[Buddha-l] Re: Bachelor bashing

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Fri Dec 14 10:59:55 MST 2007

On Thursday 13 December 2007 20:19, Katherine Masis wrote:

>   I do hope you’re asking these questions (really one question) in a
> general and rhetorical way.  I would say that there is a big difference
> between feeling pressured to produce papers in academia and writing what
> one pleases to write about.  Ideally academia provides the space and time
> to do both, e.g., the papers one “must” write are also enjoyable to write.

I have never written anything I did not write for pure enjoyment. Nowadays I 
still write for enjoyment; I do not publish much anymore. There is already so 
much junk being published that the world (and I) can survive very well 
without adding to it.

> When and if I get to enjoy retirement some day, I shall write
> only what I please to write about, without any pressure whatsoever, and
> shall foresake obligatory papers forever.

Don't wait until your retire, for heaven's sake. Never write (or publish) 
anything out of a sense of obligation to anyone.

> I doubt whether doing this or 
> not doing this has anything at all to do with spiritual maturity.

I disagree. There is no reason to publish anything except to satisfy one's 
sense of self-importance. As one matures spiritually, one's vanity shrinks. 
As one's vanity shrinks, so does one's feeling that one has anything to say 
worth sharing with others. If one follows up on all that shrinkage, one stops 
publishing one's thoughts and writings. That does not mean, of course, that 
one stops thinking and writing. 

Richard Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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