This follows a thread that I started with the discussion of Fisher’s Hungry Ghosts. I noted there that one of the things that characterized the hungry ghost sort of spirits was their talkiness, they loved to discourse. I realize there is something else about them that is important to highlight—they like to take on human identities. They like to have a name and a history.
This post circles around Francois Jullien’s In Praise of Blandness. I first encountered Jullien during my “if I see a Zone Book I read it” phase of my college library wanderings. I stumbled into In Praise of Blandness (also a Zone Book) at a used bookstore and picked it up for old time’s sake.
This book fits into Jullien’s long-running argument about the distinctiveness of Chinese thought from Western European thought. I’m sympathetic to Jullien’s argument, but you can bracket whether or not he is precisely right about the question of cultural difference and appreciate his close portrait of a distinct form of conscious experience.