my book on Eastern Philosophy.

Buddhism is certainly not against philosophy. At it peak, before being destroyed in the Muslim invasions of northern India, the Buddhist University of Nalanda had some three thousand scholars drawn from all over India and also from China, Korea, Tibet, Mongolia, Sri Lanka and Sumatra. Systematic study was at the heart of Buddhist training, and Nalanda offered courses in grammar and philology, medicine, logic, the fine arts and metaphysics.

On the other hand, the Buddha was concerned to distinguish between things that could be examined profitably and those metaphysical questions that would never be resolved and which might prove to be no more than a distraction. (read more)

(The full text of this article also appears on the Buddhism page.)


The whispy seeds of summer...

plants 2

As the hot summer continues, the landscape takes on its own special beauty, with dessicated plant life reflecting the unrelenting sun and seeds blowing about. It has become a land of insects, where even the birds have vanished, awaiting the cool of evening. Nothing to break the silence of the countryside but the buzzing of insects and the gentle rustling of baked grasses shifting in the wind. I walk slowly on, my feet avoiding the newly opened ruts in the long-beaten path. Raising my camera, my shutter sounds like the snapping of a brittle twig.

plants 1

See also Essex Parched

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escalators time ladder





Why 'Words and Images'?

Most philosophy concerns words and meanings, arguments and debates. But wisdom is also a matter of perception and intuition.  Images can sometimes convey what words cannot. We see in order to understand; intuit before the rational explanation presents itself. And sometimes - best of all - we just stop and look, perceiving without any need for words.

So, along with short articles and reflections, I'm including photographs that have set me thinking.

For other 'Words and Images' just browse below or click an image in the main column.

Buddhism and Philosophical speculation / Existential choices / Holocaust / Reflections on time / Where are we going? /