I just deleted a post on David Loy that was a pretty harsh vent, where I cast him as whiny and ineffectual. In his defense, he openly admits the disparity between his expectations and reality, and also has never claimed to be a man of action. David Loy is certainly doing his best to change the world for the better, and doing it the best way he knows how—through writing.
Via the Jizo Chronicles, I was pointed to a recent opinion by David Loy on Shambhala SunSpace. He has a very strong view that Buddhists have a unique role to play in the progressive movement. But I don’t see much unique substance to his argument beyond the following two points.
- We should improve society and the world.
- Buddhism gives us a unique way to do so.
I suppose the first point isn’t unique. He frames the Buddhist solution very broadly, in terms of general awareness. Because Buddhism is about moving beyond delusion, it provides the tools to better be aware of not just individual ills, but also social ills. He breaks down our social dilemmas in terms of greed, ill will and delusion, tying these defilements to various institutions. His rhetoric is clever, but I feel his words are utterly pointless beyond spurring people to action. How does a Buddhist perspective make change any different, be it easier, faster or more thorough than a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or simply a non-religious perspective?
I’m all ears.
You can read more work by David Loy at Enlightenment Ward.