What Western Buddhism is not ready to accept is thus that the ultimate victim of the ‘journey into one’s Self’ is this Self itself.”

Far from denouncing this stance as a monstrous perversion, we should perceive in it an indication of how authentic Zen differs from its Western appropriation which reinscribes it into the matrix of ‘discovery of one’s true Self’. The logic of an ‘inner journey’, brought to the end, confronts us with the void of subjectivity and thus compels the subject to assume his or her full desubjectivization; the paradoxical Pascalian conclusion of this radical version of Zen is that, since there is no inner substance to religion, the essence of faith is proper decorum, obedience to the ritual as such. What Western Buddhism is not ready to accept is thus that the ultimate victim of the ‘journey into one’s Self’ is this Self itself.”

Slavoj Zizek, Welcome to The Desert of the Real



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