One aspect of the American experience, at least for those who are lucky enough, is to come across a professor who considers his or her career a vocational calling. Seen from a different angle, one can gain a deeper understanding of a culture by determining what kind of priority its people place on teaching. After all, what is Hebrew for teacher?
Dr. Michael Brenner’s essay, “Buddha as Icon”, illustrates this point, particularly after Dr. Brenner decided to make his essay part of the record of Sic Semper Tyannis after originally publishing it at The Huffington Post. As a result, his essay has reached a new audience. And if readers give the essay the time it warrants, then, like any worthwhile art or art criticism, it will trigger an inner journey, if you will, in which one thinks about life in our present circumstances.
So, with that in mind, I would like to share a few thoughts brought on by Dr. Brenner’s essay, including, ultimately, how it relates to the chaos sown by our neoconservative-driven US foreign policy in the Middle East.