This week, we discuss Zizek's approach to Buddhism. From the first Noble Truth, Buddhism describes human existence as an endless cycle of suffering, and posits the path towards enlightenment as the severing of attachment, and the cessation of desire. From a psychoanalytic standpoint, Zizek emphasizes that, in contrast, we enjoy our suffering (as when we fall in love, for example), and that desire cannot be simply done away with. After discussing the finer points of a Lacano-Helgelian critique of Buddhism, the fellas get into Zizek's other major critiques of Western Buddhism; its associations with science and capitalism. Towards this, Zizek writes that Buddhism is perhaps the ideal religion for capitalism and for the CEOs of Silicon Valley, since it's prescription to withdraw from the world, and to see it and one's self as illusory, does little to change the system of oppression itself, and assures the passive acceptance of hegemonic realism.
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