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What are we to make of Western Buddhism? Glenn Wallis argues that in aligning their tradition with the contemporary wellness industry, Western Buddhists evade the consequences of Buddhist thought. This book shows that with concepts such as vanishing, nihility, extinction, contingency, and no-self, Buddhism, like all potent systems of thought, articulates a notion of the "real.†? Raw, unflinching acceptance of this real is held by Buddhism to be at the very core of human "awakening.†? Yet these preeminent human truths are universally shored up against in contemporary Buddhist practice, contravening the very heart of Buddhism.
The author's critique of Western Buddhism is threefold. It is immanent, in emerging out of Buddhist thought but taking it beyond what it itself publicly concedes; negative, in employing the "democratizing†? deconstructive methods of François Laruelle's non-philosophy; and re-descriptive, in applying Laruelle's concept of philofiction. Through applying resources of Continental philosophy to Western Buddhism, A Critique of Western Buddhism suggests a possible practice for our time, an "anthropotechnic", or religion transposed from its seductive, but misguiding, idealist haven.