Journal Article — Asia’s Thich Nhat Hanh — by Winston Langley




This opening keynote argues that we cannot possibly hope to reform or transform the conditions which threaten and degrade all humans and the environments in which they live, without re-forming the self, the we-self, the inter-being. It also argues, implicitly, that Asia does not any longer have to be pre-occupied with defending itself against imputed identities, such as those linked to the old “Asiatic” label, and can now proudly, through the fruits of its own productivity, use the same term to counter-penetrate, culturally, the terrains where the formerly constructed deformations of its identities had taken place. As well, it says, that victims do not have to be controlled by bitterness–something the historical presence of Mahatma Gandhi unmistakably demonstrated, but can be leaders in the process of collective healing; and that, as Thich Nhat Hanh has taught us, in the pursuit of “deep ecology,” neither victim nor wrong-doer can ever have the chance for self-realization by excluding the other.

Recommended Citation

Langley, Winston. 2008. “Asia’s Thich Nhat Hanh.” Pp. 1-2 in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Sociological Imagination: Essays and Commentaries on Engaged Buddhism (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Volume VI, Issue 3, 2008.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press (an imprint of Ahead Publishing House).

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