The Domino Effect

Alan Cole

in Text as Father

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 2005 | ISBN: 9780520242760
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931404 | DOI:
The Domino Effect

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This chapter demonstrates how the Lotus Sutra creates several layers of audiences that are designed to control the reading audience which is now observing both the narrative action and its effects on the internal audience. This technique is most powerful when it is turned on the subject “himself,” an act that objectifies the subject to him in a way which is folded back into new forms of subjectivity. That is, the narrative depicts how it is to move from the realm of narrative into a supposedly Real zone beyond the concoction of language and narrative, and yet that Real zone is, of course, concocted in the narrative itself. The Lotus Sutra re-creates Buddhist identity in a way that requires the nullification of prior forms of Buddhism, even as those forms are recapitulated in a process which expands them, universalizes them, and, ironically, reprivatizes them as the unique property of the Lotus Sutra.

Keywords: Lotus Sutra; layers of audiences; internal audience; forms of subjectivity; Real zone; Buddhist identity

Chapter.  30774 words. 

Subjects: Buddhism

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