Oh... what to say? Academic life is Hell with elevator music. And Hell with elevator music is not so terribly bad, especially if it is Spanish elevator music, as seems to be the case right now.
I'll be giving my horribly titled paper, "Buddhist Philosophy of Mind: Not-Self and Emptiness in Historical and Contemporary Context" on Saturday. I think I must have been possessed by some demon when conjuring the title up. The demon further impelled me to write the abstract (which turned out to be of a paper that at the time did not exist) which can be found somewhere on this blog. I have 20 pages or so complete, all of which has been pieced together from existing works that somehow related to my demon-originated abstract or feverishly composed out of thin air over the last two weeks. The whole thing, I believe, has flashes of something intelligent, but is weighed down and likely will sink due to the weight of its unsupported grandiosity.
We'll see though. I am somewhat encouraged by a talk I attended tonight (with an almost equally terrible title, "Protrepsis, Hermeneutics and buddhavacana Or: Why Did the Buddha Fib?") in which the presenter seemed to present a thesis similar to my own: that the Buddha's doctrines must be interpreted in context as purposive vocal acts, i.e. as intended to bring about change in the minds of his listeners, rather than as the expounding of a rational systematic philosophy. [for those outside of the tiny world of Buddhist philosophy, Protrepsis is hortatory, instructive speech, 'fitted to urge on'; Hermeneutics is the study of interpretation, and buddhavacana is the speech (vacana) of the Buddha.]
[so as you see my life is now quite boring, hence no updates!]
I have taught a couple meditation lessons for housemates where I live and have received decent response.
Ohhh... yes - my family is coming to England in 3 weeks! That is very exciting - We'll go to Barcelona for 6 days, to Ireland for 4, and putt around England for a few more. It should be very, very good; a well-deserved journey for my family, and hopefully a restful break (on Spanish beaches!) for me.
My favorite Buddhist teacher, Geshe Michael Roach, will be traveling to Europe in June. I'll try to catch up with him (actually see him in person for the first time!) at some point on his tour.
I've applied to return to Montana as a Philosophy Masters student and hope to hear back from them soon (importantly regarding whether I will receive a fellowship or not).
So that is my life at the moment. I look down a narrow, dimly lit hallway toward Spain, toward June and seeing Geshe Michael, toward September in Montana. But the view is obscure, and my arms and legs are bound by a poorly titled upcoming presentation, Sanskrit homework, and my own acceptance of immobility. And thus the obscurations fade a bit.